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[Irl-dean] Creating accessible javascript

drice at nda.ie drice at nda.ie
Wed Sep 27 11:06:11 IST 2006


Piero,
our view on AJAX as per our guidelines:

"AJAX uses JavaScript to bind several technologies together to create web 
pages that can be updated 'on the fly' by exchanging small amounts of data 
with a server rather than requiring full page reloads. 
Reliance on JavaScript is an accessibility issue in itself and so a 
non-JavaScript dependent alternative (in fact equivalent) should also be 
provided. 
A major issue of AJAX use is the need to ensure that all users will be 
aware of when changes to the page contents occur. Possible solutions to 
this include providing visual and non-visual alerts, and potentially 
offering the option to turn these on and off.
In the end careful development and testing of AJAX applications needs to 
occur in order to ensure usability and accessibility."
Regards,
Dónal Rice



Piero Tintori <piero.tintori at terminalfour.com> 
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27/09/2006 10:38
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Re: [Irl-dean] Creating accessible javascript






Hi,
Following on from that, I was just wondering if anyone has a view on Ajax 
and Accessibility? 

Regards,

Piero


drice at nda.ie wrote: 

Tim, 

in my experience there is bad and not-so-bad Javascript.  The bad 
Javascript is used overtly for things like menus and cannot be read by 
screen readers as in the example you gave.  The not-so-bad Javascript is 
usually used in conjunction with HTML elements for example for submit 
buttons on forms.  It can be read by screen readers but if the user's 
browser does not support or has Javascript turned off you are in trouble. 
In many of these cases Javascript is being used in the place of standard 
form functionality for some strange reason.   

Using Javascript wisely is the trick.  We provide further advice on this 
in our draft guidelines at : 
http://www.nda.bunnyfoot.co.uk/developers/dev_design_basics_tech/design_tech2.3.html 


The following is an example of a page that we developed for the Oasis 
website that uses Javascript in a form in an accessible way: 
http://www.oasis.gov.ie/service_finder/ 
The form provides a query interface to a database of public service 
locations (everything from schools to garda stations).  The three form 
fields are 'category', 'county' and 'town'.  the second and third 
drop-down menus use Javascript - once a county is selected the third menu 
is populated with towns in that county.  The nice thing about this 
implementation is that it works well with screen readers but also when 
Javascript is disabled.  When Javascript is disabled the form still works 
- you just don't get the 'town' drop-down menu.  On submit the server 
knows to provide the list of towns for that county to the user- hence 
adding an extra step in the process.  Ultimately the user goes through one 
more step if Javascipt is not enabled but still get the exact same info.   


Hope this helps, 
Dónal Rice 


"Tim Culhane" <tim.culhane at criticalpath.net> 
Sent by: irl-dean-admin at list.eeng.dcu.ie 
27/09/2006 08:39 

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[Irl-dean] Creating accessible javascript








Hi guys,

My company is currently developing  web based applications which rely
heavily on javascript.

Unfortunately  at present  the javascript does not seem very accessible to
me.

For example,     menus  and forms created in javascript  are not visible 
to
Jaws when I view the web pages.

Can anybody suggest resources which describe how accessible javascript can
be developed in such a way that it  is equally usable   by  disabled and
non-disabled people?

I found a good resource at the below url, but was wondering if people on 
the
list had other  suggestions?

http://www.webaim.org/techniques/javascript/ 

Thanks,

Tim


-------------------------
Tim Culhane,
Critical Path Ireland,
42-47 Lower Mount Street,
Dublin 2.
Direct line: 353-1-2415107
phone: 353-1-2415000

Tim.culhane at criticalpath.net
http://www.criticalpath.net

Critical Path
a global leader in digital communications
------------------------ 



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