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Re: how to test for scripts


From: Terence de Giere
Date: May 22, 2002 4:53PM

Lisa --

1. You should be able to use the real Lynx browser on Windows XP; since
it does not support scripts, this is one way to test. On Windows 2000
and XP the size of a command window with Lynx running can be sized so
more than just 25 lines of the page can be seen, depending on the size
of your monitor.

2. In Internet Explorer, you can set security preperences to the highest
possible level, and that should turn of scripting. You can also manually
set up what items to turn off. Go to Internet Options - Security.

3. Download the Opera Web Browser. http://www.opera.com/ Opera has lots
of settings that allow one to emulate more or less, special access
technology. It is easier to turn features on and off than in any other
browser. You can also turn off tables, so you can see how a page will
linarize. In Opera you can quickly switch from a document mode to user
mode, and quickly switch off images to see ALT text. Depending on the
preferences you set, a switch from document mode to user mode could turn
off style sheets, tables in one quick operation. Switching off
scripting, plug-ins requires resetting the preferences, but they are
easy to get at. Opera also allows one to step through a page element by
element to check keyboard-only navigation. Opera also allows one to
magnify the image, approximating the effect of some screen magnification
software. However a graphical browser does not replace using special
access technology.

4. Try downloading some screen reader demos - using an actual screen
reader will help in designing usable pages. Because screen readers like
JAWS are the most commonly used technology, you should try this. Using a
graphical browser, even in modes that approximate other special access
technology, or using a text-only browser can give contextual clues and
other information that can deceive one as to the real effect the page
will have in audio rendering. Audio rendering can usually substitute for
Braille, which only about 10% of blind user know. The usability of a
page in audio can be substantially less than even a text rendering
visually because contextual clues like spacing, and the ability to see
content before and after a certain point in a page are not there. Text
that is clearly separated in a visual mode, may just run together
without any articulation in audio.

5. Consider buying IBM Home Page Reader, since this is a lot less
expensive than screen readers.

Depending on the kind of script, both screen readers working with a
graphical browser and IBM home page reader will allow you to hear and
experience which kinds of scripts run successfully on these
technologies, and which give users problems or do not run at all. When
checking accessibility of scripts one has to consider how the scripts
work with full support, with partial support, and with no support.

Scripts also can create accessibility problems with users of older
browsers because they won't run or create errors if they were only coded
for the most recent version or versions of browsers, so testing in older
browsers is a good thing as well. While multiple versions of Internet
Explorer cannot be installed in the Windows OS, Netscape 2 through 6 can
all be installed on a Windows machine at the same time.

Terence de Giere

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