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Re: Accessibility of complex HTML forms


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Jun 27, 2003 12:16AM

On Fri, 27 Jun 2003, Gerard Corboz wrote:

> Is it a given that disabled users turn JavaScript off?

No, of course not. But it is a fact that they _may_ do so (or use
completely non-Javascript browsers), and may _need_ to do so.

> Would it be reasonable to warn a disabled user that the form is dynamic and
> uses JavaScript but is accessible if JavaScript is turned off?

No. Never refer to techniques if you can avoid it. Most people don't
even know what Javascript is. (This includes even a large number of Web
authors, who keep confusing it with Java, CSS, and other things.)

But it is possible, though tedious, to provide non-Javascript and
Javascript-enabled presentations in a single document, through judicious
use of Javascript-generated markup and <noscript> markup.

Dividing a large form into smaller parts via server-side interaction, so
that submitting one part causes partial processing of data and getting
back the next form, means a lot of work too. But it's generally the best
approach, since it works independently of browser settings and makes it
possible to request for corrections at an early stage. If you have filled
out a field in an unacceptable way, the sooner this gets reported to you
the better - and this is particularly important to people with cognitive

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

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