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Re: CAn this page be saved from itself?


From: Terence de Giere
Date: Sep 16, 2003 6:50PM

Steven C. Perkins wrote:

The following page was just announced with great fanfare on another list.
I can't even begin to formulate a reply to them. Can this page be saved
and made accessible?



When I went to this page in Lynx (win32) I was
bumped, it appears, by the server,
to a text-only page that was very legible.
When I went to it in Opera, I got nothing. I had
scripting and cookies turned on but not plug-ins.
I had to turn on plug-ins to see the page.

The page is set up for Flash. The links in the
Flash version, on mouseovers also dynamically
display text on the opposite side of the page
when focus is on a link so it is doubtful this
additional information would be processed in
a screen reader, assuming the reader can process
the Flash.

There is a link for a text only page, apparently,
the one I got with Lynx, but the link is in Flash,
so I if you do not have Flash, and the server
doesn't redirect you to the text page, it's no go.

There is a simple rule here - if there is an
alternative page to an inaccessible page,
don't put the link to that alternate page in an
inaccessible structure on the inaccessible
page. Flash is only accessible, and only
partially accessible at that, to some
very recent screen readers.

This page does not account for JavaScript
being turned off in a graphical browser
or JavaScript being on but Flash disabled.

IBM Home Page Reader rendered the page as
"Object", "Object". The same word repeated
twice. Alternative content could have been
placed in the Object element. Even a simple
link to the text version of the page would
have been something. I think the page was
done in Flash because someone knew they could
do it in Flash. For accessibility, and
usability, I do not feel the primary interface
of a Web site should be in Flash or any other
embedded application, at least at the current
state of user agents.

A low vision user could use the page in IBM Home
page reader because the graphical version of the
page shows in the 'normal' window of HPR, and
can be magnified in HPR at that.

I could not navigate by keyboard with most
browsers. With Internet Explorer 6.0 I could
navigate the page with the keyboard, but
the key sequence was chaotic, the cursor
jumping between columns of links back and
forth rather than in the logical sequence
down a list the user would expect.

They need to put a link to the text version
outside of the Object element _before_ the
Flash on the page in normal HTML that
any browser can read. That way users with
only keyboard navigation can get at it.

Additionally, the text-only page only includes
the links from the Flash interface, but not
the additional information that putting the
focus on a link in the Flash version brings up.

Scientific Freedom has indicated after the
hoopla about 'accessible' Flash, they are
adding controls to allow JAWS to skip Flash
objects, since most of them are still
inaccessible due to their design and coding.

See the way Mike Paciello has handled a Flash
opening page at http://www.paciellogroup.com/
When I went to this page with Opera, but with
certain features turned off I got the following

If you are not redirected automatically:
Click here for text-only browser version
Click here for Flash MX version

While "click here" is not the best text to
use for mouseless users, most people will
know what it means, and each link is the
full sentence, so users will hear the
complete instruction rather than just
"click here" when experiencing links
alone without their context.

Terence de Giere

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