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RE: design/web standards


From: Karl Groves
Date: Nov 12, 2003 12:36PM

Donna -

Accessibility is not the type of thing that can (or should) be judged by any program such as Bobby or Accuverify. These programs are intended as tools to alert you of *potential* problems. They simply cannot accurately determine accessibility and are easy to circumvent. The best approach is to gain an understanding of what accessibility involves and use tools such as Bobby to look for things that may have slipped by you.

The WebAIM site has a good checklist for the Section 508 Guidelines - http://www.webaim.org/standards/508/checklist
Office of Naval Research has one as well - http://www.onr.navy.mil/resources/section_508.htm
National Cancer Institute has a good list of accessibility resources - http://usability.gov/accessibility/

As for the <noscript> issue:
The <noscript> element is intended to serve as an alternative presentation or means to access what is being presented from the client-side scripting. For example: if you use javascript for a fly-out menu or dropdown menu for navigation, you would put an equivalent list of links in your <noscript> element.

Last, you asked about a standards-compliant browser:
A standards-compliant browser is one that adheres to the recommendations presented to the industry from the Web's standards body(s). Semantics aside, this means the Worldwide Web Consortium and their recommendations for HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, and basically all the other cool stuff listed on the left-side menu of their site: http://www.w3.org/

To make a long story short, for a while in the mid-90s, major browser manufacturers did a terrible job of supporting standards. Thankfully, they're now moving toward better support. Unfortunately, the world's #1 browser still has atrocious support for evolving standards, particularly for Cascading Style Sheets.

Karl L. Groves, Certified Master CIW Designer
E-Commerce Manager
NASA Federal Credit Union
500 Prince Georges Blvd.
Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

301-249-1800 ext.497
Fax: 301-390-4531

Opinions expressed in this e-mail represent only myself and are not in any way to be taken as the words or opinions of my employer.

> I am also confused about a few things maybe someone
> could shed some light. All of our pages have to be accessible, so I
> run my url through Bobby and it tells me needs repair,
> Priority 1 user
> checks. I run my site thru the jaws reader and it reads it in
> Microsoft IE, but doesnt do very well in Netscape.
> We have software called Accuverify, I run the url in
> that, it tells me we passed.
> I'm confused.
> What exactly makes me ada compliant & accessible?
> We use Javascript throughout our site for variousa
> pplications, so to
> make that accessible we just put <noscript> tags in?
> Also what is a standards-compliant browser?
> Any help would be appreciated.

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