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RE: design/web standards


From: julian.rickards@ndm.gov.on.ca
Date: Nov 14, 2003 2:38PM

There is a trick identified lately that allows one to use JS in a link that
some have claimed is accessible, I am not convinced that it is but I will
leave that for others to decide. What it does do is support both JS and
non-JS browsers.

<a href="webpage.html" onClick="WebpageInNewWindowFunction('webpage.html');
return false" title="Link opens in new window">Link text</a>

If JS is on, the function will be run. If JS is off, the link will take the
person to the new page. The title attribute will warn people that the link
opens in a new window - however, I understand that JAWS users need to do
something to read the title attribute so the title may not be read each

Now, with regard to JS form validation. Do not depend on it - if JS is off,
then no validation will be performed at the client level and all must be
performed at the server level. This should be pretty clear. The advantage to
client-side validation is that when the form has been validated, then the
server has very little processing to do. The issue with JS validation for me
is that if there is a pop-up window, then there is the possibility of some
JAWS users being confused by the new window. This was discussed recently - a
JAWS user contributed to the list and said that he was not confused by new
windows for links but he did not address JS pop-up alerts or other
non-webpage type windows. Furthermore, another recent survey reported
recently said that a significant number of JAWS users were confused by
pop-up windows - I don't know that many specifics were given for the study
so I can't comment on it.

My feeling is that if accessibility is important to you or your client, then
you should reduce the number of pop-ups that are created.

Julian Rickards
Digital Publications Distribution Coordinator
Publications Services Section
Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Phone: (705) 670-5608
Fax: (705) 670-5690

> -----Original Message-----
> Here is my scenerio, We use javascript throughout our site. I'll
> start with the first thing, I have a link to an external site so know
> we give a javascript alert letting the user know they are going to
> another site & were not responisble for content. when the click ok,
> they proceed to other site. If js is turned off- users go no where.
> So in the <noscript> tags can I put a <a href> to a regular
> page which
> shows a page that would have our alert. and a hyperlink to follow to
> external link. I'm not sure if that would work or not.
> What about applications that require users to fill out forms,
> if I use
> javascript for those instances. Is there a way to make that
> accessible too?

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