WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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RE: Accessibility issues and AJAX


From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Nov 30, 2005 3:00PM

Norman wrote:
> that analogy because of the issue with scripting and Section
> 508 requirements that applications still function without
> scripting. How would AJAX function with scripting disabled?

What section 508 requirement is that? Scripting is OK in 508, but it
must result in "functional text", unless you're reading things
differently than I do.

Heavyweight DOM scripting, as is common in AJAX, doesn't need to result
in inaccessible content, but often the events used are mouse-specific
and changes to the page are not always announced to users. The result
might be perfectly accessible new content on a page, but a screen reader
user may not know that the new content exists or even if the user knows
that it exists he probably doesn't know where to find it on the page.

Another difficulty often occurs when developers make things that look
like controls on a page, but the information needed by assistive
technologies is not present, and the accessibility and user experience
for disabled users suffers.