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RE: DHTML and Screen Readers?


From: Austin, Darrel
Date: Nov 30, 2005 3:40PM

> I am working on an article reviewing the three primary screen
> readers - JAWS 7.0, Hal 6.51 and Window-Eyes 5.5. I am hoping
> you, the experts, can provide me with some explanation of a
> few things. Window-Eyes promotes its new version 5.5 as
> supporting dhtml. I am aware of what the acronym dhtml means
> but that is about as far as my knowledge extends. Could
> someone please explain to me what dhtml means and why it is
> important that Window-Eyes 5.5 now fully supports dhtml?
> Also, how important is dhtml to the screen reader user and do
> the other screen readers (JAWS and Hal) support dhtml? I
> appreciate any assistance on this topic.

DHTML is pretty much the old buzzword that has been superseded by the
new buzzword AJAX. Basically a combination of HTML, CSS and Javascript
(with AJAX adding the XMLHttpRequest).

So, follow the AJAX thread and you'll find pretty much the answers you
are looking for.

In terms of accessibility, javascript can be a problem if:

- it is required to execute a function on the site (meaning those
without javascript can't actually use the functionality of the

- if it updates the content of the page without a new page
request (which some screen readers may not 'catch' and know enough/
how to properly communicate the updated text).