[Athen] Section 508 revised and javascript requirement ...

Hausler,Jesse jhausler at cahs.colostate.edu
Mon Nov 2 15:35:17 PST 2009

Hi Nicaise,

I agree with Terry's advice that all JavaScript objects should identify themselves. In addition to that, I've always taught that when using JavaScript on web pages, ensure that all functionality created by the scripts can be accessed by the keyboard (WCAG Guideline 2.1). Without scripting (JavaScript, .Net or otherwise), one would be hard pressed to develop a webpage with elements that were not able to be reached via the keyboard.

When I evaluated Section 508 for the USPTO, we would point to the standard regarding Javascript 1194.22 (l)... more precisely "the information provided by the script shall be identified with functional text that can be read by assistive technology". Our take was, if one could not use the keyboard to navigate to the JavaScript element, then its information could not be read by assistive tech. Trial and error with the JAWS cursor didn't count either.

It was a bit of a stretch but, unlike Section 508 software standards, the old Section 508 web standards lack a bullet requiring full keyboard access. This helped us greatly in our efforts to confront mouse only dropdown menus, or other mouse movement based scripts.

As you suggested, if turning off JavaScript gave the user identical functionality, we would give that a pass. However, turning off JavaScript sometimes made the very systems we were evaluation unusable, particularly regarding form submission.

Jesse Hausler
Assistive Technology Resource Center
Colorado State University

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On Behalf Of Nicaise D
Sent: Sunday, November 01, 2009 10:25 AM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network'
Subject: [Athen] Section 508 revised and javascript requirement ...

Hi everyone,

Has section 508 been refreshed and have these revisions gone into effect? If
yes could somebody tell me where to find the revised section 508 standards?
Everywhere I have looked so far has pointed me toward the section 508 we've
always known. Also what is the new requirement on javascript? Is it still
the test that nothing should be lost or disrupted whether javascript is
turned on or off or javascrip is no longer required to be turned off perhaps
due to technology having caught up? Lastly does wcagt 2.0 have an exact
position on that?
Any help or direction anybody could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Nicaise D

Athen mailing list
Athen at athenpro.org

More information about the athen-list mailing list