Tue

22

JAN

2002

2002 Olympics Site Accessibility Blunders, Continued

WebReference’s Andy King wrote a great follow-up today to last week’s review on the major accessibility problems with the 2002 Olympics Web site: Accessibility for All? Interestingly, some of the problems that Andy pointed out last week have now mysteriously disappeared. Well, regardless of how or why that coincidence exists, fixing at least some of the issues is a good thing.

The JavaScript and frames problems still exist, though, as I first mentioned last week. Banning folks from access just because they don’t have frames or JavaScript turned on or don’t have JavaScript capability (such as screen readers) is absolutely ludicrous, in my opinion. They could have so easily included a text link inside the NOSCRIPT tags, but they didn’t. They could have easily included a text link inside NOFRAMES tags, but they haven’t.

As Andy states,

Adding alternate content with <NOFRAMES> and <NOSCRIPT> tags, and differentiating links from content isn’t rocket science and is now common practice. However, using (X)HTML for web page display is the accepted way to display content. First make your site function properly, then add interactivity and floating DHTML gizmos later (if you must), not the other way around.

Accessibility matters in an even bigger way to a site that’s clearly intended for major worldwide access, including access to the disabled (and in particular to the Paralympics information at the site!).

Once again, I thank Andy King for picking up my story about this last week (via Meryl Evans' blog) and taking such an interest in this issue. I do hope that the publicity and related discussions at Slashdot and Metafilter about the Olympics site can help bring greater awareness to the need for accessible sites, that it really does matter, and that it’s also easy to implement.

Resources

WebsiteTips.com’s Accessibility section.

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Categories: Accessibility, Design, Standards

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