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WEB HOSTING NEWS

Internet Accessibility: Standards for a Modern Host
By: Dan Wellman
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    2005-07-20

    Table of Contents:
  • Internet Accessibility: Standards for a Modern Host
  • Guidelines Five through Eight
  • Guidelines Nine through Twelve
  • Guidelines Thirteen and Fourteen, and Final Comments

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    Internet Accessibility: Standards for a Modern Host - Guidelines Nine through Twelve


    (Page 3 of 4 )

    Guideline nine encourages developers to design device-independently and cater for alternative input or output devices.  The priority one check-point states that client-side image maps should be used instead of server-side image maps.  Check-points two and three, both priority two, state that elements with their own interfaces should be device independent and that logical event handlers should be used.  The two remaining check-points say that the tabindex property should be used to create a logical tab order in relevant documents and that keyboard short-cuts should be specified with the accesskey attribute.   These are priority three.

    Guideline ten, at the time of publication, dealt with what it termed as interim solutions, technologies that were accessible by the assistive technology prevalent at that point.  None of the check-points within this guideline are priority one.  Check-point one specifies that pop-up windows should be avoided until such times as user-agents are able to switch this feature off.  Clearly, this is often now the case.  Check-point two states that labels should always precede their associated controls until user agents support explicit labelling, although personally, I think this is a good method to follow anyway.  Both of the first check-points are priority two.  Check-point four advises that column-presented information should also be provided in a linear manner, similar to the guideline informing of accessible table creation, and is a priority three.  Check-point four states that empty form controls should contain default text until user-agents are able to handle empty controls correctly.  Finally, check-point five advises that textual links should be separated by non-link, printable characters, such as the pipe symbol, often used in link bars.

    Guideline eleven promotes the use of W3C technologies, and advises to stick to W3C standards and guidelines where possible.  Check-points one and two advocate the use of W3C technologies wherever possible and advises against the use of deprecated markup.  These are priority two.  Check-point three, a priority three, specifies that documents should provide mechanisms to allow users to control content, such as providing alternative languages.  Check-point four, the only priority one of this guideline states that if it is impossible for a page to be accessible, a text only page that is functionally equal must be provided.  A kind of ‘if all else fails’ check-point.

    Guideline twelve describes the contextual and orientation requirements of documents.  Check-point one, the only priority one, states that any and all frames must be titled.  The remaining check-points are priority two and specify that inter-frame relationships should be described where appropriate with a longdesc attribute, large blocks of information should be subdivided into logical groups to make the management of this information easier and that labels should be used explicitly with their associated controls.

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