[bct] further discussion of Ajax was Google Mail and screen readers

  • From: Jennifer Sutton <jensutton@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 13:59:58 -0500

Hello, Darrel, Mike, and others who may be interested in accessibility of Ajax:

Darrell wrote, in part:
At 08:30 AM 12/17/2005 -0700, you wrote:


Gmail and similar sites are based on a programming technique called AJAX which includes use of JavaScript, XML and a bunch of other things, most of which should be reasonably accessible. Like everything else, accessibility will come only when the mainstream tech developers and the assistive technology industry come together, and at no time before. Having said that, as I understand, most of this stuff is made available through the DOM and other supposedly accessible means. I'd sure like to see screen readers really start stepping up to the plate a bit harder, becoming more innovative to deal with the ever increasing challenges to our ability to participate in technology.

I respond:

Oh, sure, Darrell. We'd all like to see all of the partners who have to participate to make things accessible work harder and faster. Screen reader developers, user agent (I mean browser developers), application developers, everyone. And I'd like to see everyone actually being aware of standards and complying with them.

But I daresay it's not quite as bleak as your message seems to suggest (and as I, myself, may once have thought). I think it's important for us to cite positive developments and give kudos, when due, even as we tactfully and strategically advocate for more progress.

With respect to doing just that, I'd like to make sure that all who are interested are aware of this Web page:

Note, in particular, IBM's significant contributions mentioned at heading level 2, entitled "What's New?"

Rest assured, I'm all in favor of proactive advocacy, but at the same time, I believe informed advocacy that illustrates a balanced picture of the current state of the art is also crucial.

I hope this information proves helpful to any who may have been unaware of it.


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