Making Accessible Websites for the United Nations

Scripts and Forms

Pages Are Usable When Programmatic Elements Are Not Supported

WAI Definition (Checkpoint 6.3)

Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative, accessible page.

Explanation

Scripts (such as JavaScript) are often used to dynamically create or display the content that appears on a web page, for example, to validate form entries or to display menus.

If the scripts are not supported (for instance, JavaScript is deactivated), the content and functionality of the page should still be available.

Scripting as referred to in the section is client-side scripting.

Rationale

Some browser configurations or some organizations that have proxies may turn off the client-side scripting. Old browsers may not support scripting. Dynamic drop-down menus, in particular, are known to cause significant accessibility problems for people with motor or visual impairments, for example when screen magnifiers are used. Therefore, they should not be used.

Applets and/or support for applets (particularly Java) may require downloads before running. Download time with slow connection and security issues can also present a problem for usage of applets.

Technique

Validation

Test

Using the Firefox Web Developer's Toolbar (plugin):
Go to Disable > Disable JavaScript > All JavaScript; then select Disable Java

Success Criteria

The page is still usable. There is no critical function missing (check especially that the menu remains visible and that forms can still be submitted).