Making Accessible Websites for the United Nations

Scripts and Forms

Accessible Dynamic Content

WAI Definition (Checkpoint 6.5)

Ensure that dynamic content is accessible or provide an alternative presentation or page.

Explanation

Client-side dynamic content is information on the page that is updated in real time. A Java applet continually displaying stock exchange news is a good example of dynamic content.

Dynamic content must be accessible using assistive technologies. If this cannot be achieved, provide an alternative page that is accessible.

Rationale

Obviously, not all users will be able to view the appropriate content – either because they do not have the relevant plug-in enabled (through choice or because they are unable to), or because they have a vision impairment and cannot read and follow rapidly changing content.

If a web page contains dynamic information, it should be delivered in an accessible manner. If this cannot be achieved, visitors should be able to navigate to another page where the same information is presented in an accessible format.

Database-driven dynamic pages created with server-side scripting (such as ASP or PHP) are not affected by this checkpoint if the information on the page does not change after it is served.

Technique

Write scripts that transform gracefully: if the script is not supported, the information should still appear in another accessible format.

If you cannot make a dynamic page element accessible, you must create an alternative page which is updated as often as the original.

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 the forms can still be submitted).