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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    Accessiblity for ARC IMS Server pages

    I happened to check the pages which were generated dynamically from ARC IMS server. This is a GIS server. How to make these pages accessible?

    Thanks

    Sudhir

  2. #2
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Sorry but you need to provide us with more details, we need to actually see the website in question to be able to determine how accessible it is and what different changes could be employed (to the code and the design) to increase the accessibility ratio. Just saying it was generated using some random product is utterly useless in terms of what we can offer you (beyond linking you to accessibility specifications).

    http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/
    http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/
    http://www.section508.gov/

  3. #3
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    Here's the

    gismaps.wku.edu/website/kyclimateIMS/viewer.htm

    The pages are retrieved from the server when clicked on the maps.

    Thanks

    Sudhir

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
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    I am not sure what can be done. The controls on the sidebars could probably be made accessible, but for the main content, I don't think anything can be done since it is an image with layers being applied on top.
    Ryan B | My Blog | Twitter

  5. #5
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    I would honestly give up, your violating pretty much every accessibility rule in existence, you would need to rewrite the whole application to fix it. Some of the major problems your causing include your dependence on JavaScript (why on earth would you use document.write to produce your HTML? there is no excuse for such poor coding, most screen readers and accessibility agents have no JavaScript access and up to 12% of all web users have it turned off, most people wont even see your website.) Write your HTML properly, don't have JavaScript write static code for you. Also your using frames which is a big accessibility no-no, screen readers can't handle them and the fact your generating them (like all your nasty code) using JavaScript just makes things so much worse. Apart from that you are using in-line stylistic code which should be written in CSS rather than deprecated HTML code, the kind of stuff you have in there has been deemed unsuitable for a LONG time. If that code was automatically generated... dump the tool which produced it because it's causing a lot of damage.

    I really wish I could offer you some constructive advice but that website is poorly designed, hideously coded and is honestly one of the worst written websites I have seen in many years (and that's saying something), you need to go back from scratch and re-write it... but before you do that you need to seriously re-evaluate your skills (if you produced any of that code) because based on that website you need to re-learn HTML and CSS (and JavaScript) from a reputable source rather than something that was produced in 1996 (because that's how out of date the code being used is), sadly as it stands there's absolutely no way your going to make that page accessible unless you overhaul everything from the code behind the scenes to the front-end design, it's one big mess

  6. #6
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    Thank you for the reply. With due respect & FYI, I did not design the website & as I already told you all this code is generated from a GIS server written by a third party. This server is used to generate the geographical images for educational purposes.

    And according to your advice, I'll have to weigh my options about dumping the website ( which entirely is not in my hands).

  7. #7
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Yep, I understand you didn't produce the website and it's auto generated, the problem is that how it's currently written it would be impossible to make it accessible. What I would advise is putting some effort into explaining to the bosses why accessibility is important and how damaging that current website will be to their future business. Essentially do everything feasibly possible to get them to dump that ugly code producer and replace it with something cleaner and respectable

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
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    While I agree with Alex, I wouldn't touch the code Sudhir. I have looked briefly at GIS stuff from an accessibility point of view, and it was a mess. Since I don't know your position, my advice would be would ask your boss to contact where ever you got the GIS package from, and ask them for their most current version. If it is what you have, ask how do they get around the Section 508 law. You might just have to put a statement as the first line saying please contact us if you have issues viewing due to a disability.
    Ryan B | My Blog | Twitter

  9. #9
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    rguy84, how exactly would adding a line saying "contact us if you have issues" act as a workaround? It neither helps people with disabilities view the website and in-fact acts as an omission / failure to comply notice with is probably even more insulting than just ignoring the audience. There is no getting around 508 law, the very nature that their (I'm assuming government funded) institution has a website which does not meet 508 is a direct violation of the law.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    ...most screen readers and accessibility agents have no JavaScript access...
    I'd say this isn't true anymore. Most people are using modern browsers (okay for just this once I'm including IE6 in this list) with their screen readers, and most modern browsers have it on by default. Web aim survey 2:
    Code:
     
    Javascript Disabled?
    Response	    # of Respondents	  % of Respondents
    Yes	                     62	             10.4%
    No	                    448	             74.9%
    I Don't Know                88	             14.7%
    though that doesn't mean the reader can deal well with Javascript, which is actually the real problem. JAWS 10 is actually better at stuff like AJAX and updating the virtual buffer when stuff changes. But that's only 10, if you have a lower number it doesn't work so good... same goes for other brands, and you never know what version someone's got. Plus they cost an arm, leg and first-born to buy : (

    And the frames, same thing. They're weird, and sometimes they are hard to get through, but if I'm using Modern Browser IE6 (lawlz) with JAWS I can go through a framed site okay. Initially a little confusling but if the frames are in a fairly logical order in the frameset, and if the anchors are all correctly targetted, then it's actually pretty ok.

    Bots, on the other hand, are more likely to not render framesets or load Javascript (thank ye gods). But if you want the Googles to show up, this is the best way to tell it "No Website Here, Please Go Away" : )

    That aside, I still agree with what Alex said and even though something can be gone through okay in a screen reader, that's a lot of extra, unnecessary and bloated code etc. I mean, why make something harder for people or make your site load slower for no benefit?

    how exactly would adding a line saying "contact us if you have issues" act as a workaround?
    Well, it's a better than nothing kinda thing, not a workaround. Like, "is our web site total ***** for you? Call us and talk to a human cause it's just easier right now". I dunno about you, but I've gone into forms and after getting 3 or for "error form not submitted" for who the hell knows what reason, I love LOVE if a company has their immediate contact info right above or under the form. I wanna call em, b*tch em out about the crappy form (even if it was totally my fault lawlz), and then at least have a human to set up my X with the company.
    It's certainly not a great way to deal with a customer, no matter how patient they are, but having some other avenue of contact is still nice. It could be the difference between retaining a customer and losing them completely.

    More and more businesses around here are making themselves available through the web only, which I think is terrible. I know it saves money, but... arg.

  11. #11
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    It's the cost point of view which is why I am still a bit suspicious about the value of those numbers, the most used screen readers are so expensive that many people probably cannot afford the "latest version" giving them a better experience. Though perhaps I am unjustified and people do keep their products up to date, incidently I wonder why they are so expensive, the software itself isn't exactly powerful in the sense of innovation and quality, I really think the price tag is more in the view of pricing themselves to take advantage of the disabled (quite a claim I know but it's my opinion), the worrying thing to consider is that there may be a lot of blind web users trying to make do without a screen reader because they cannot afford such a piece of software (ironically you can buy photoshop extended for less than JAWS - which shows just how "out there" their pricing scheme is).

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Off Topic:

    Kinda off-topic, but what you bring up regarding cost: first, I wonder if the kinds of people who take web aim surveys are either better off or simply more likely to upgrade software? That's very possible.
    and second, "Blind Christian" Hofstader (former higher-up something-or-other (VP?) at JAWS) had an interview somewhere, I'd like to find it, it was on the chocoholic Sun guy's blog I think, about why the cost is so high and had some interesting information about pricing of AT and the such... if I find it again I'll send it to you cause it was really interesting. And he was arguing for why the prices need to come down.

    Also, there was a Belgian guy who tried to buy JAWS and it cost him over 3000 euros! I was considering just buying it so I could get the Dutch language pack but I dunno that I wanna spend 3000 euros for it...
    If I could just get orca to work I'd give it a whirl but I don't like the way it sounds at all!

  13. #13
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Well I know it is an important tool, but the fact is it's a single purpose utility, more-so it wouldn't be that hard to code (from a programming standpoint), I think the major factor is the lack of competition outside of the dominant market. It's rather sad that something which effectively does what Opera's "voice" button does (on an OS level) costs more than Adobe Photoshop Extended... probably the most powerful image creation tool in existence.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    more-so it wouldn't be that hard to code (from a programming standpoint),
    Actually, what totally sucks balls, is that JAWS guys asked Winblows for the source code so they could make a reader that worked with all their programs. But M$ told them to get bent. So the JAWS guys spent a lot of developer time and money reverse engineering Winblows just to get JAWS working at all.

    And so the logical assumption is that GWMicro had the same issue and had to do the same.

    The article/interview I read also mentioned how small the market is... not how small the number of blind/low-vision computer users were, but the market. I guess that meant rich westerners. Otherwise you get to hope your school or some government agency would buy it for you or you get it at a discount...

    Aha. Chocoholic Sun guy's bloggitty: http://blogs.sun.com/korn/entry/inte...hris_hofstader original article is borked.


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