Originally posted in JSLive Day 13 topics:
I found it interesting that Ajax is supposedly incompatible with assisted tech screen readers. It just so happens that I am legally blind and use a program called Zoom Text which literally opened my eyes to the world of the internet. This technology is a product of AI Squared. I started using it about 7 years ago with version 7.x.x and now I use version 9.x.x so the technology has really been improving at a pretty good clip.
In regards to Ajax I quite often use Google Maps and I am pretty sure that the API Utilizes Ajax and IFrames as do a number of Google applications. I have minimal difficulty using maps, PICASA, Webmaster Tools, Google Voice and numerous other Google Application that I believe use Ajax. So the technology at least with ZT is becoming more AJAX friendly.
In any event as a developer I would not consider not using AJAX simply because of the screen reader audience. I say this because if we as developers do exclude Ajax from that audience then the assisted tech folks would have little motivation to make changes to their software to adapt to Ajax API.
I did not realize it until I started my journey in web design but people with disabilities visual and otherwise are a significant presence on the web and for the most part are fairly creative in finding ways to do things that the industry says they can't.
Besides we web developers are way to busy catering to the idiosyncrasies of Internet Explorer crowd.
In creating CSS Drop Down menus one time I was told that this particular method would not work with IE 6 and being the compassionate person that I am said well to bad for them. Then I was informed that IE 6 still accounts for a significant percentage of market share. This I found hard to believe until it was mentioned that a lot of cash strapped corporations are still using IE6 on their antiquated Intranet networks. So I cut them some slack. I am not sure why I included this last paragraph it seemed to make sense at the time.
That is the view from here. What's it look like from where you're setting?