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Re: proposing Section 508 compliance as requirement for 2.x

On 4/24/07, Jeff Kowalczyk <..hidden..> wrote:
--- Chris Travers <..hidden..> wrote:
> I would like to propose that we try to ensure Section 508 compliance
> on all new user interface screens.

It's a great idea and forward-thinking goal for LedgerSMB's target audience.
Some types of business will realize they are obliged to pursue 508 compliance
once options are available to them.

> Basically, this means that, among other things, the interface will
> need to be usable without CSS and have some sort of graceful fallback
> for accessibility devices.

I recommend looking to the Plone project for accessibility strategy and
XHTML/CSS inspirations, they've achieved a high level of accessibility, and
secondary benefits that come with compliant markup.

Example: view http://plone.org with CSS turned off.

Properly constructed xhtml will look great with CSS, but will be
readable/usable without CSS.  CSS is only markup.  Look at the plone
site with and without CSS.  They use headers/footers (or several
horizontal vice vertical columns) if you will.  With CSS removed,
everything just lines up vertically.  This is how it's supposed to
work, and where I am starting to go.  (And it has nothing to do with
plone, btw.)

As I rework the code, you should be able to use validate it at the
xhtml validation site.  Yesterday, the login page didn't even
validate.  Today, it does (with my changes).  I don't plan to change
the overall layout, I personally like the menu on the left and work
area on the right.  Without CSS, that will fall vertically with the
menu first and the work area below.

I plan to ensure the changes I make work in all browsers, but I don't
have all browsers available to test against (i.e., IE), so will need
others to send me screenshots when something doesn't look good.

As for 508 compliance -- this is a real bugger.  But if the code is
valid xhtml (I expect to go from transitional and frameset to strict),
this part (page display) should not be a big problem.

Also notice near-complete absence of HTML table elements (they needed one to
render columns in IE), in favor of divs, lists and definition lists. This kind
of markup is very usable in lynx/elinks (and auditory screenreaders).

Keyboard accessibility described at: http://plone.org/accessibility-info


David A. Bandel
Focus on the dream, not the competition.
           - Nemesis Air Racing Team motto