POSTing when Ajax is available, is more accessible. While I think it is more accessible than only using Ajax, it is only more accessible for generic alternative browsers; it isn’t any more accessible for disabled people.
Apparently the term
hijax that was used in Cherny’s article was coined by a guy named Jeremy Keith. I don’t think the term was really needed as the concept of
Web accessibility is a big beast with two opposing heads. The original term
accessible meant that the site was designed such that people with disabilities could use the site. Recently, the term has changed to include people with or without disabilities that browse from
alternative devices. By
I personally prefer the inclusiveness of the second head when I talk about accessibility. However, the caveat is that saying something is accessible to some facet of alternative browsers may not make it accessible to the disabled. If you aren’t specific about what you are trying to be accessible to, you end up confusing people (see my comment).
- Create a form that works by
- If Ajax is available, unobtrusively add support for Ajax.
However, there are still problems with Ajax and the first head of accessibility. I’m going to focus on screenreaders, as people with motor disabilities or deafness still have random access to the page (they aren’t limited to linearly reading the page). I will say this, though, in reference to the deaf and those with motor disabilities: the form itself must be accessible, using
accesskeys, or it’s still not fully accessible. Screenreaders, at this point, are still no good with dynamic page updates, which are a mainstay of Ajax. Some aren’t even good with
alerts. Of all the available solutions to the problem of updating content dynamically, none of them work across the board. The only way to accessibly do dynamic content updates is to give the user another option.
Since I was aware of this problem when I redesigned my site, I built in a link to turn off Ajax above every form that uses Ajax. The Ajax is unobtrusive, or
hijax if you prefer. This was the only method I could think of to allow full access to my forms. Until screenreaders catch up to the technology, the best Ajax accessibility may be no Ajax at all. So, let the user opt out if he wants.