Movie Transcript

Scripts Video Overview


Enable Access to Scripts

Note: the first two slides include the title 1194.22(l) Scripts and a Department of Veterans Affairs logo.


All scripts used within your Web content must be verified for accessibility. We are going to focus on JavaScript, because that is what we most commonly see used to build Web interactivity at the VHA.

The key message of this regulation is that if your script contains meaningful information it must be available via functional text. Functional text is text that is output to an assistive technology that enables a user to successfully interact with what your script is doing.

The possibilities of functionality exposed through scripts is endless. So we recommend working closely with our team specifically on this regulation. We can help you both with testing what your script does as well as documenting best practices for the VHA.

We have begun that on our Web site, and today we will be showing you some detailed examples from specific cases we have seen at the VHA.


Accessible Scripts


There are three practical steps you can take to ensure that your scripts meet this criteria.

Let's start off with what you can do to test if your script needs to be made accessible. First, test if your script actually conveys meaningful information. The way you can do this is by turning off JavaScript in the browser. Once you do this, load your Web page into the browser.

If you are able to fully interact with the content and access all of the content, then you have no requirement here to do any additional work to make your script accessible. This step verifies whether you have functional text that must be exposed.

Now assuming that your page does require these scripts, you can still use JavaScript. You just need to do the rest of the work to make sure it's accessible.

The next step is testing that your script is usable with both the mouse and the keyboard. This is called device independence. Typically it requires not relying on JavaScript handlers that are tied to the mouse. This can be achieved by supporting two handlers for your script – one for the keyboard such as on key press and one for the mouse such as on double click.

You also have the option of using a JavaScript handler that successfully does both. The best way to test this is to unplug your mouse and try to work with your page.

Finally, the last requirement is that all the information on your page has to be able to be located and read by an assistive technology. This is the one where we stress working with our team to verify. We will use the actual assistive technology to ensure that functional text is being provided.