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I have read the WCAG documentation and I am confused. Does compliance to WCAG 1 AA preclude the use of Javascript?

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No, it just means that anything you can do with Javascript you also have to be able to do without it. The concept you would need to look at is called "Progressive Enhancement" which builds on the concept of unobtrusive Javascript. It really isn't as hard as it sounds, and well worth doing.

You have a few classes of users who either refuse to use Javascript, or simply cannot.

  • Users with disabilities. Some users have to use crippled browsers because of their limitations, and the limitations of the devices they use.
  • Users on a server with a text-only console. Lynx is a text only browser. Necessary for referencing documentation not on the server itself.
  • Users who run the "noscript" plugin. There's a lot of Javascript that tracks your activity across pages, and since they are loaded from the same server on all sites (like ad servers and Google analytics) they can communicate back. By default, "noscript" turns off all Javascript and you have to turn things on one orgin server at a time.
  • Users on a severely restricted network whose domain admins have turned off Javascript support on all client machines.
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Nope. However, you have to make sure that all content and functionality is available to users without JavaScript. You could even use Flash (yuck!) as long as you follow that golden rule.

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