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Need help interpreting a 508 compliance issue regarding JavaScript onChange event handler

Posted on 2009-06-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
508, paragraph l, says:

"onChange: This event handler is very commonly used for triggering JavaScript functions based on a selection from within a <select> tag. Surprisingly, it presents tremendous accessibility problems for many commonly used screen readers and should be avoided. Instead, web developers should use the onClick event handler (associated with a link or button that is adjacent to a <select> tag) to accomplish the same functions."

I use onchange to populate a dynamic list box of states based on the selection of country, like this:
      <select name="country" id="country" onchange="MM_callJS('setDynaList(0,arrDL1)')">
      
It's not clear to me how I would do this as 508 suggests, specifically: "web developers should use the onClick event handler (associated with a link or button that is adjacent to a <select> tag) to accomplish the same functions".

Any ideas? I know that 508 was written a long time ago - is this still an issue for "modern" screen readers?
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Question by:alicia1234
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6 Comments
 
LVL 18

Accepted Solution

by:
Pawel Witkowski earned 750 total points
ID: 24734170
From what I known it is no longer an issue. In mine opinion you can use onchange without any problems. If you really woried about that, you can try:

<select>
<option onclick="selected=1">one</option>
<option onclick="selected=2">two</option>
<option onclick="selected=3">three</option>
</select>
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LVL 75

Expert Comment

by:Michel Plungjan
ID: 24734729
What browsers have an onClick event on options?
0
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Pawel Witkowski
ID: 24734789
Good point, works only in Opera/Firefox.

You can then try delegate onclick to <select> element and then check index of selected element o_O
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Author Comment

by:alicia1234
ID: 24736020
Thanks for the info so far. wilq32 said "From what I know it is no longer an issue." I'd love to know that for sure and then I wouldn't even worry about it.
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LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:Pawel Witkowski
Pawel Witkowski earned 750 total points
ID: 24736049
Maybe this discussion will help your needs:

http://www.webaim.org/discussion/mail_thread.php?thread=3594
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:Bob Stone
ID: 24740640
Here is a time limited eval software that will test 508 compliance of a web site
http://www.powermapper.com/products/sortsite/ads/acc-section-508.htm?gclid=CNzUy4K8sJsCFZJM5QodbU0oqg 
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