As previously reported, the organising committee for the Sydney 2000 Olympics were successfully sued by Bruce Maguire over the official Sydney Games site being inaccessible to users with disabilities. That action only cost AU$20,000 in fines (plus legal costs), but caused a great deal of PR damage to the Games and the Olympic movement.

It would seem that the organisers of the Salt Lake 2002 games are heading for the same fate.

A quick and dirty analysis shows that the site fundamentally depends on Javascript to display content to the user, from the opening page (and note that this is the full HTML):


<html>

<head>

<script language=javascript>

document.write("<title>" + ((location.host.indexOf("nbcolympics")>-1) ? "NBC Olympics" : "Olympics") + "</title>");

</script>

</head>

<script language=javascript src=/x/inc/get_guid.asp></script>

<script language=javascript src=/x/js/xtd_funct.js></script>

<script language=javascript src=/x/js/stdframe.js></script>

<noscript><p>Javascript must be enabled to view this site.</noscript>

</html>

To the link to registration (It's a Javascript popup):

<a class="yblnk" href="javascript:OCW('https://secure.saltlake2002.com/register/','','');">

<img border="0" src="/c/0/32/468/oly_ss_huetgeneric_table.jpg" alt="Image: Register and receive free screensaver" />

</a>

Even more worrying is that the link to the Paralympic Games - yes, the games exclusively for disabled athletes - is also only accessible with Javascript.

This is a pretty clear breach of one of the Priority 1 WAI guidelines:

6.3 Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible page. [Priority 1]

For example, ensure that links that trigger scripts work when scripts are turned off or not supported (e.g., do not use "javascript:" as the link target). If it is not possible to make the page usable without scripts, provide a text equivalent with the NOSCRIPT element, or use a server-side script instead of a client-side script, or provide an alternative accessible page as per checkpoint 11.4. Refer also to guideline 1.

Still, at least they've remembered to add ALT attributes.