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Re: XML and accessibility

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000 19:44:29 -0600
Message-Id: <200001240039.TAA536523@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
At 09:28 PM 1/22/00 -0800, Scott Luebking wrote:
>Hi, Charles
>
>I believe the analysis is incomplete.  Is the issue to skip over links
>in the navigation bar or is the issue to get to the most important
>information on the page?  Why do users want to jump over navigation
>bars?  Also, why would people with upper arm limitations need to jump
>over navigation bar links?  Is the issue then that there needs to be
mechanisms
>to help people who tab sequentially through links to be more efficient?
>

[Please understand that I consider the analysis incomplete still, even
after the following has been said...] 

Yes, the general upside consideration is to get where you want to be in the
page expeditiously.  Sequential navigation may fail to serve this need
because of different downside mechanisms (degradation or failure modes) for
different disabilities. 

The ability to skip the navbar by title (concept of functionally similar
group of links) is potentially valuable to the congnitively limited
(attention deficit disorder, e.g.) who are likely to lose lock on why they
are on this page if they step incrementally through the individual links
each with its own distracting temptations to do something digressive.

For the vision impaired, the downside of listening to the navbar links is
just wasted time; on the whole their concept of what they are looking for
will survive until they get to it and unless they give up in frustration,
the navigation path can be completed.  For the attention deficit sufferer,
there is a different kind of downside.  It is not wasting a continuous
expendable (user time) but running a catastrophic risk of loss of grok
lock.  The logical thread the user was pursuing may be lost from current
memory before the relevant link is found and the whole process disintegrate.

Motor limitations are not just gross-motor limitations such as the result
of upper arm impairment.  For some people each discrete control action is a
struggle, and for these people we are more likely to be successful by
giving them a logically powerful control aid (navigation console or tool)
than by asking them to bang away at a single low-level tab operation.

Generally speaking, I expect that we will get a better composite usability
across people with different needs from a redundant covering of different
navigation paradigms (sequential and hierarchical, e.g.) than from any
single paradigm.

Al

>Scott
>
>
>
>> Navbars are an interesting case in point.
>> 
>> There are a number of users who would be better served by being able to
skip
>> over, rather than have to work their way through, a navigation bar. These
>> include people who have cognitive diabilities and people with motor
>> disabilites as well as blind users. On the other hand, access to the
>> navigation is of course as important to these users as to everyone else.
>> 
>> I think Nir is much closer to the mark - what is needed is some markup to
>> identify a navbar. Actually, however, there is such markup in HTML 4 - the
>> map element. Until we all have good browsers, however, it is helpful to
>> provide a way of skiiping past this. Accesskey is one strategy that is

>> provided by HTML but only implemented in some browsers. Another is to
provide
>> a link to "skip navbar" which goes directly past them.
>> 
>> Charles McCN
> 
Received on Sunday, 23 January 2000 19:40:17 GMT

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