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Re: Twisties re notes/domino

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 19:52:46 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-cg@w3.org
One possibility is to simply give users direct access to the hierarchy, via
the following functions

next/prevous sibling(s).

This does functionally some of what the accordion list does for sighted
users, viz ability to quickly get items for above relationships.

There is problem of getting lost as to which level you're in.  Perhaps some
explicit audio label (e.g. "level 1" preceding output) would do the trick.
Or Raman's audio techniques.


At 10:02 AM 8/10/98 -0400, Al Gilman wrote:
>[follow-up to discussion of the Lotus Notes/Domino implementation
>of expanding lists with inscrutable "+/-" link text on twisties.]
>The existing rule about "use meaningful link text" explains why
>using plus and minus as the link text for twisties does not work
>for screen reader users.  But it does not really tell you what to
>do about it because a long substitution would get tedious even in
>speech.  We probably need to step back and see what the twisties
>are doing for us to understand the problem.
>Twisties are used as controls inside what we might call
>"accordion lists" by analogy to "accordion file" containers for
>information on paper.  These are list structures similar to a
>table of contents that the user interface lets you fold and
>expand on a section by section basis.  Users of MacOS since
>version 7 and Microsoft Windows since Windows 95 will be familiar
>with this in the file system interface.
>The problem is that the visual user can see where the un-changed
>parts of the list come back in the adjusted list presentation.
>It is not similarly easy to perceive the structure in terms of
>changed and unchanged segments in audio, so far as I know.
>Accordion lists are visual context-savers for exploring
>hierarchical information structures.  I might even say that
>accordion lists are a best current practice for this function.
>If there is a comparable best current practice for saving context
>inside a hierarchical domain, in the context of an audio user
>interface, I don't know what it is.
>What to do about it?  This could easily get technical enough and
>voluble enough to be worth moving off the general interest list.
>There are several groups that are potentially affected: User
>Agent, Page Author, Authoring Tools, Protocols and Formats.
>Maybe we should try an ad-hoc action team.
>If people will volunteer to work on how to make accordion lists
>accessible, then we can move the discussion off the Interest
>Group list.  The WAI Coordination Group <w3c-wai-cg@w3.org> can
>worry about what sort of a coordination process will keep the
>interested groups tuned in.
>Al Gilman
>HTML 4 already has the functionality suggested as LABELFOR for
>form controls, but not for general links.
>The usability concerns are the same whether the interface
>behavior is done with Javascript or CGI.
Leonard R. Kasday
Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
telephone (215} 204 2247
Chair, Web Accessibility Inititative Evaluation and Repair Interest Group
Received on Monday, 10 August 1998 19:44:14 UTC

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