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Re: A different approach for web page accessibility

From: Jamal Mazrui <empower@smart.net>
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 1999 17:23:30 -0600
Message-Id: <199903292124.QAA04678@gemini.smart.net>
To: <basr-l@trace.wisc.edu>
CC: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, <thatch@us.ibm.com>, <chrisg@tsoft.com>
I agree!  I like the simplicity and effectiveness of that approach for
skipping navigational links.  Whatever can be done to address this problem
is appreciated, however, since it poses one of the biggest efficiency
drains/usability problems for people who cannot visually identify where the
unique content of a page actually begins.



On 1999-03-28 basr-l@trace.wisc.edu said:
   The ACB (www.acb.org) was the first, to my knowledge, to place a
   local anchor at the top of their page, "skip over navigation links.
   " Following that link places the user at the "lead story." We are
   integrating this in the new version of our site (www.austin.ibm.
   com/sns2) and recommending it everywhere we can. This idea of "skip
   avigation links" is the best and simplest accessibility idea I
   have heard in a long time. It makes a HUGE difference.
   Jim Thatcher
   IBM Special Needs Systems
   Scott Luebking <phoenixl@NETCOM.COM> on 03/27/99 09:06:01 PM
   Please respond to basr-l@trace.wisc.edu
   cc:    (bcc: James Thatcher/Austin/IBM)
   A complaint that I've heard from various blind web page users is
   that they often have to read through all sorts of navigation links
   before they can get to the "meat" of the page.  This means that
   they can be less efficient than their sighted counter-parts.  (Since
   I'm of the school of thought that accessibility must include
   efficiency, I believe that this is an important aspect to consider
   for web page accessibility.)
   Dynamic HTML is becoming more popular for web pages.  I figured it
   might be interesting to use dynamic HTML to improve the efficiency
   of blind people navigating through a web page.  By incorporating
   features of dynamic HTML, I re-wrote one of BART's web pages so
   that the navigation bars are invisible.  This means that there are
   much fewer links to read through.
   Two links are provided to show the navigation bar.  One shows a
   graphic version while the other shows a text-only version.  If you
   would like to take a look at this version of the web page, the URL
   There are some interesting benefits to the approach.  The page
   becomes much simpler
   to read for blind people and people with certain types of learning
   disabilities.  More screen real estate is freed up.  The pages are
   easier to write since less effort is needed to find visually
   pleasing ways to include links.  The pages can look less clutered.
   There might be some problems to this approach.  Some screenreaders
   are not up to handling dynamic HTML.  Some non-disabled may not want
   to do an extra mouse click to see the navigation bar.  Lynx users
   may have a problem with dynamic HTML.
   Let me know what you think.

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