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Re: Seeking guidance...

From: Steven McCaffrey <smccaffr@MAIL.NYSED.GOV>
Date: Thu, 06 Apr 2000 14:03:27 -0400
Message-Id: <s8ec9934.016@mail.nysed.gov>
To: <cpl@starlingweb.com>, <charles@w3.org>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Hello Chuck, Charles, etal:
I just visited the abletv.net and found it quite accessible and was not even aware I may have 
not been able to access a rollover.
I even tried Lynx and it still worked well.

Of course, I used the keyboard only 
(not my Jaws cursor, specificly to test keyboard accessibility),
so, if I understand rollovers, these would not even be activated.  Is that right?

Chuck, you seem to be distinguishing between two general classes of rollover, is that right, (simple and, complex?)?
I agree that content served is the test.  Should we just call them Content rollovers vs. Non-content rollovers?
The interesting thing is that since mouse over events won't be activated 
(ofocus bug ), the issue of whether the effects are accessible will not even come up because the effects won't be generated!
The general answer to the question of whether pop-up windows can be made accessible, is, I would guess, yes.
Precisely how to do it I could not say until I saw the page in question.
One guideline I would use comes from stating the problem:
Pop-up windows can cause accessibility difficulties for those using screen readers because the focus is moved away from the current focus and so context is lossed.
In other words, if you can pop-up a window within the area of the focus that activated it, this might help.  Again, I'd have to test it out, of course.
If there is one thing that all software designers, user agent developers, and web developers could do to make their products more accessible to screen readers, I would say:
Keep in mind that multiple areas on the screen allows a sighted person to divide the content into logical units by
changing their eye focus to the appropriate area of the screen at the
appropriate moment in time in response to input.  The dynamicly changing two dimensional layout is using visual presentation to convey both logical and temporal (i.e. what is active now?)
information and thus ignores the distinction between content, structure, and presentation.
This distinction is absolutely critical and cannot be overemphasized.
-Steve
 

Steve McCaffrey
Senior Programmer/Analyst
Information Technology Services
New York State Department of Education
(518)-473-3453
smccaffr@mail.nysed.gov
Member,
New York State Workgroup on Accessibility to Information Technology 
Web Design Subcommittee 
http://web.nysed.gov/cio/access/webdesignsubcommittee.html
Received on Thursday, 6 April 2000 14:16:56 GMT

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