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Re: Seeking guidance [more about scripts]

From: Paul Bohman <paulb@cpd2.usu.edu>
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2000 12:18:40 -0600
Message-ID: <018b01bf9ff4$88e970e0$20117b81@usu.edu>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
The menus in question from a previous post (at www.webaim.org) are written
in DHTML. This means that a combination of javascript and style sheet
elements are being used. In theory, I would think that screen readers such
as JAWS should be able to read most DHTML content as long as the DHTML
events can be triggered by the keyboard. (Right now, the WebAIM menus are
triggered by mouseover events). For example, if the menus were re-programmed
so that you could activate them with the enter or return key, I see no
reason why JAWS could not read the resulting menus.

Of course, as some of you have mentioned, keyboard support for scripts is
poor in both the browsers and the specifications.

My biggest concern here is that we, as accessibility advocates, are not
paying sufficient attention to the inevitable rise in Web scripting. It is a
trend that we cannot ignore. We cannot simply say "just do it without
scripts because it's better that way anyway". Most of the Web programming
world doesn't understand this minimalist philosophy, and, in fact, I do not
think that it is always the best philosophy. In many cases it is, but there
are enough exceptions that our "no script" approach is easily dismissible by
the more advanced developers out there.

The bottom line is that adaptive technologies need to support scripting, and
better protocols need to be written so that they can.

-- Original Messages --

Hmm. I'm going to discuss this in the Web Content Guidelines group, becuase
it raises some interesting issues that I think that group should consider.

(In other words before I answer I'd like to toss his around a few other
people...)

Charles McCN

On Wed, 5 Apr 2000, Crystal Allen wrote:

  Charles,

  Thanks for the useful info.

  Expanding my question into an area where my knowledge is limited, is it
  possible to make pop-up menus that are generated by a mouseover
accessible?
  An example is the main menu at http://webaim.org (accessibility note:
though
  the pop-up menus on this page may not be directly accessible, an
equivalent
  to the menus is provided in the form of a submenu on each page).  Is there
a
  way to make the pop-up menu directly accessible so that an alternative
  (submenu) does not need to be provided?

  Thanks,
  Crystal Allen
Received on Thursday, 6 April 2000 14:18:49 GMT

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