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RE: Skipping navigation tactics

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 07:21:09 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Charles F. Munat" <chas@munat.com>
cc: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, <fgaine@frontend.ie>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0104100715500.26402-100000@tux.w3.org>
Skip navigation is more important to the non-visual user who not only is
relying on the keyboard to step through each link, but does not know anything
about the layout of the page until s/he has read through it. It is a lower
level, but still important, for the user who is relying on keyboard-only
access, but is a visual user, such as myself. When combined with
magnification it starts ot approach the same degree of difficulty as for the
non-visual user.

One of the problems is that many browsers provide only the most simplistic
navigation schemes - step through each link in turn, for example - rather
than the ability to navigatge the structure effectively. For an example of
the latter, consider iCab (provides this through a context menu on the Page),
Amaya (provides a "table of Contents" view that is navigable and
synchronised), MS Word (through the Outline view), or the table of contents
one finds in many books.

Actually I support the idea that stylesheets are well used to provide a
visual positioning that is only relevant to a visual layout. But I note there
is a problem arising here in the "tab order" - again a problem of the limited
options for navigation. Contrast WebTV where there is 2-dimensional
navigation available.



On Mon, 9 Apr 2001, Charles F. Munat wrote:

  "Skip navigation links" does not mean that the navigation links are not
  present on the page. It is simply a link allowing one to shift the focus
  directly to the start of the text without having to go through the
  navigation links (usually above the text) first.

  As such, a "skip navigation links" is of no use to a user accessing the page
  visually. But for someone using a screen reader or self-voicing browser
  (which reads the page in linear fashion), the "Skip Navigation Links" or
  "Skip to Text" link saves them the hassle of having to listen to the same
  navigation links again and again with each page they visit.

  If the navigation links are not above (code-wise) the text in the document,
  then a skip link is not necessary. If a user *has* used the skip link to
  skip to the text, then he/she can always back up to the navigation links.

  Make sense?

  Charles F. Munat
  Seattle, Washington

  -----Original Message-----
  From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
  Behalf Of fgaine@frontend.ie
  Sent: Monday, April 09, 2001 2:43 PM
  To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
  Subject: RE: Skipping navigation tactics

  Isn't accessibility about equality of access and choice  ? Forgive me if I
  have misunderstood but if style sheets are used so that navigation links are
  not seen or heard then this defeats this objective of being able to choose.
  Remember, 'skip navigation' links are a priority three checkpoint and is
  more of a convenience issue rather than a barrier to access. Using style
  sheets in this way could plausibly deny access to navigational information
  if it is the case that they're not shown elsewhere on a page. Am I wrong ?
  If so, could someone please tell me how style sheets can be used effectively
  here ?


Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Tuesday, 10 April 2001 07:21:35 UTC

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