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RE: Javascript

From: Tom James <TJames@salisbury.gov.uk>
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 13:48:07 +0100
Message-ID: <2EF56870C33AD611BC3E0008C745CA1B0158FA40@BHEXCHANGE1>
To: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> Naturally in the case of DHTML menus, there is a graceful fallback in the
> noscript element, so a DHTML menu can be accessible by providing an
> alternative.

I'm not sure it becomes accessible just by providing <noscript> alone. About
2 years ago, I wanted to do some DHTML, where additional information
appeared in response to a mouseover event. I checked various options with a
blind user, who used a screen reader over MSIE, but with JavaScript enabled
(they worked within a corporate environment in which many of the browser
options were disabled by the IT team - but that's another story!). The
problem was one of focus: in order to see the additional links, the mouse
had to hover over the "master" item. However, this requires you to
concentrate in two places at once: the mouse is on the master link, while
you read the additional information elsewhere on the screen. This is quite
easy for a sighted user, because you can look at one area of the screen
while the cursor is elsewhere. However, for my blind user, the screenreader
read wherever the cursor was, so could only read the additional information
by moving away from the "master" item - whereupon the additional info
disappeared in response to the mouseout event! Essentially, a sighted user
can concentrate on two areas of the screen simultaneously (the "master" item
that triggers the event, and the text that appears in response), whereas
with a screen reader, it was one or the other, but not both simultaneously.

As I say, this was a little while ago, and maybe the state of the art in
screen readers has moved on. But it goes to show that the problem can be
more complex than just making sure that the scripted behaviour works when
scripts are disabled and work when using device-independent events.

	Just my 0.02EUR


Tom James
Corporate e-Government Officer

Salisbury District Council
3 Rollestone Street

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Received on Thursday, 1 May 2003 08:48:51 UTC

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