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Re: DHTML drop down menus ADA compliant

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2004 17:27:37 +0100
Cc: w3c-wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: Juan Ulloa <julloa@bcc.ctc.edu>
Message-Id: <BB7C6888-4777-11D8-AD9E-000A958826AA@sidar.org>

I don't think you're wrong in saying this. Your argument is consistent 
with what WCAG says, too.

The problem with some specific examples is that they may introduce 
other problems - they could be expected to work for a user who just 
enlarged their fonts, but they seem not to. And one might like to use 
them with a keyboard, but you can't because of specific features of 
this code.

There are two aspects to accessibility - one is being able to do 
something at all, and clearly in this case one can get to the third 
level pages, which is the basic goal. But efficiency is also important. 
Many users with disabilities start at a disadvantage, and being able to 
write code that improves their efficiency rather than reducing it (as 
compared to somebody without those particular disabilities) is an 
important part of accessibility.

As an example, people can navigate through a list of 150 links to get 
to the page content. But it is very inefficient to do so, and there are 
requirements in Section 508 and in WCAG to make it easier. There are a 
number of simple ways to do this.

In this case, the barrier is having to get through another page of 
navigation, and perhaps not understanding what someone described about 
how to do it. Sometimes people give a URI to a particular page. Other 
times they say "go to the home page, to the Business menu, and the 
fourth link down is General Business Information. Follow that to ...". 
Add to that a couple of odd coding bugs like the fact that larger font 
sizes break the site, and there are problems for certain kinds of user. 
None of them things the user can't find a way around, but they are 
problems that have no particular reason to exist in the first place.

WCAG and similar accessibility guidelines, requirements, tutorials, 
etc, are meant to help designers to avoid creating this kind of 
problem, ultimately for the benefit of people using a site. I practice 
I don't always develop things to WCAG triple-A conformance, but I 
actually believe it is a reasonable goal for a decent size project, and 
I like to know what I have got wrong so I can improve on it - it may 
turn out to be trivially easy. Which is why I try to do strict, 
complete assessments. (The art is in knowing what to work on when you 
have a long list of problems, and that depends on lots of factors...)

Cheers

Chaals

On Thursday, Jan 15, 2004, at 16:45 Europe/Rome, Juan Ulloa wrote:

> The script simply provides a shortcut to 3rd level pages for those who 
> have
> JavaScript enabled.  A site can be accessible with inaccessible 
> scripts as
> long as the user is able to get to the content without using the 
> script.
>
> Am I wrong for saying this?
>
--
Charles McCathieNevile                          Fundación Sidar
charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Thursday, 15 January 2004 11:29:08 UTC

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