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Re: DHTML drop down menus ADA compliant

From: Jonathan Chetwynd <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Jan 2004 11:13:48 +0000
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-Id: <0EDDBB34-4815-11D8-878D-0003939B5AD0@btinternet.com>

This topic is a very complex one as navigation is our primary activity 
on the web.
Alternative means of interaction mean that the meaning of navigation is 
changing fast.
People with different technologies need different means of navigation.

We've tried an innovative method that responds to people's technologies 
and abilities, and would be interested in responses to the idea as well 
as the implementation: http://www.peepo.co.uk/launch/alphabet.svg
<title> is used to include keywords that describe the contents of a link
Scripting is used to display these keywords in a drop down list(with 
graphics), and to make them links.

touchscreens users get the fastest results(cf dasher), and may 
transform the meaning of web accessibility and usability in the future.

Keyboard users have dramatically less links to search through, with 
significant help(keywords) before clicking*.

Mouse users get visual advice about the link as well as textual (and 
auditory) help.

Script disabling reduces the amount of visual information presented, 
but does not effect the main linking.

*Our example uses SVG, and the current browsers, don't allow tabbing, 
and may not work with screen readers.....
A possible disadvantage is that some keyboard users might prefer to be 
able to tab through all links; possibly by having a 'select' key such 
as alt.
but this isn't a standard navigation practice currently..

The crux of this problem is that WAI spends much effort on helping UA 
and authors create accessible pages but very little time on cross 
domain navigation. In fact the whole sense of the documentation which 
is hardly holistic makes it difficult to include comments or suggestion 
at this level of abstraction. Possibly we need an accessible navigation 
working group, to work on such things as this and royalty free graphics 
to be used as links across domains.....

on the DHTML: there are plenty of people trying, yesterday I received a 
request from a European consortium for comments on a proposed 
solution..... as maintainer of the accessible client side scripting 
guidelines: http://www.learningdifficulty.org/develop/script-techs.html 
please continue to send me suggestions and working examples.

The relatively easy answer for now, is that accessible DHTML drop-down 
lists are not yet available.
We've hardly decided on a theoretical model, let alone an 


Jonathan Chetwynd
"It's easy to use"
Received on Friday, 16 January 2004 06:07:39 UTC

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