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Javascript question

From: John Carpenter <John.Carpenter@pdms.com>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2005 15:36:32 -0000
Message-ID: <C5B5C6910E1E014F9A91396FCDDABE26611223@cs002.castletown.pdms.com>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

Hello,
 
I have been asked to investigate any accessibility issues with
Javascript enabled popup menus.
 
As an example of the type of menu, go to http://www.gov.im/ and look at
the popup menus on the left.  For example, "Business" has a mouseover
popup menu displaying "Banking", "Budget" etc.  Clicking the "Business"
link takes the user to a page where they can select any of the sub-menus
without the use of Javascript.
 
Af far as the WCAG guidelines are concerned I have found these points
that I am uncertain about:
 
"8.1 Make programmatic elements such as scripts and applets directly
accessible or compatible with assistive technologies [Priority 1 if
functionality is important and not presented elsewhere, otherwise
Priority 2.]"

The popup menu is not really compatible with, say, a screen-reader as
such.  However, its existence does not seem to do any harm to these
users (it's simply invisible to them).  Would the fact that the menu is
invisible to users with assistive technologies fail us on this
checkpoint?

"9.3 For scripts, specify logical event handlers rather than
device-dependent event handlers."

I'm still unsure as to the difference between 8.1 and 9.3, but as far as
I can tell HTML does not have adequate event handlers for doing this.
Would making the menu accessible via a keyboard be enough compliance
with this checkpoint?

"3.4 Use relative rather than absolute units in markup language
attribute values and style sheet property values."

Are pixels classified as relative units?  (For menu width, not font
size)

Is there anything else I am missing?

Any help would be very much appreciated in this matter.  I am quite
prepared to recommend that we do not use popup menus at all, if I can
prove the accessibility benefits of doing this.

Thanks very much,

John
Received on Thursday, 6 January 2005 15:37:04 GMT

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