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RE: Success Criterion 2.4.7. Focus Order

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 09:51:34 -0500
To: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OF6AA853AE.B5DED5A0-ON862575A8.004F88E1-862575A8.00519EFF@us.ibm.com>
> . . . switch users or keyboard only users [which includes the blind 
users btw] often benefit . . .  need to see the links of course. CSS 
techniques can be used to show focused links, but this method makes it 
much more difficult for users to figure out what to do. They need to press 
Tab and suddenly a Skip to link is shown. It is better for keyboard users 
to see the links and build up a strategy on how to use the page.

good point, I forgot to mention that a profile can (should!) be used to 
set the visibility of the skip links to be shown all the time based on 
user preference settings.  This can work effectively when a user ID is 
used to "log-in" to a portal for example.  The best practice is to allow 
user settings that control the behavior of "hiding" the skip links and 
links to Accessibility help.  Our user studies, usability assessments, and 
user centered design work with both users with disabilities (including 
vision, hearing, reading, cognitive, and limited hand use) and users with 
no declared disability continue to confirm the need for "skip to main 
content" links for some and not to force it on others. 

Another approach is to consider the capabilities and settings of the 
browsers and assistive technologies - so not to burden all the 
responsibility on the web author.   In other words, should some of this 
"user preferences" be better placed in the end device, browser and AT 
settings?  For example, using headings benefits those with browsers or AT 
that allow them to navigate by headings  And with the new specifications 
in ARIA, perhaps the web author created "skip  to" links could be replaced 
with "main content tags " and could be programmatically identified by the 
browser + AT and then utilized by the end user 

Phill Jenkins, 
IBM Research - Human Ability & Accessibility Center
Received on Thursday, 30 April 2009 14:52:15 UTC

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