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Re: Using numbered list element for navigation bars

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 15:44:52 +0100
Message-ID: <4ADDCCE4.3000003@splintered.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Richard Warren wrote:
> We came across a website that used the numbered list element <ol> for 
> its navigation bars (numbers hidden by CSS). It was really useful for 
> our blind colleague who was able to identify how many links in the bar, 
> whereabouts he was within the bar and, more easily remember where the 
> useful links were. There was no difference to visual users
> I can't see any disadvantages to using the numbered list element for 
> navigation bars and wonder if it should be a recommendation to improve 
> accessibility for blind users - i.e. does it really help all users of 
> screen readers or will some people find it annoying?

Using lists for navigation bars is a tried and tested technique that's 
been used for many years and is recommended best practice across most, 
if not all, sites that use web standards / css layouts. The may be a 
tiny argument about whether you want an ordered list (which implies an 
order/hierarchy) or unordered list (which, in a screenreader, may not 
announce what list item you're on, just the total number of items at the 

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]

www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
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Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Tuesday, 20 October 2009 14:45:54 UTC

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