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A different approach for web page accessibility

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 19:03:45 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <199903280303.TAA02474@netcom12.netcom.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
A complaint that I've heard from various blind web page users is that
they often have to read through all sorts of navigation links before
they can get to the "meat" of the page.  This means that they can
be less efficient than their sighted counter-parts.  (Since
I'm of the school of thought that accessibility must include
efficiency, I believe that this is an important aspect to consider
for web page accessibility.)

Dynamic HTML is becoming more popular for web pages.  I figured it might be
interesting to use dynamic HTML to improve the efficiency of blind
people navigating through a web page.  By incorporating features
of dynamic HTML, I re-wrote one of BART's web pages so that the navigation
bars are invisible.  This means that there are much fewer links to read through.
Two links are provided to show the navigation bar.  One shows a graphic
version while the other shows a text-only version.  If you would like
to take a look at this version of the web page, the URL is:


There are some interesting benefits to the approach.  The page becomes much simpler
to read for blind people and people with certain types of learning
disabilities.  More screen real estate is freed up.  The pages are easier
to write since less effort is needed to find visually pleasing ways
to include links.  The pages can look less clutered.

There might be some problems to this approach.  Some screenreaders
are not up to handling dynamic HTML.  Some non-disabled may not want
to do an extra mouse click to see the navigation bar.  Lynx users may have
a problem with dynamic HTML.

Let me know what you think.

Received on Saturday, 27 March 1999 22:03:49 UTC

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