RE: Is This JavaScript Menu Accessible?

Dear Charles:

Thanks for having a look. I'll try to get your comments implemented as
quickly as I can.

- --I've added in "TABINDEX" for all the menu items. The result seems to work
okay, but not great. Long-term, I'd like to assign TABINDEX dynamically as
different menu options are selected.

- --I'll experiment to see if I can get a menu onto the homepage for Netscape
users. Netscape is so buggy that I'll have to do it iteratively. This puts
it in the long-term category. The same content is available on the homepage,
so I'm not depriving anyone, but I definitely wasn't sensitive enough to the
consistent theme issue.

- --In my defense, the "popup" window actually isn't. (The only real popup is
for the map, which I did label as such.) When I was designing the interface,
I wanted a popup but was discouraged because of the content guidelines. So I
built a DIV that acted sort of like a popup, but wasn't a new viewport.

That being said, the popup that wasn't is clearly a problem. I've added in a
big two em H2 header on the popup in the hope of limiting the confusion it
causes. I'm not quite sure what to do longterm.

Anyway, your two cents worth (and is that Australian or United States) is
plenty valuable to me. I appreciate the time you've taken, and hope that
others reading the list will be prevented from making the same stupid errors
I have.


Chris Atkinson

- -----Original Message-----
From: Charles McCathieNevile []
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2001 3:06 AM
To: Christopher Atkinson
Subject: Re: Is This JavaScript Menu Accessible?

Hmm. I had a rough look. The difference between not having a menu, and
the menu appear at the bottom, is significant. In IE with scrits turned on I
got the Navlink last in the tabbing order. I think this would happen in a
DOM-based screen reader, such as JAWs, but it may come out differently in a
screen reader based on an Off Screen Model, such as Outspoken (more or les
the only serious option on a Macintosh, as far as I can tell).

I think the absence of a menu is not too cool a feature - I am not sure if
means that I can't get to the same things, but it does mean there is not a
consistent navigation metaphor - a thing which is sometimes there for
navigation is sometimes not there for navigation, and I find that confusing.

Also, activating the navigation link in Explorer produced a popup window,
which surprised me. And completely disoriented me - it took me about two
minutes to figure out what was going on, and I could see the entire screen,
everything that was going on, ... I would recommend against it.

I don't know if there are absolute barriers, but it clearly doesn't pass at
level double-A of WCAG, (the popup window violates checkpoint 10.1, and the
navigation scheme arguably violates 13.4) and I think there are
genuine barriers that make the site difficult to use.

This is the value of a multi-level priority scheme. I think anybody can get
access to the content, so it can meet level-A (althoguh I obviously haven't
tested tis in detail) but there are barriers that make it difficult to use.
Fixing those would clear the way towards claiming double-A...

As an example of aother approach, you might like to check out - the Australian Open Tennis site. It uses, in some
versions, javascript: links, which I hate, but there are alternatives
available when scripts are not working. So I can't think of a situation when
the content is not accessible (although again, I have not done more than a
quick skim, and would be intersted in other people's thoughts on the site).

my 2c worth (Hmmm. I wonder if that means a full evaluation is cheap or
expensive. It probably works out at about $4. maybe I need to change my
structure <grin/>)


Charles McCN

On Mon, 15 Jan 2001, Christopher Atkinson wrote:

  I have a really simple JavaScript menuing system on my personal website.
  >From recent discussions here, it seems like JavaScript is a bit of a

  I want to make sure it's accessible, or at least doesn't mess people up,
  if not, get any suggestions people might have to make it okay.

  Menu scripts are only triggered if browser is Netscape or Explorer
  4 and up. For people with screenreaders/assistive technologies riding on
  of IE/NS, either there will be no menu or menu will "appear" at bottom of
  page. I hope.

  If anyone wants to help, pages are:

  For Explorer homepage URL is

  For Netscape the menuing system does not appear on the homepage due to
  Cascading Stylesheet bugs, but does appear on inside pages, for example:

  Thanks in advance for any help or advice anyone is kind enough to give me.


  Chris Atkinson

- --
Charles McCathieNevile    phone: +61 (0) 409 134
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative            
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
until 6 January 2001 at:
W3C INRIA, 2004 Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,

Received on Tuesday, 16 January 2001 03:33:18 UTC