RE: Javascript

I use a screen reader with JavaScript enabled.  Will <noscript> work for
allowing the drop down menus to work, or must I disable JavaScript?
There are other things JavaScript does which I may want to have it do
which is why I have it turned on.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Tom James
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 5:48 AM
To: ''
Subject: RE: Javascript

> Naturally in the case of DHTML menus, there is a graceful fallback in
> the noscript element, so a DHTML menu can be accessible by providing
> an alternative.

I'm not sure it becomes accessible just by providing <noscript> alone.
About 2 years ago, I wanted to do some DHTML, where additional
information appeared in response to a mouseover event. I checked various
options with a blind user, who used a screen reader over MSIE, but with
JavaScript enabled (they worked within a corporate environment in which
many of the browser options were disabled by the IT team - but that's
another story!). The problem was one of focus: in order to see the
additional links, the mouse had to hover over the "master" item.
However, this requires you to concentrate in two places at once: the
mouse is on the master link, while you read the additional information
elsewhere on the screen. This is quite easy for a sighted user, because
you can look at one area of the screen while the cursor is elsewhere.
However, for my blind user, the screenreader read wherever the cursor
was, so could only read the additional information by moving away from
the "master" item - whereupon the additional info disappeared in
response to the mouseout event! Essentially, a sighted user can
concentrate on two areas of the screen simultaneously (the "master" item
that triggers the event, and the text that appears in response), whereas
with a screen reader, it was one or the other, but not both

As I say, this was a little while ago, and maybe the state of the art in
screen readers has moved on. But it goes to show that the problem can be
more complex than just making sure that the scripted behaviour works
when scripts are disabled and work when using device-independent events.

	Just my 0.02EUR


Tom James
Corporate e-Government Officer

Salisbury District Council
3 Rollestone Street

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Received on Thursday, 1 May 2003 12:25:41 UTC