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Re: Site Maps and nested navigation

From: Elizabeth J. Pyatt <ejp10@psu.edu>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 08:53:05 -0500
Message-Id: <p06230900bfbc95fa4139@[]>
To: "Stuart Smith" <Stuart.M.Smith@manchester.ac.uk>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

For what it's worth, when I do site maps (the  page, not site 
navigation), I make sure major categories are H2 or H3 to preserve 
the heirarchy and allow for screen  readers to skip by headers. The 
elements can be a list or a series of paragraphs, depending on the 
layout. I do internal anchors for really long sitemaps as well,

As far as using lists go, I actually use HTML (vs. XHTML) because I 
feel  that when XHTML  got rid of the TYPE= tag, it opened up the 
door for potential accessibility issue.

Specifically, I still use "type=" in OL so that I can switch 
numbering systems by nesting level.  If you do numbering via CSS, 
then it will be lost when CSS is disabled and could cause ambiguity 
(preserving content with disabled CSS is a Section 508 requirement).


P.S. I avoid drop-downs in general because there are accessibility 
issues for people with motion impairment (keeping your cursor 
steady), cognitive impairment (memorization) and visual impairments.

>Hi Guys and Gals
>Be interested on some opinions here. Most site maps with good 
>mark-up seem to be an unordered list with nesting and some menus 
>like the dropdowns on Suckerfish 
>[http://www.htmldog.com/articles/suckerfish/example/] essentially 
>degrade to unordered lists with nesting when used with a screen 
>reader or with style switched off. The problem this creates though 
>is long lists of navigation with no means of skipping through for 
>screen reader users.
>I cannot think of way around this without using anchor tags. This is 
>not so bad for site maps but would be a problem for dropdown menu's 
>etc as it would add a fair bit of text and break the flow for 
>sighted users. Unless I hid them in background but that would limit 
>their availability.
>I would have hoped that because they are nested lists then a screen 
>reader would have let you skipped from section to section but that 
>does not seem to be the case in Homepage Reader.
>Any ideas anyone?

Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Education Technology Services, TLT/ITS
Penn State University
ejp10@psu.edu, (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

210 Rider Building II
227 W. Beaver Avenue
State College, PA   16801-4819
Received on Wednesday, 7 December 2005 14:05:37 UTC

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