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Re: Seeking input on making a feature of draft W3C site more accessible

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2009 11:29:12 +0200
To: "Ian Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.u0s3ayinwxe0ny@widsith.eng.oslo.osa>
On Thu, 24 Sep 2009 22:06:50 +0200, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org> wrote:

> Dear WAI IG,
> I would like your input on a comment about the draft W3C Web site and  
> would like your input on how to make a particular feature more  
> accessible.
> The draft site includes an expand/collapse content feature. For example,  
> on the page that lists W3C groups:
>   http://beta.w3.org/Consortium/activities
> when you select a heading under "Working Groups" the heading 'expands'  
> to display content after it. When content is displayed, selecting the  
> heading 'collapses' it, hiding the content. Expanding and collapsing  
> both work with mouse click or keyboard activation.
> We use a visual cue (a small image) to signal that there is expandable  
> content. It was pointed out that we need a non-visual indicator as well.  
> In the current design, the image is included via CSS and so we cannot  
> add alt text.
> Here's how the site works today:
>    * If javascript is turned off or not supported, the content is  
> expanded and the issue goes away.
>    * When javascript is enabled, there is one image to indicate "closed"  
> and another to indicate "open." The images are inserted via CSS. The  
> javascript is used to position a class attribute value in the content,  
> and the CSS is applied accordingly (displaying or hiding content  
> according to the current state).

Instead of changing the CSS (admittedly this is convenient) why not have  
the javascript modify the document, directly inserting the image (with  
alt). After all, it is meaningful content, and therefore should not be  
included via CSS (what happens if I have scripting enabled, but CSS not  
applied (as per Opera's User mode)?

> One suggestion was to use WAI-ARIA's aria-expanded. However, this will  
> provide information only to users whose browser and assistive technology  
> support WAI-ARIA, and not to others.

This should, however, be used for those who *can* benefit.

> Typically there are a number of expandable blocks on a page (ranging  
> from 5 to maybe 100 at most). Therefore,  I want to be sure that any  
> solution (e.g., using text) is not overly verbose.

Good instinct.

> Possible solution: On some pages that have expandable content there is a  
> "show all / hide all" switch. That switch appears earlier in document  
> order than the list of expandable blocks. I was wondering whether we  
> might make use of that piece of content to let people know that there's  
> a bunch of expandable content on the page. For example, would it be  
> sufficient to label the option buttons: "Show all content under heading  
> level 3s below" and "Hide all content under heading level 3s below" and  
> not have additional information that they are expandable?

I don't think so, since that is singificantly changing the functioanlity  
and way the page works (and potentially changing the navigation which  
makes it harder to colaborate) between what one would find with a screen  
reader and what one finds by visual inspection.

I hope these thoughts are worth 2 cents :)



Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Friday, 25 September 2009 09:29:53 UTC

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