Thread Subject: Re: Group D: 22(o) Skip navigation
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From: Walser, Kate
Date: Fri, Dec 01 2006 8:40 AM
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Allen asked: "could we also include anything regarding the tabindex of
such a method?
For example, generally it is kind of pointless to put the skip-nav link
at position ten or more, after the links one is intended to skip, but
technically one might say the requirement was met. Generally it is best
to put such links at the first or second links for the page. Also, how
would we address when to use multiple skip=-nav links?"
Allen, can we clarify? I'm hoping you mean include something about where
the site includes the skip-nav links rather than actually using the
I'd like to clarify as tabindex seems to be highly overused and used
incorrectly, wreaking havoc on otherwise potentially good page designs.
The tabindex attribute enabling developers to control how users navigate
through the site only seems to work as intended when every element on
the page uses tabindex (sometimes forgotten when an item is added last
minute to a page or when the developers are most concerned with a few
I've seen it used to move users to the main content of a page quickly at
the expense of enabling users to access important navigation controls
easily. For example, I reviewed a complex application recently in which
the main content was set to tabindex=1, a tree navigation control was
set with tabindex=2 or 3 and the critical navigation elements people
needed (but the developers were trying to provide a means to skip given
22(o)) set to tabindex=4. As a result, users would hear the critical
navigation elements read to them first in the reading order by the
assistive technologies, but the tab order differed drastically and users
couldn't get to those critical elements until they had tabbed through
the rest of the page (literally hundreds of links given the tree
If you mean provide guidance about where to include skip links, I'm in.
If you mean specify the tabindex attribute, I'd vote against that and
suggest we consider alternatives.
Good article entitled "Too much accessibility - TABINDEX" from Royal
National Institute of the Blind -
Director, Usability Center of Excellence
SRA International, Inc.
4300 Fair Lakes Court
Fairfax, VA 22033
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