WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: accessible tree menus


From: Seth Kane
Date: Feb 27, 2009 12:30PM

Here is a GREAT example of an Accessible Dropdown Navigation that uses
suckerfish or a version of it.


Seth Kane Sr. Presentation Layer Developer

-----Original Message-----
From: Al Sparber [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:50 AM
To: Seth Kane; <EMAIL REMOVED> ; WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] accessible tree menus

Seth Kane wrote:
> Donna-
> What I would recommend is using a DHTML system that has all the event
> handlers that allow for both mouse control and keyboard controls. I
> would also make sure that the non-visible content is actually on the
> page and can be read with a screen reader prior to any event handlers
> firing. So what I am suggesting is using something like Suckerfish
> Dropdowns that has all the content rendered on the page but off screen
> for the people without disabilities and for people/screen readers the
> content is always present and has no function tied directly to event
> handlers and content/links.
> Check out this... http://carroll.org.uk/sandbox/suckerfish/bones2.html

To a keyboard user or even to a blind person, the above menu still
one to tab through all of the submenu items to get to the deeper links -
then to shift + Tab (or the equiv.) to traverse backwards. In our
testing, 12 motor-impaired subjects unaminously found this approach
extremely frustrating. Our testing led us to the conclusion that
hierarchical menus that show and hide sub-levels are best added after
site's navigation has been designed in a more conventional way and that
hierarchical menu be included strictly as an enhancement for able-bodied

users who like to use them - but never at the expense of those who are
impaired or who prefer using the keyboard. The following page
the only technique we presented that won unanimous acceptance by all
usability testers:


The above technique can be employed in sites that use any hierarchical
and is not intended to market our products specifically.

Al Sparber - PVII