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Re: Interactive Glossary


From: Susan Grossman
Date: Jul 8, 2010 8:27AM

On Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 5:07 AM, Simius Puer < <EMAIL REMOVED> >wrote:

> There have been discussions on this list regarding a similiar but not quite
> identical topic - the <abbr> tag. Whilst not exactly the same problem it
> has
> many of the same issues - the technical implementation, how to cater for
> multiple disability types and the repetition on the page.
> http://www.webaim.org/discussion/mail_thread.php?thread=3805
> http://www.webaim.org/discussion/mail_thread.php?thread=4232
> One of the main points that often gets overlooked is one that I'm glad
> Deborah raised in her reply - that of Universal Design. Too often the
> 'solutions' developed only cater for the visually able and those who rely
> on
> AT due to vision loss (the polar-opposites if you like) whilst missing out
> on a plethora of other disability types such as limited vision and
> cognitive
> disabilities.
> I won't go over all the points raised in the previous threads but to
> summarise the highlights:
> - Consider the mechanism itself and how it will work (or not) for each
> disability type
> Whilst the issues surrounding pop-ups are well documented I don't think
> an iframe is an acceptable alternative. The question of focus raises
> it's
> ugly head - not only from an AT perspective but also for those with
> cognitive issues (and I don't just mean disabilities - consider how older
> generations or less web-savvy people use the internet - usability studies
> would no doubt highlight plenty of problems with this approach)
> - Consider the repetition of the definitions - you can't simply 'expand'
> the first instance as not everyone reads a document top-to-bottom, but
> you
> also don't want to force anyone to listen to the full description on
> every
> instance.
> - From a real-world perspective you also need to consider SEO and user
> choice also - think Universal Design, not just accessibility.
> If you want to see more detail on those points please see:
> http://www.webaim.org/discussion/mail_thread.php?thread=4232#post38
> Jared has quite rightly pointed out [
> http://www.webaim.org/discussion/mail_thread.php?thread=4232#post37] that
> there is no ideal solution at the moment and we need to look to the W3C to
> expand how user agent handle certain elements...sadly as we all know that
> isn't going to happen overnight.
> My suggestion would be to go low-tech (at least in terms of what the user
> agent/website front-end needs to do) - create your links along the lines of

I'm not a fan of using a hyperlink for this. It doesn't seem semantically
correct to me since it's not a link, it goes nowhere and so is misleading.
In some browsing software you'll hear how many links are on the page.. Not
sure why the idea of using a span and it's title tag isn't being considered
here. I agree with what you've said other than the use of the href. Am I
missing an issue with the use of a span tag, or a reason you feel an href is

Thanks - Susan

> <a href="glossary#term" name="id87687" title="Glossary entry for [term]"
> class="glossary">term</a>
> - The addition of the title tag allows you to differentiate between a
> regular link one to the glossary. I am not 100% convinced this is
> necessary
> but maybe some AT users could give feedback here? The simple idea is to
> empower the user by giving them that little bit more information about
> the
> link purpose.
> - The addition of class="glossary" enables you to do something visually
> equivalent for sighted users (the title tag does display on hover but is
> easily missed).
> - The addition of the name attribute is to enable the developer to
> include an additional on page "back" button by passing this attribute to
> the
> glossary page for inclusion in the link back to the article. This is
> simply
> an addition to the back button to make it a little easier for those with
> cognitive issues. Yes, there is a much easier way to do this with
> JavaScript back buttons that use the 'referrer' value but what about
> those
> without/blocking JS?
> A very simple solution and hopefully one that should prove accessible to as
> many people as possible. Don't forget to add a simple "glossary" link to
> your navigation too.
> Now, once you have your solid solution in place - then you can get clever
> and perhaps offer additional layers of functionality such as showing the
> glossary explanation in a side-panel.
> Of course, you would need to consider any additional functionality
> carefully
> so that the implementation itself is accessible (1 - you don't want this to
> confuse AT users, 2 - I say "offer" as you probably want this turned off by
> default so as to keep it simple for those with cognitive difficulties) but
> it would allow you to do something a little more fancy for your
> non-disabled
> users (and possibly keep your bosses happy). Hopefully you may find this
> additional complexity unnecessary once you have the simple solution in
> place, but if you do go down that road then don't forget to test for
> usability too ;]