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RE: frame titles


From: Julian Orr
Date: Mar 27, 2003 4:19PM

Does the set dimesions to zero work in Window Eyes? If not what techniques
exist for hiding frames in Window Eyes?


-----Original Message-----
From: Hoffman, David [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 6:34 AM
Subject: RE: frame titles


I previously responded to a message regarding this issue of hidden frames,
but the message did not seem to go through. Setting the title or name of the
frame to " " will not alleviate this problem, since screen reader can still
access the hidden frame even when the title / name is blank. Accidental
access to these hidden frames can cause confusion or even cause the
application to crash.

Hidden Frames are one of many web application obstacles. The following
explains how we partially addressed this issue for JAWS using JavaScript and
how Freedom Scientific resolved this issue in JAWS 4.51:

Many web applications utilize hidden frames. These frames are either used
for background purposes or are only displayed on some screens and hidden on
others -- without removing the frame and losing the information within them.
The common method used to hide the frames is by setting the height or width
of the frame to 0 or 0%. Unfortunately JAWS (as of version 4.50) ignores the
fact that the frame is not visually displayed. This causes confusion, since
JAWS reads these hidden frames and includes them in the list of available
frames. Furthermore, hidden frames sometimes contain links. JAWS 4.50 treats
these links as any other links, ignoring the fact that the frames are
hidden. Selection of links that are not meant to be available is a usability
issue at best, and can even affect the integrity of the application.

JavaScript can be used to improve the situation, by turning off the display
in a frame, as follows:

HTML code: <BODY onload="disableFrame();">

Associated JavaScript code:

function disableFrame()
top.document.all.NameOfHiddenFrame.style.display = 'none';

Benefits: JAWS 4.51 - Ignores the hidden frames completely, links, frames,
and all!
JAWS 4.50 - Ignores the links from the hidden frames.
JAWS 4.02 - Ignores the hidden frame when announcing new web
Still includes them in the Frames List and reads them.

However, JAWS 4.51 (just released) does not require this JavaScript
technique. Freedom Scientific responded to our requests regarding this web
application situation. Now, if a frame has a height or width of 0 or 0%,
JAWS 4.51 users will not hear about the frame. If the frame is not meant to
be seen, it is not meant to be heard either.

Thank you Freedom Scientific!

Take care,

David Hoffman
IT Accessibility Specialist
MILVETS Systems Technology, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
Subject: frame titles

The checkpoint on this states

"Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame
identification and navigation"

This is fine and makes sense, my question is if you have an
application that is making use of hidden frames. An
application I'm working on has no choice at present but to
use these frames.

Ideally they should be hidden from screen reader users, but
still need a title to conform to the checkpoint.
Is it acceptable to give these hidden frames a title of " ".

Any suggestions would be welcome, I'd be interested in how
people are getting around this.