E-mail List Archives

RE: Accessible popup menus

for

From: Austin, Darrel
Date: Jul 29, 2005 9:09AM


> It's come to my attention that a Mr. Thatcher or some sort
> claims that our menu system is not accessible. I would like
> to engage this person in this forum to get to the truth, as
> it were. I've prepared two test cases and would like this
> gentleman to explain why the menus are not accessible.

Al, we've been through this before? ;o)

I think most folks on here would agree that PVII's fly-out menus are about
as accessible as anyone can make them. PVII has done a great job on this
product and if one has to use fly-out menus, this is the one to go with.

The issue isn't YOUR product. The issue is the concept of fly-out menus in
general. They are (usually) simply not as accessible as a menuing system
that does NOT fly-out.

Some specific instances where flyout menus aren't as accessible as other
solutions would be the group of people that fall in between 'someone that
fully understands their computer' and 'the person with significant
disabilities where they use alternative technologies to help them with the
web'. For instance, grandma with arthritis. She probably may use IE still,
and a mouse, but has a hell of a time aiming the mouse through the maze of
fly-outs.

YES, making the main link a link to an actual page helps a lot, but then
comes the problem of inconsistent fly-outs on the web. Half are good and
have the main link go to a page and half don't. So people get used to one or
the other and perhaps EXPECT the main link not to go somewhere and instead
try to navigate the fly-outs.

Lastly, even PVII's menus suffer when CSS support isn't there. Instead of
showing the 5 top-level inks and one submenu, it shows every single link.
Basically, a site map. This can get really tedious for someone to navigate
through via a screen reader or keyboard.

Again, I don't think anyone is criticizing PVII's products. They are simply
pointing out some of the issues with fly-out menu systems to begin with.

-Darrel