WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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RE: Select lists and automatically forwarding onchange


From: Andrew Arch
Date: Nov 29, 2005 5:00PM

Hi Tim,

An auto-redirect via scripting will cause problems for non-mouse users in IE
(at least) - the first down-arrow key press causes the top link to be
activated, and the users can not usually get to any other link in the list.
(Very few users know about the alt + down-arrow option.)

With regard to JavaScript not being available - have a look at
TheCounter.com [1] who suggest that currently 10% of users for the companies
they monitor do not have JavaScript available. I know of several large
corporates and Government Departments who lock JavaScript off for security

Cheers, Andrew

[1] http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2005/October/javas.php

Dr Andrew Arch
Vision Australia - Accessible Information Solutions
454 Glenferrie Rd, Kooyong 3144, Australia
Ph +61 (0)3 9864 9282; Fax +61 (0)3 9864 9370

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]On Behalf Of Tim
Sent: Wednesday, 30 November 2005 3:26 AM
Subject: [WebAIM] Select lists and automatically forwarding onchange

I wonder... I'm sure I've read that from an accessibility pov, the
following is very bad form. Consider the fairly common scene:

A select list is used to list pages on a site
The visitor makes a selection
The visitor is automatically redirected to a new page via some scripting

I used to think this was bad because for those who use the keyboard, when
scrolling through the list they get redirected before they want? However,
when using the keyboard I don't seem to have any problem.

If the action is triggered once the user leaves the select list, surely
it's fair to assume they've made a choice? No, I guess not. They may have
chosen NOT to use my select list...

Also, if scripting is disabled (I've heard of this mythical user but my
web stats don't seem to have found them yet) then the select list won't

Are there any other reasons why you shouldn't use this automatic
redirection in conjunction with a select list but use an input button
instead to trigger the action?


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