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Accessibility on the web has been an issue for over a decade, and it remains a crucial--but often overlooked--element of web design. Instructor Zoe Gillenwater explains the concept of accessibility as it applies to the web, and describes how it affects the audience. She also covers how to set up accessibility testing, and how to apply accessibility principles to new and existing sites using standards-compliant markup and CSS. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.
>> In the last movie ware saw how inaccessible fly out menus and be but if you must use one pick one that at least work in the four basic scenarios that we tested the spy menu in. there are several pre made fly out system that you can purchase online. One menu system that works well in the scenario that we talked about are available www.eazymenu.co.uk. Go to that site now in your browser. The fly out menu is provided by easy menu are free to use on a personal or nonprofit site if you link that to the easy menu site or donate, otherwise you can buy a license to use the menu system.
On the easy menu page scroll down, at the bottom of the page there are two links one says grab the source code and the other says online menu builder click on the online menu builder link. A new window will open with an alert that the menu builder is still in development click okay. When the online menu builder loads it will have three panes. One at the top offers you a live preview of your menu as you build it.
Hover over the links in the live preview to see how this menu will work. (Pause is speaking) >> In the left pane of the window are all of the items in the menu. Click on option one in the left pane, when you do, this items properties will be loaded in the right pane for you to edit. Highlight over the text option one shown in the field and delete it, then type in home.
In the URL field clear out the default characters shown and type index.html then delete the default tool tip and access key values, we don't need those in our menu. We are going to make sure that our menu is useable and understandable without tool tips or access keys. Once you've made all the changes you want to for this item, click on the update this item button. You'll see the text change in the left pane as well in the top pane showing the live preview.
Now click on option two in the left pane. In the label field in the right pane delete the default text and type resident. In the URL field clear out the default text and type resident.html then clear out the tool tip and access key values and click update this item. If you want to add a sub menu to any of the items, simply select it first in the left pane and then in the right pane click on the add sub menu button, the third one down.
A new menu item will be created underneath the original menu item. With this new menu item selected clear out its default label text in the right pane and type housing. In the URL field enter housing.html clear the tool tip and click update this item. Let's add one more item under residents, click back on residents in the left pane and then click on the add sub menu item on the right pane.
In the label field for the new menu item type parks and recreation for the URL type parks.html delete the tool tip default text and click update this item. When you have made all the changes that you want to the menu click on the get code link in the top right corner of the window. You are taken to a new page that shows the HTML for your menu. This page also contains a link to download the script.
Click on that link, you'll be taken to a new page where you will be asked to fill in your email address, after you enter your email address in the field shown and click go the JAVA script that controls the email we emailed to you. Click back on the tab that shows you HTML code, click inside this box and click control A or command A to select all the HTML then hit control C or command C to copy it. Now open Dreamweaver, inside Dreamweaver go to the file menu and select new. In the new document dialog box click on the blank page option in the first column then select HTML as the page type and then none for the layout.
In the doc type menu choose HTML 4.01 strict and then click create. In the new document click on the code button in the document toolbar, highlight over all of the HTML shown and then hit control V or command V to paste in the HTML that you copied from the ease menu website. If you scroll through the HTML you can see that the fly out menus are made with a series of list, this is the correct semantic markup.
If you want to change any of the links you don't need to use the online menu builder again. You can simply edit the HTML of this page. If you scroll up to the top of the code view you'll see a reference to a script names CSSmenu.js this is the file that will be emailed to you. It is already linked in the head of this page so as long as you place the JS file in the same directory where you saved this page it will work correctly. If you save it in a different directory make sure to update the path in this script tag. Because of licensing restrictions we can't include the easy menu files in your exercise files.
But once you've used the online menu builder and had the JAVA script emailed to you, you should have the same page that we are going to show you know. Back in Firefox I have open the fly out menu that we created in the online menu builder with the JAVA script that was emailed to me attached. We already know that it works in the mouse JAVA script on scenario so let's try the keyboard JAVA script on scenario. Once you have received your own copy of the script and have a working version of the menu, load it in Firefox as well and click on your tab key on your keyboard.
The first link home is highlighted, hit tab again, residents is highlighted and the two links that we added under it housing and parks and recreation are shown. Click tab again the focus moves to the first link underneath residents so you can see that this menu is working correctly with the keyboard. We're able to tab to all of the top level links and see the sub menus as we tab through them as well. Click off the menu to close the sub menu. Now click on the disable button in your web developer toolbar.
Select disable JAVA script and then select all JAVA script. Now try using your mouse on the menu. None of the sub menus show but you can click on the links to the top level pages. Again in order for this to be accessible you need to make sure that you link the top level links to real pages not just to a pound sign in order to trigger a sub menu and the pages you link them to need to have links to all the sub menu items written as plain text accessible links on the page.
What about with a keyboard, will the menu continue to work when we tab with JAVA script off? Go ahead and click the tab key to find out. My mouse last passed over the resident's link so it picks up from there and selects the option three link, click tab again and the focus moves on to option four. Remember in the spry menu that the focus disappeared because it began tabbing through the invisible sub menus, in this menu however when JAVA script is unavailable and the sub menus can no longer be opened you can also no longer tab through the sub menus, this is a far better scenario then having to tab through invisible menu items.
Again though the only way that this can be accessible is if you link the top level pages to real pages with all the sub menu links available from there, so this menu passes in the four minimum scenarios for accessible fly out menus, it uses a semantic list structure that you can easily change and you can fully customize the look of the menu using CSS. There are other menu options available that you may want to look at but hopefully this gives you an idea of how a more accessible menu should operate.
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