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Creating an accessible fly-out menu

From: Web Accessibility Principles

Video: Creating an accessible fly-out menu

>> 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.

Creating an accessible fly-out menu

>> 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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This video is part of

Image for Web Accessibility Principles
Web Accessibility Principles

68 video lessons · 25814 viewers

Zoe Gillenwater
Author

 
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  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      57s
  2. 33m 15s
    1. What does accessibility mean?
      5m 51s
    2. How does accessibility help your users?
      3m 30s
    3. Experiencing a website via a screen reader
      5m 46s
    4. How does accessibility help you and your clients?
      3m 9s
    5. Overview of Section 508 standards
      5m 51s
    6. Overview of WCAG standards
      6m 4s
    7. Understanding consistency and semantic markup
      3m 4s
  3. 54m 31s
    1. Understanding screen readers and accessibility tools
      6m 12s
    2. Getting accessible browsers
      5m 41s
    3. Customizing Firefox for accessibility testing
      5m 53s
    4. Using custom accessibility toolbars
      5m 28s
    5. Using Fangs and the Color Contrast Analyzer
      5m 30s
    6. Accessibility tools to bookmark
      5m 53s
    7. Using automated accessibility checking tools
      4m 57s
    8. Setting up the JAWS screen reader on Windows
      6m 42s
    9. Using the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X
      5m 52s
    10. Setting Dreamweaver accessibility preferences
      2m 23s
  4. 26m 12s
    1. Avoiding tables for layout
      3m 30s
    2. Using CSS for layout
      2m 40s
    3. Creating a fixed-width layout
      5m 51s
    4. Creating an elastic layout
      3m 51s
    5. Creating a liquid layout
      3m 4s
    6. Customizing a liquid layout
      7m 16s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Specifying the language
      3m 43s
    2. Setting page titles
      2m 16s
    3. Setting headings and paragraphs
      9m 55s
    4. Styling headings
      9m 56s
    5. Hiding section headings from sighted users
      6m 41s
    6. Styling text for readability
      6m 41s
    7. Ensuring proper color contrast
      6m 36s
    8. Creating text emphasis
      4m 29s
    9. Indicating quotations
      4m 29s
    10. Creating basic lists
      4m 16s
    11. Styling lists
      7m 15s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Using lists for navigation
      6m 45s
    2. Creating a horizontal navigation bar
      13m 25s
    3. Creating a vertical navigation bar
      11m 44s
    4. Adding skip navigation links
      12m 0s
    5. Hiding skip navigation links
      6m 17s
    6. Proper link text and title attributes
      6m 11s
    7. Opening new windows
      4m 28s
    8. Accessibility limitations of fly-out menus
      6m 30s
    9. Creating an accessible fly-out menu
      8m 38s
  7. 27m 55s
    1. Proper ALT text for navigation images
      4m 57s
    2. Proper ALT text for decorative images
      5m 19s
    3. Adding ALT text to an existing site
      6m 9s
    4. Adding ALT text to image maps
      5m 58s
    5. Describing complex graphics
      5m 32s
  8. 34m 1s
    1. Using tables for data
      3m 0s
    2. Creating header cells
      4m 5s
    3. Adding table captions and summaries
      9m 9s
    4. Styling tables
      5m 19s
    5. Applying header cells to complex tables
      6m 52s
    6. Adding id and headers attributes
      5m 36s
  9. 42m 7s
    1. Understanding form accessibility issues
      3m 7s
    2. Labeling form fields
      6m 9s
    3. Adding fieldsets and legends
      4m 42s
    4. Moving forms out of tables
      3m 44s
    5. Cleaning up a form's appearance
      4m 53s
    6. Aligning labels and fields using CSS
      9m 39s
    7. Indicating required fields
      6m 15s
    8. Dealing with CAPTCHA
      3m 38s
  10. 7m 29s
    1. The Text-Only technique
      3m 21s
    2. The Access Keys technique
      2m 35s
    3. The Tab Index technique
      1m 33s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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