Is hiding accessibility skip links a good idea?

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Is hiding accessibility skip links a good idea?

Post by mpop »

Hello there,

In the standard template/theme for CMSMS (v. 1.0.2), accessibility skip links are :
- not displayed for handheld media;
- hidden with absolute positioning for the screen media.

I hope Jaws & co dont read stylesheets for handheld media as they do for screen media, or we're screwed. :D

Anyway, I was wondering : what's the good of accessibility skip links if they're not accessible to those who most need them (sorry for crappy syntax, I'm not a native speaker)?

- people with vision disabilities may have access to those links... but anyway they have other ways of skipping content, including jumping from header to header;
- people with motion disabilities may need these skip links, especially if their only ways of going through a page is by jumping from link to link with some kind of joystick/device... so they would think these skip links are really helpful (imagine going through the 400+ links of an online store's front page! you get the picture...). BUT, they CAN'T SEE THE SKIP LINKS. So they won't even know these links are here. Too bad...

Wouldn't it be better to have VISIBLE skip links? I mean, as a non-disabled user they won't bother me. I may just click them once, only to realize that it's sending me to the content/navigation/whatever a few centimeters below. Uh? Well, never mind...
If we don't want to puzzle the non-disabled user, we might even add a small "for the disabled" kind of symbol (you know, the blue wheelchair) next to the skip links. It's like those special parking places in a parking lot: you won't forget how to park your car in the other places BECAUSE you saw the reserved one.

(Yeah, i guess "parking place" is not the right way to say it... how do you call an emplacement in a parking lot?)

Hmm... that's all I wanted to say. I'm not sure everyone SHOULD implement fully visible skip links, but when you choose not to do so you should know that your skip links won't be as useful as they could be.
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Re: Is hiding accessibility skip links a good idea?

Post by nils73 »

Skip links should be made visible on tab-event - by using CSS pseudo-selector :focus. This would cover what you suggested.


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