[thelist] accessibility issues

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 22 07:09:32 CDT 2001

> From: "Kevin" <krr at ix.netcom.com>
> I was thinking of using javascript  to eliminate the dotted
> line around my links and images when they gain focus.
> onFocus=this.blur();
> I have read this creates an accessibility issue for some users.
> To work around this issue I thought I could create an object 
> for just this group of users so they could kill this javascript 
> function by choice.
> A check box in the top right corner or some such device.
> Can you advise on best practices?

best practice is to examine the benefit...

why do you want to eliminate the dotted line?  is it strictly 
aesthetics?  do your users demand it?  is it only for your benefit?

then you need to determine if the fix is effective...

will moving focus like that introduce problems for any of your 
users?  will your users understand what the checkbox means?  will 
you default to it being checked or not?

there are really more steps there, but to date, the only reason i've 
seen people want to get rid of it is because it affects *their design*, 
which, IMO, is not a good enough reason to do it...  you built a site 
for your users, not you... the dotted line probably isn't affecting 
your identity/branding or otherwise confusing users of the site 
(otherwise they'd be confused at every site)...

i see it as akin to removing underlines on links in body copy... the 
author may think it looks nicer, but the user doesn't find the links...

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