[guispeak] Access to Web-Based Tree Structures

  • From: gerald.g.weichbrodt@xxxxxx
  • To: guispeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 13:13:04 -0400

We have an in-house web-based data management system that relies pretty 
heavily on a tree structure displayed as part of most pages that get 
displayed.  Essentially, as I understand it, it's a DHTML-type visual 
organization that looks much like a tree in, say, Windows Explorer. 
However, it's really hard for me, as a blind person, to tell what's going 
on with this tree.  There are images shown to indicate if a node is 
expanded or collapsed.  There are images next to the text of each node 
label, and these images aren't described in a speech-friendly way.  I've 
suggested to the developer that they could put Alt text on the nodes to 
indicate expanded/collapsed states.  That would help, but what bothers me 
is that, as you expand and collapse nodes and then navigate downward 
through the tree, there's no way of telling when you reach the end of a 
sub-branch and move on to a new node that could be one or more levels 
higher up in the hierarchy of the tree.  Using a screen reader in Windows 
Explorer, you generally hear "Level 0", "Level 1", etc. to tell you how 
deeply burrowed you are.

Does anybody know of a web site where a speech-friendly tree structure can 
be found? I'd like to point our developer at such a site.  I'm also 
curious if there are readily available "tool kits" that one might use to 
easily build accessible trees.

I should mention that the tree is used primarily for navigation--to move 
you to a new page of information.  The tree doesn't actually place the 
page content in the nodes of the tree themselves.

Thanks a lot,

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  • » [guispeak] Access to Web-Based Tree Structures