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Skip Navigation Links that appear when tabbed to

A method to skip repetitive navigation links is required by many accessibility standards including Section 508 Web Site and Application standards. Typically application developers will hide this links in order to not affect the visual layout of a site or application. Many people with mobility impairments, people with low vision, and keyboard only users rely on these links but can not benefit from them if they are hidden off-screen or hidden in a small image.

Recommendation

If possible provide the skip navigation link in a visible manner. When not possible expose the link when it gains keyboard focus.

Use a z-index or other CSS related technique to show or hide the skip navigation link when it becomes focused (when the onFocus event is called on the lement). This will ensure that the link is visible when the user tabs or shift+tab to it.

Other skip navigation mechanisms can be used in subsitute to a skip navigation link such as when frames are present on the page. For example, standard frame navigation commands allow users to navigate from one frame to another and may allow the user to easily skip past repetitive page links.

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