Accessible navigation from scratch

Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 3:15 – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Glass 354 – American National Insurance Auditorium
Categories: ARIA, Intermediate, Programming, Technical, Usability

Review slides

No matter how users get to your sites, they deserve an inclusive, accessible experience. Many large sites require complex navigation menus to help people find the content they’re looking for.

However, many times those menus only function under certain circumstances. For instance, some only work for people who can use a mouse or people who have JavaScript enabled in their browsers.

A main navigation component built with accessibility in mind goes a long way towards addressing this issue. When we give careful thought to the basics of menu accessibility, from ”the ground up”, we can help everyone use our sites better.

This presentation will demonstrate how to progressively enhance a menu with:

  • Programmatically created and accessible markup from a data source
  • Flexible and extensible CSS to ensure that the menus are usable even without javascript
  • Javascript that enhances the user’s experience

Session video


Adam Berkowitz

Web developer, University of Connecticut

@adamjberkowitz LinkedIn

Adam Berkowitz is a web developer for the University of Connecticut’s office of university communications. In his position there, Adam has taken an active role in the area of web accessibility. Other technical interests of Adam’s include: javascript application development, learning about Docker and containerization, and blogging. A self-taught developer, Adam switched careers from music performance and education to web development in 2016. Outside of work, Adam enjoys spending time with his family.