Need to pick an accessible drop-down...

Dana Ayotte dana.ayotte at
Mon Aug 18 17:00:29 UTC 2014

Hi Tony,
I'm not sure how much of the PMT/PCP work you're aware of (so I apologize if I'm stating the obvious here) -- we implemented combo boxes/drop-down menus in the PMT and PCP but they are not ideal. As I understand after a brief discussion with Cindy we also began with a jquery select box but we are not satisfied with the keyboard accessibility nor with the limitations of styling that you point out.  I can't speak to the technical details but wanted to confirm with you that we have not yet come up with a better starting point and we are still in need of an accessible solution. I've copied the GPII UX list here as well in case any of the developers can comment further. 

On Aug 14, 2014, at 3:59 AM, Tony Atkins <tony at> wrote:

> Hi, All:
> In order to implement the reviewer interface for the Common Terms Registry, I need an accessible drop-down menu that I can wire into my data model, for example to allow the user to select their language.  This would also be used in an alternate form as a simple drop-down menu (logout links in a "user" menu).  If you want to see it in situ, here are the mockups.
> My preference is to start with a select box, as it comes with decent keyboard arrow support for free.  However, there are serious limitations on how well you can style selects, as most browsers strongly impose their implicit styling on them. Most sane approaches seem to hide the select itself and present an alternate control in its place.
> Last week, Antranig and I did a brief review of libraries that follow this approach.  We talked about starting with jquery-selectbox:
> There are some bugs with multi-selects and Firefox (I've filed issues for both), but it seems as good a starting point as any.
> I wanted to check in with the group and make sure that:
> No one has already created a fluid component that addresses the general need for drop-down menus and upstyled select boxes.  I haven't seen one in our demos or code repo.
> There are no other better starting points for this work.
> Please comment.
> Thanks,
> Tony
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