Thread Subject: Group A: 21(a) keyboard operation
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From: Andi Snow-Weaver
Date: Thu, Oct 19 2006 9:05 AM
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Starting off the discussion on Group A items with 21 (a).
Current 508 wording:
When software is designed to run on a system that has a keyboard, product
functions shall be executable from a keyboard where the function itself or
the result of performing a function can be discerned textually.
As Jonathon pointed out on the wiki, there is no 508 provision for keyboard
operation for web content. And he also comments that 508 seems to imply
that this is only for people with visual impairments because it is only
required "where the function itself or the result of performing a function
can be discerned textually."
Thinking about harmonization, I looked at both ISO 9241 part 171 and WCAG
ISO: Unless the task requires time-dependent analogue input, software shall
provide users with the option to carry out all tasks using only non-time
dependent (or keyboard equivalent) input.
WCAG 2.0 Last Call Draft: All functionality of the content is operable in a
non-time-dependent manner through a keyboard interface, except where the
task requires analog, time-dependent input.
[WCAG 2.0 Editor's Draft: All functionality of the content is operable
through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for
individual keystrokes, except where the underlying task requires analog,
Both of these seem to be a higher bar than 508. The ISO spec provides an
example of time dependent analog function that would not have to be
accessible. In this example of a water color painting application, the
color darkness is dependent on the amount of time the mouse pointer spends
positioned at a location. So the drawing functions of the application would
have to be keyboard accessible but this one time-dependent analog function
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