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RE: Access Keys

for

From: Jon Gunderson
Date: Mar 27, 2002 10:08AM


The W3C would never recommend any particular key binding for a
function. They may point to a convention that is used by another group,
but only as an informative note to the reader.

Jon

At 11:49 AM 3/27/2002 -0500, John Foliot - bytown internet wrote:
>I have employed access keys on my site this way:
>
><.a href="#all" accesskey="z" tabindex="1" title="Skip All Navigation"><.img
>src="images/shim.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="Skip All
>Navigation - Access Key Z"></a><.a href="#primary" accesskey="x" title="Skip
>Primary navigation block"><.img src="images/shim.gif" width="1" height="1"
>border="0" alt="Skip Primary navigation block - Access Key X"></a><.a
>href="features_e.html" accesskey="y" title="Accessibility Features of this
>site"><.img src="images/shim.gif" width="1" height="1" border="0"
>alt="Accessibility Features of this site - Access Key Y">
>
>This code block appears at the top of every document. Since access keys
>specifically benefit the visually impaired, the first links both provide the
>"quick" navigation afforded by the "skip nav" function as well as a link to
>a page explaining the accessibility features of the site; because it's
>wrapped around an invisible gif it's an actual link (which even no-graphical
>browsers can deal with), and the Alt text for the 3 gifs identify that there
>are access keys being used on the site.
>
>Jukka mentions assigning the Access Key of (zero) to the "Accessibility
>Features" link (instead of my "Y")... Jukka, where is this being proposed?
>Is it W3C, or elsewhere? I personally think that it would be a wonderful
>idea if the development community could come to an agreement on this, and
>perhaps a standardization.
>
>Has anybody else seen anything like this? Jukka, could you point me (us) in
>a direction?
>
>Cheers!
>
>JF
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Jukka Korpela [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
> > Sent: March 27, 2002 2:57 AM
> > To: ' <EMAIL REMOVED> '
> > Subject: RE: Underlined text on button
> >
> >
> > Emma Jane Hogbin wrote:
> >
> > > If users are "in the know" about access keys will they look
> > > for them on a site?
> >
> > Good question. And how would they look for them? The original
> > idea seems to
> > have been that a browser supporting access keys would
> > automatically indicate
> > the access keys. For example, a user could give some command to get a list
> > of access keys, or a browser could show them in some special area in a
> > toolbar.
> >
> > It has been proposed that access key 0 (zero) be assigned by authors to
> > correspond to a link to an explanation of access key assignments. This is
> > probably the closest we can get to the original idea with current
> > browsers.
> >
> > > The url posted here seems to suggest that screen
> > > readers/aural browsers ignore the access key attribute.
> > > Anyone know for sure?
> >
> > I'm afraid I don't understand the question. Support to accesskey
> > attributes
> > is basically a matter of recognizing certain HTML markup and
> > providing some
> > method for using certain keyboard keys as shortcuts, corresponding to the
> > access key assignments. When screen readers or aural browsers are
> > used, the
> > input method is usually a keyboard. So whether access keys are supported
> > depend on the browser, not on the methods it uses to present the document.
> > Presentation matters as regards to telling the user what the access key
> > assignments are.
> >
> > For example, if a graphic browser that supports accesskey (e.g., IE 6) is
> > used together with screen reader software, then naturally the access keys
> > work the same way as in visual mode, i.e., not very well, but occasionally
> > in a useful way. But the user needs to have the assignments explained in
> > normal language. Underlining would not help a blind user, unless
> > the screan
> > reader can actually explain say what letters are underlined. And putting
> > e.g. "(Alt-W)" after a form field, as often suggested and used, wouldn't
> > really help much either - if one hears that after getting into the field
> > somehow, filling it out, and proceeding. Besides, "(Alt-W)" could really
> > confuse an unexperienced user, especially if Alt-W does not work
> > for him or
> > actually causes something completely different than focusing on a field.
> >
> > Thus, the conclusion is that plain English explanations about access key
> > assignments are needed. ("English" is to be taken as a generic term for
> > natural language, of course.) This raises some practical
> > questions. Suppose
> > first that you put the explanations onto a separate page. One would, in
> > practice, due to the way browsers support accesskey, need to put
> > an explicit
> > link to a page with accesskey assignment explanations onto each and every
> > page that has some access key assignments. Naturally that link would then
> > have accesskey="0". But on IE, Alt-0 would take the user to that
> > link only,
> > and then Enter is needed to follow the link. And the author would need a
> > separate explanation page for each page, if there is _anything_
> > page-specific in the assignments.
> >
> > Alternatively, the explanations could appear on a page itself.
> > Somewhere at
> > the bottom probably. The problem is how make access key 0 take the user
> > there. This might require trickery:
> >
> > <div class="noprint">
> > <hr title="Access key assignments">
> > <div><a id="accesskeys" accesskey="0" href="#accesskeys">Access
> > keys:</a></div>
> > <ul class="compact">
> > <li>0 = get this list
> > <li>1 = <a href="index.html" accesskey="1">main page of the site</a>
> > <li>4 = <a href="search.html" accesskey="1">search the site</a>
> > </ul>
> > </div>
> >
> > I'm not sure whether it's worth the trouble. We would use quite
> > some special
> > methods as a workaround to compensate for deficiencies in browsers. When
> > browsers _really_ start supporting access keys, we would look a
> > bit foolish,
> > with lots of pages with extra stuff like the above. But if access keys are
> > very important on some pages, due to their specific content and use, then
> > perhaps it _is_ worth the trouble.
> >
> > --
> > Jukka Korpela
> > TIEKE Tietoyhteiskunnan kehitt