WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

FW: FW: Best practices for keyboard navigation of ARIA widgets


From: Evans, Donald (Contractor)
Date: Jul 8, 2009 9:00AM

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Blouch [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Wednesday, July 08, 2009 10:46 AM
To: Evans, Donald (Contractor)
Subject: Re: FW: Best practices for keyboard navigation of ARIA widgets

Tom asked me to reply back as he is on vacation.

While the DHTML style guide is hosted on AOL's developer wiki it is
probably disingenuous to call it ours. We worked with a number of fine
folks in the web accessibility space to develop these best practices,
most of whom are named at the end of the document.

So, that said, the DHTML style guide is the best practices drawn
together by a bunch of folks who care about accessibility on the web and
should be your primary reference for good keyboard controls for web
widgets. Many of they keyboard controls were designed to mirror existing
key controls used on desktop operating systems when feasible. This
lowers the cognitive load. Where keyboard controls were inconsistent,
undefined or interfered with common browser behavior we had to adjust

The DHTML style guide was an attempt to cover all the widgets we had
seen in the wild, on internal sites, on desktop OSes and in various
libraries. It is not exhaustive but we think it covers the majority of
widgets implementers will need to keyboard enable. For examples you
might want to take a poke at the Dojo library which has quite a bit of
keyboard control already implemented (thank in large part to Becky
Gibson of IBM). You might also want to check out Jon Gundersn's ARIA
examples at UIUC


where he is working to build a set of implemented ARIA enabled widgets.

We're still taming the wild wild west of widget keyboard controls on the
web and the DHTML style guide is a line in the sand. We think it's the
best possible but of course we're always open to new insights.

Hope this helps.


Evans, Donald (Contractor) wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> Sent: Monday, July 06, 2009 4:43 PM
> Subject: [WebAIM] Best practices for keyboard navigation of ARIA widgets
> We're currently developing an ARIA date picker (calendar) widget that will open in a page overlay when activated. We're trying to make sure the navigation and operation of the widget is intuitive for all users (vision impaired or not, power user or not).
> In the YUI video "Developing Accessible Widgets Using ARIA", Todd Kloots recommends AOL DHTML Style Guide for "best practices" regarding keyboard operation of ARIA widgets. Unfortunately, neither YUI or AOL's developer sites have an date picker (calendar) example that uses these standards.
> I'd like to hear what others working with ARIA widgets (especially calendars) have to say with regards to the following questions:
> 1) What sources do you consider "best practices" for accessible keyboard navigation/operation of ARIA widgets?
> 2) Is the AOL DHTML Style Guide a good standard for keyboard "best practices" of ARIA widgets?
> In case you want to check out either the YUI video or the AOL DHTML Style Guide, here are the links:
> Link to YUI video: http://video.yahoo.com/watch/4073211/10996186
> Link to AOL DHTML Style Guide: http://dev.aol.com/dhtml_style_guide
> Thanks,
> Claudia
> PS: I am cross-posting this to two discussion lists. My apologies if that means you get this posting twice.
> Claudia Alden Case
> Web User Experience & Accessibility Consultant | Wells Fargo Bank