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Re: Question on "skip to main content"


From: Geof Collis
Date: Sep 25, 2009 4:55PM

What about head wands and such, do they activate "focus" for skip
links or is it a keyboard action?

At 02:39 PM 9/25/2009, you wrote:
>A few thoughts:
>- Section 508 does not directly require "skip" links. It does require
>"a method" of skipping repeated navigation.
>- Heading or document structure could be considered "a method", but
>this has little benefit for sighted keyboard users because browsers
>(except Opera or Firefox with an extension) do not support keyboard
>navigation by headings or other elements (despite the fact this has
>been a requirement of the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines since
>- Thus, a "skip" link is currently the best way of addressing the
>needs of sighted keyboard users. As such, using the "visible on focus"
>approach (http://www.webaim.org/techniques/skipnav/#focus) is
>acceptable, so long as the "skip" link is readily visible when it is
>'tabbed' to. An always-visible "skip" link does convey a pretty strong
>statement of commitment to accessibility.
>- ARIA landmarks provide a MUCH better solution to all of this because
>they not only provide targets for keyboard navigation, but the areas
>of the page are given descriptive identifiers (search, main,
>navigation, etc.). But again, ARIA landmarks are not yet supported in
>browsers, except with the use of screen readers - so they do not yet
>benefit sighted keyboard users.
>In short, we could kiss "skip" links goodbye forever if there were
>simply better browser support for keyboard navigation for sighted
>users (which would naturally remove the need for screen readers to
>duplicate this functionality). Opera does a splendid job of doing
>this, and other browsers should follow suit. But until such support is
>widespread, I'm afraid that the best solution to keyboard
>accessibility remains "skip" links.
>Jared Smith