WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: "Skip to content" links, vissibility and keyboard users without screen readers, to hide or not to hide?


From: Jim Thatcher
Date: Dec 19, 2011 4:57PM

Hi Birkir,

Thanks for your kind observations about the webcourse - I should update it;
I am tempted to just change the dates! What I want to do us update it with
references to WCAG 20.

First of all - a visible skip link is great and the best thing to do - but
an alternative is to make it visible on focus because it is primarily an
accommodation for sighted non-mouse users. As you said keyboard navigation
of headings (and landmarks) is not supported except for Opera (and I was
disappointed that they turned off that feature and have hidden a switch to
turn it back on). If you are using a head mouse you don't need the skip

I didn't consider keyboard alternatives and how that would work. I would be
interested to hear from someone who knows that technology better than I.

And no, I don't believe it, but the skip link bug in IE has not been
corrected in IE 9 ...ARGGGHHH.


-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Birkir R.
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2011 2:18 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] "Skip to content" links, vissibility and keyboard users
without screen readers, to hide or not to hide?

Yea wise people.

I am glancing through the excellent Jim Thatcher course (though it hasnot
been updated in 5 years, vast majority of it is still relevant,
One thing it highlights, and ihave seen discussed here as well, is use of
skip navigation links.
The specific page i am reading is

I understand the discussion of position a navigation link off-screen, and it
only receiving focus when the tab key is used. But later on, the page seem
to indicate that vissible skip to content links should be provided for those
using a headmouse or other keyboard simulation methods to navigate a
webpage. Unfortunately browsers other than Opera, do not allow navigating by
headings or other html elements.
So, what is the right thing to recommend here:
a. For skip links to be invissible, a keyboard simulation users will have to
tab through each and every link on the page, so the first time he/she uses
the tab key the otherwise invissible link will become vissible or b. To have
a vissible "skip to content" link at the top of the page, to make navigation
of the pge easier for any keyboard users?

The page also discusses IE6 and IE7 bugs that cause samepage links not to
work, unless they are configured specifically. (see page for exact
description, as it is somewhat lengthy, discussion is towards the end of the
Hs this issue been fixed in IE8/IE9? If someone knows off the top of their
head it'd be good to know. If not, I'll simply construct a test case myself
to find out.
Thanks very much