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Another FORM element problem


From: Terence de Giere
Date: Jan 10, 2003 2:59PM

In the WebAim forum, January 7, 2003, Carol Foster noted not being able
to get the HTML form file upload control <input type="file"> to work
with JAWS. This is something I, and others had not noticed before but it
appears to be definitely a keyboard support problem with the browsers,
and not JAWS. It is very good she noticed this problem, and showed that
maybe some of us use the keyboard a bit less than we should.

Another form element also appears to have a keyboard input problem. The
form element SELECT (which creates a drop-down list or selection box),
has an attribute MULTIPLE which allows multiple selections from the
list. This is normally done with the keyboard (on Windows) by holding
down the Ctrl key and selecting the multiple items on the list using a
mouse. This is not possible with the keyboard alone, and different
browsers responded differently to keystrokes in my attempts to find a
way to make multiple selections. It is possible to make adjacent
selections using the Shift key on graphical browsers, but not
non-adjacent selections, so this control is not good for accessibility
if it has multiple selections. I think it should be replaced using a
group of checkboxes if multiple choices are required.

A select box has a usability value for normal users in that a range of
selections can take up very little space in a graphical interface when
space is at a premium, but that does not make any difference if you
cannot see the page.

Terence de Giere

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