WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: keyboard accessibility (WCAG) vs keyboard shortcuts?


From: Joy Relton
Date: Apr 19, 2016 3:20PM

The first example of a "keyboard shortcut" that I can think of, is when I was auditing a web-based application which had various grids on the page between which the user needed to move. Since the labeling and keyboard navigation was difficult the developer devised shortcut keys which would bring the user to each of the control locations. For example, Alt+l would take the user to the close button. Developing Shortcut keys opens up a big can of worms because you have to avoid conflicts with known shortcut keys for operating systems and assistive technology. If the legacy app simply isn't going to allow the user to tab through the page, creating shortcut keys does provide keyboard access. I am fairly certain this is what they are talking about. For example, many applications often have shortcut keys to allow quick navigation, hence the word "shortcut" to various functions.

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Caitlin Geier
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2016 2:12 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] keyboard accessibility (WCAG) vs keyboard shortcuts?

Could the requests be talking about bypass block mechanisms, like skip links? WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria 2.4.1 <https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/navigation-mechanisms-skip.html>
that there be at least one way to skip content that repeats on multiple pages (like the header or the main menu) using a keyboard and/or assistive technology. One of the most common ways is to include a skip link which allows the user to skip to the main content of the page.

Webaim also has a good article about skip links and alternative navigation which goes into more detail on techniques - http://webaim.org/techniques/skipnav/

On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 1:54 PM, Bruno, Michele < <EMAIL REMOVED>
> wrote:

> Hello Fellow Advocates,
> I have had multiple recent requests asking about "keyboard shortcuts
> for accessibility" we have in our web applications. I searched WCAG
> again just in case I missed something and only see reference to
> keyboard accessibility; users should be able to navigate/interact with
> web pages solely with standard keyboard navigation. I get this.
> Other than WebAIM
> reference: Keyboard shortcuts are a standard accessibility feature of
> most operating systems. Beyond this, and/or possible mis-understanding
> of keyboard (accessibility) vs keyboard shortcuts (OS standards), is
> there something more to be aware of?
> Thank you in advance.
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >

Caitlin Geier
User Experience Designer