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Re: QUESTION: Access Keys


From: Joel Ward
Date: Sep 28, 2001 9:43AM

Hi Laura,
Accesskeys are not necessary for Section 508, but they are good for
accessibility/usability. So is tabindex. They work in MSIE 4.0+ and
Netscape 6.0+.
I would suggest that you summarize the access keys somewhere prominent on
the site, not just by using an underline. The underline is generally not
recognizable by assistive technology.
You may want to include a help section if the keys are common on many pages,
or just summarize them at the top of the form if they apply just to that
Some notes:
1) In your code, make sure to write the all attributes like this, without
spaces and including double quotes:
Using spaces between the equal sign and the values may cause problems with
some browsers/assistive technology. Also, don't include hard returns in the
code within an attribute in a tag. That doesn't validate either. For
example, this validates:
<input title="This is a test">
but this does not:
<input title="This is a
2) Don't use the same accesskey more than once on a page. Use each letter
only once. (You used F, L, and A twice on your included example.) Also, be
careful not to redefine standard letters/numbers that are used by the
operating system. This may confuse users.
Using the label tag is a good idea. The AT should read the label of the
field if you use the following format:
<label for="test">Test Field</label>
<input type="text" accesskey="T" tabindex="1">
No need to use accesskey in the label tag.
3) The ALT attribute is not officially part of the INPUT tag. So, your
example with the ALT will most likely not work. Instead, you can use the
TITLE attribute with many tags. Example:
<input type="text" title="Please enter your last name so we know how to
address your responses. (Access Key: L)" accesskey="L" id="lname"
Check out Index Dot HTML for more reference on these tags:
----- Original Message -----
From: "Schoppa, Laura" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Sent: Friday, September 28, 2001 9:42 AM
Subject: QUESTION: Access Keys

> Hello -
> I understand that adding Access Keys to navigate around a page is
> a good idea for making accessible pages.
> My question is: How do you let the user know that, for example, ALT + L
> this is the keystroke combination assigned to go to a field in a form to
> fill out one's last name - see attached) - will take them to a certain
> location?
> Are Access Keys necessary to implement to be in compliance with 508?
> Is it a good idea to give the user a page of Access Keystroke combinations
> to get around a site in general? Are there any good examples out there of
> sites that employ Access Keys effectively?
> thanks for any info! <<form.htm>>
> Laura Schoppa
> Graphic Designer / Web Developer
> SI Enterprise Consulting Corp.
> Office: 703-905-1687