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Web application reserved keystrokes in Jaws

From: Léonie Watson <lwatson@paciellogroup.com>
Date: Sat, 11 Apr 2015 11:58:17 +0100
To: "'HTML Accessibility Task Force'" <public-html-a11y@w3.org>
Message-ID: <01df01d07446$6b54b2b0$41fe1810$@paciellogroup.com>


In the latest update to Jaws 16, Freedom Scientific has introduced a
mechanism for handling shortcuts provided by websites [1]. Thought this may
be of interest to anyone interested in the TF’s work on keyboard
accessibility [2].


Websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google and others provide keyboard
shortcuts for performing common tasks. On facebook.com it’s possible to move
to the post status field by hitting the p key for example.


Windows screen readers struggle with these shortcuts because they use a
virtual mode to support user-interaction [3]. When someone uses a website
shortcut, the screen reader intercepts the keystroke and uses it for its own
purpose. In Jaws the p key will move focus to the next paragraph for


Up until now, it has been necessary to manually inform the screen reader
that it should ignore the next keystroke and pass it back through to the
browser where the website shortcut can be executed. In Jaws this means
pressing insert + 3, then the relevant shortcut key.


The new “Web application reserved keystrokes” setting in Jaws tells the
screen reader to stop intercepting keystrokes in the browser. When enabled,
Jaws will automatically execute the website shortcut as intended. So on
facebook.com the p key will move focus to the post status field, and not to
the next paragraph on the page.


At the moment it doesn’t seem to be possible to enable this setting on a per
website basis. That’s likely to be a bug though, since enabling this setting
on a blanket “all sites” basis seems unhelpful.




[1] http://freedomscientific.com/Downloads/jaws/JAWSWhatsNew 


[3] http://tink.uk/understanding-screen-reader-interaction-modes/ 



Léonie Watson Senior accessibility engineer, TPG

@LeonieWatson @PacielloGroup PacielloGroup.com

Received on Saturday, 11 April 2015 10:58:35 UTC

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