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Support wording for Implementing ATAG2 A.3.1.3 Keyboard Shortcuts

From: Jan Richards <jan.richards@utoronto.ca>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 09:16:41 -0400
Message-ID: <4C18CEB9.70906@utoronto.ca>
To: WAI-AUWG List <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>
Hi all,

On Monday I took an action to write some proposed text for the 
"Implementing ATAG 2.0" document that addresses how bypass link blocks 
might be used to do this in web-based tools.

Intent of Success Criterion A.3.1.3:
The intent of this success criterion is to ensure that authors using a 
keyboard interface effectively access the functionality of the authoring 
tool, especially the commonly used features. The wording is 
intentionally general because the number and nature of keyboard 
shortcuts that are available in various operating environments varies 
greatly as do the features that are most commonly used. For example, 
desktop environments, with a full keyboard, generally have a reasonably 
large set of keys available for developers to directly link to 
particular functionality (e.g., the "ctrl" + "S" key combination can be 
directly mapped to the "Save" function). In contrast, web-based 
applications are not able to rely on keys that are already used by the 
various browsers. This leaves very few keystrokes available, even from a 
full keyboard. In mobile environments, with very few physical keys, the 
possibilities are even more limited.

Therefore, developers should interpret "keyboard shortcut" in this 
success criterion to include any keystroke controlled mechanism that 
"shortcuts" the need for authors using keyboard interfaces to navigate 
sequentially through all of the control functionality. In other words, 
any mechanism that increases the efficiency of operating the authoring 
tool with a keyboard only. That said, direct keystroke mapping (e.g. 
"ctrl"+"S") are the most efficient mechanisms for keyboard control and 
these should be provided where possible.

Examples of Success Criterion A.3.1.3:
     * In a desktop environment: A non-web-based authoring tool provides 
keyboard shortcuts for its menu functions as well as access keys in the 
design of its menus and dialog boxes. The choice of shortcut keys 
follows platform conventions where applicable, for example for open 
document, save document, cut, copy, paste, etc..
     * In a mobile environment: A social networking application on a 
mobile device has only a very few keyboard shortcuts available on its 
targeted devices. These few keyboard shortcuts are used for the most 
commonly accessed functions of the application (e.g., home, list of 
     * In a web-based environment: A web-based CMS uses links to allow 
authors to skip between the toolbars and directly to the content editing 


(Mr) Jan Richards, M.Sc.
jan.richards@utoronto.ca | 416-946-7060

Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC)
Faculty of Information | University of Toronto
Received on Wednesday, 16 June 2010 13:17:20 UTC

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