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From: <Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 09:57:34 -0400
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Cc: schwer@us.ibm.com, w3c-html-wg@w3.org, w3c-wai-pf@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF4EDA2CE4.5DE2593F-ON85256EBC.0049886A-85256EBC.004CE02B@notesdev.ibm.com>
I'd like to submit this proposal from Rich Schwerdtfeger and the HTML 
working group for review and discussion within WCAG.  If needed, I will 
work with Michael Cooper to get this added as an agenda item to a 
Techniques working group meeting. 

Becky Gibson
IBM Emerging Internet Technologies
978 399-6101

The HTML working groups is creating an alternative to access keys to 
address the following issues:

- Access Key does not address device independence resulting in operating 
system and user agent collisions. Additionally, some devices may not have 
a keyboard.
- Access Key requires the author to define the actual keys.
- Access key does not adequately address usability in that the user is not 
familiar with access keys and their purpose.
- We have a separate technique for defining main content which is a link. 
While this is very helpful, a comprehensive mechanism to address other 

Our proposal is to create an access key alternative called "access" which 
will allow the author to specify a standard access key without being 
concerned about the device dependencies. It will be up to the user agent 
to assign the device specific mapping and also allows assistive 
technologies to override the default behavior should they decide to have 
their own device mapping. The benefit to the user is that for every site 
the go to they will be able to hit the same key to transfer focus to the 
main content, cycle focus through portlets, or cycle focus to the submit 
buttons, etc. It will also be up to the user agent to allow the user to 
define whether the this will also result in an activate. This puts the 
decision in the hands of the user whether who may or may not want to 
activate a specific element.

We would like to ask the WCAG working group what the most common standard 
access types should be. These are examples. 

- Main content
- navigation index
- sitemap
- portlet
- back
- forward
- tool bar
- navigation bar
- top
- bottom
- footer
- submit button
- help

Things to consider: Are there other elements that screen reader vendors 
provide keys for to improve keyboard navigation which we could define a 
standard for?

Let me know if you need anything more.



Rich Schwerdtfeger
STSM, Software Group Accessibility Strategist/Master Inventor
Emerging Internet Technologies
Chair, IBM Accessibility Architecture Review  Board
schwer@us.ibm.com, Phone: 512-838-4593,T/L: 678-4593
Received on Wednesday, 23 June 2004 09:58:25 UTC

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