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Re: Access key background information - tables attached

From: <Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2004 11:38:20 -0400
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF91F60194.448795CA-ON85256EE7.0055904C-85256EE7.005637EE@notesdev.ibm.com>
The tables at the bottom of my original post lost all formatting.  I'm 
resending the post with an attached html file containing the tables.

The Agenda for the Aug 5 2004 WCAG WG telecon includes a topic on access 
keys.   Here is some background for the discussion. 

Back in June I started the following thread in the mailing list about a 
proposal for access keys: 

The idea is to have standard access keys and let each browser define the 
set of keystrokes that map to these functions.  This helps to eliminate 
the current problem with the HTML access key attribute where the author 
must find an available keystroke combination (that works in multiple 
browsers) and find a way to notify the user of the set of access keys used 
in the content. 

The behavior when an access key is pressed must also be specified.  In 
some instances, pressing an access key may set focus to a certain part of 
the document, such as an access key for "skip to main content".  But, 
other access keys may actually be used to perform an action such as a set 
of keys for moving from "page" to "page" forward or backward within a web 
resource.  In the case of links to move forward or backward in a web site, 
should executing the access key bring focus to the link for moving 
forward/backward or should pressing the key actually perform the action 
without first focusing the link?  Menus can exhibit the same problems - 
should pressing the access key execute the menu item or just focus the 
menu item?  Thus, the user should be able to select an option in the 
browser for setting access keys to focus or activate when pressed.   And, 
should there be support for access keys that may have no visible 
representation?   In many cases, access keys are representing a particular 
action or role on the web resource.  Roles is something that is being 
looked at by the XHTML working group for XHTML2 and is identified as part 
of the WAI-PF working group Roadmap. 

The XHTML group is working on a roadmap to help fix some of the issues 
with dynamic web content working with assistive technologies.  To that 
end, the roadmap proposes a set of standard roles that can be assigned to 
components in the web resource.   And example is marking a particular 
<div> as representing a menu item; or making a <div> as the main content 
on the page; or marking a component as a navigation bar.   An assistive 
technology can use the role information attached to a component to provide 
support for the function of that component.  For example, if a screen 
reader encounters a <div> that is marked with role of menu, it can speak, 
"menu - reply options with 4 menu items" or, "menu item - reply with 
history".  In addition to components having roles, scripts can specify 
action roles such as "open new window", that can give additional 
information to assistive technologies about what action will occur.  In 
working on the definition of standard roles, the group has encountered 
overlap with access key definitions. 

Often it would be desirable to assign a standard access key to interact 
with components that implement some of  the standard role definitions. For 
example: marking a section of the document as the main content and 
defining an access key to navigate to the main content;  or assigning a 
role of "portlet" and assigning an access key to navigate from portlet to 
portlet on the page.   This leads to the following questions that we would 
like feedback from WCAG about: 
What are the standard access keys we would like to see defined and what 
are the use cases? 
What are the standard roles we would like to see defined and what are the 
use cases? 
How do we merge the areas of overlap between roles and access keys? 
How to handle scoping issues? For example, if there are several portlets 
defined on a page each with a main content section in what order do these 
get invoked?

The attached file contains tables listing the proposed standard roles. 

Becky Gibson
Web Accessibility Architect
IBM Emerging Internet Technologies
5 Technology Park Drive
Westford, MA 01886
Voice: 978 399-6101; t/l 333-6101
Email: gibsonb@us.ibm.com

Received on Thursday, 5 August 2004 11:39:01 UTC

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