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Re: Access Keys for Accessibility

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 09:46:57 -0400
Message-Id: <199905101356.JAA20733@smtp-gw.vma.verio.net>
To: "Taylor-Made" <taymade@netnitco.net>
Cc: "WAI IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Dear Joyce --

> I have an educational links site and Bobby suggests using access
> keys for each link and I would like to, but after I am done with A - Z,
> what do I use then?  On one page I have close to 70 links.

Bobby also suggests D-Text and LongDesc for EVERY graphic.  Clearly, you
have to use common sense with these recommendations.  For your link-heavy
pages what you could do is put an access key for each of your major link
sections/categories/headings.  Your users would not be able to learn (let
alone memorize) 70+ arbitrary hotkeys -- even if you could make them
available!

I suspect access keys only make sense for:
(1) Long pages -- where the access keys are uses to quickly jump within the
document -- much like a (possibly often repeated) hypertext table of
contents would.
(2) Within a single content rich site (that one will browse for a while). 
The access keys could provide consistent navigational control within the
site (home, back, forward, index, map, credits, feedback, disclaimers,
etc.).
(3) A portal site that opens up to many (but less than 26) popular gateway
sites.

Can anyone recommend a site that uses access keys in one of the above
modalities?

What do user agents do to alert the viewer that access keys are defined on
a particular page?

Assuming that the answer to the above question is "they do nothing" how
should the document author reference the availability of this feature? 
This is especially tricky since the actual implementation of access keys is
dependent on the browser software!

-- Bruce Bailey
Received on Monday, 10 May 1999 09:55:50 GMT

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