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RE: Standard access keys?

From: <carl.myhill@ps.ge.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Aug 2003 07:00:28 -0400
Message-ID: <6192367D59F8904CA553579EF41FEEA001A4F341@ukcbgx01psge.geips.ge.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Thanks for the input on this.

I'm afraid I find it a bit outrageous that there is not a standard quickly
emerging here.  On most Windows Apps, and on the Mac too, there are well
defined standards for the basic shortcuts that are pretty much always
dependable (unless you use EMACS) ... 

Until we get to the stage where access keys for websites are this
consistent, surely the access keys themselves are not going to help much.
If a disabled user knows that 'Alt+S' will always be the key to skip
navigation on a site that has access keys, this is effective. If they need
to learn what the access keys are for each website - it would seem to be
more in the way of accessibility than aiding it.

I've adopted the UK government guidelines because they seem to be bedding in
as a kind of standard (although the analysis here
http://www.clagnut.com/blog/193/ shows the limitations and conflicts with
other standards).  The UK government publishing folks are generally pretty
sensitive to multi-cultural needs of our society so I am not worried about
country specificness here.

I don't personally think much of using numbers for access keys because they
are not as meaningful as letters. It seems easier to me to remember Alt+S is
for 'skip'. However, this is an English only view of the world, so numbers
would seem to be more univeral.


I'm not building a website for anyone with any particular needs. I want my
design, and others, to be universal. So, I'm making my access keys visible
on screen and accepting that it makes the design look slightly strange.
Perhaps this is good strange - like buildings that once had grand steps to
the door and now have a ramp. It might not look pretty but why exclude
people when you don't really need to.

I feel quite strongly about this - is there a formal way to elevate such
issues to the WAI formerly? This would seem to need sorting out

Received on Thursday, 28 August 2003 07:04:11 UTC

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