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Re: Question to accesskeys

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2004 14:59:48 +0100
Message-Id: <8B23616C-6608-11D8-8765-000A958826AA@sidar.org>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: "John Britsios" <webmaster@webnauts.net>

Hi John,

it is true that there is little you can do to get around the fact that 
keys are reserved by multiple applications. A functionality such as 
skip navigation is likely to be used by screenreaders, and may be the 
only accesskey that screenreader users bother to learn, so ensuring it 
has something that isn't a conflict would seem useful.

One approach is that taken by UBAccess, who provide transformations of 
the page so you can add or remove the accesskeys as a user (similar to 
selecting a text-only page, but in my opinion more useful). I don't 
know if their software allows you to specify which accesskeys you would 
like (either as author or user) but this might be a helpful solution. 
You should, of course, use the link element to the extent possible - by 
adding a profile you can extend it to any navigational element you 

Most people who use screenreaders seem not to use a lot of accesskeys. 
People with severe mobility restrictions often use them very heavily 
(at the WAI "best practices exchange" in Madrid, one of the presenters 
who took part in the Spanish follow-up discussions made this very 
clear).  So having a full set for people who expect most keys to be 
available, and providing a way of mapping a page to add particular 
functionalities for people who want one or two, but need to choose them 
carefully because of system constraints, seems an interesting path to 



On 23 Feb 2004, at 14:50, John Britsios wrote:

> Hi everybody!
> I have a question to accesskeys.
> I want to use only numbers for my accesskeys, but on my in 
> construction page I have 11 links.
> And I have planned using:
>  S. Skip Navigation
> 0. Home
> 1. Services
> 2. Our Team
> 3. Memberships
>  4. Site Map
> 5. Contact
> 6. Privacy & Accessibility Statement
> 7. Disclaimer
> 8. Accesskeys
> 9. Print Version
>  Though I still have a problem. I use the accesskey "S" for Skip 
> Navigation, but this accesskey and keystroke is used by IBM HPR for 
> "Settings" and JAWS Laptop Settings (Using IE 5.5/6) for "Changing 
> screen echo".
> See more here: http://www.wats.ca/resources/accesskeysandkeystrokes/38
> Another problem is, I would need accesskeys for my "Contact" forms for:
> - Name
> - E-Mail
> - Comments, etc
> I do not want to use any letters for accesskeys, while see here:
> 1. Use numbers for accesskeys 
> http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ig/2003AprJun/0117.html
> 2. Accesskeys and Reserved Keystroke Combinations 
> http://www.wats.ca/resources/accesskeysandkeystrokes/38
> Any idea how to get this managed?
> Thanks in advance,
> John
Charles McCathieNevile                          Fundación Sidar
charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Monday, 23 February 2004 09:02:02 UTC

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