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RE: [WebAIM] More data on accesskeys (New article written Nov. 1)

From: John Foliot <foliot@wats.ca>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2006 10:18:46 -0800
To: "'Colin Lieberman'" <colin@fontshop.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Cc: <blindwebbers@yahoogroups.com>, <gawds_discuss@yahoogroups.com>, "'WebAIM Discussion List'" <webaim-forum@list.webaim.org>
Message-ID: <009f01c6feab$5957d930$7d8e40ab@Piglet>

Colin Lieberman wrote:
> My apologies if this has already been addressed and I missed it,
> but... 
> 
> Is there research available on use of accesskey implementations?
> 
> I would be curious to read about any user or users who either use the
> feature or who have tried and found it unhelpful.

Colin,

I personally am unaware of much specific research data on the subject (and
trust me, I follow this one closely <grin>), although the UK based Nomensa
ran a straw poll of blind and partially sighted people that suggests that
around 8 out of 10 people find access keys pointless, unhelpful, poorly
implemented and or less use than the functionality of their own access
technology. (Note that this is/was specific to one user group, and others,
notably the mobility impaired, may find keyboard accelerators more useful)
[http://www.nomensa.com/resources/articles/accessibility-articles/access-key
s.html]

The UK government continues to recommend their use, despite known conflicts
with some of their recommendations and various adaptive technologies - I am
unaware of any research that shows usage stats or even awareness of the
accesskeys outside of web-developer circles.
[http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/e-government/resources/handbook/html/2-4.as
p#2.4.4]

Based on my research and subsequent urging, the Canadian Government reversed
their recommendations for accesskeys:
"A conflict has been identified between Access keys previously recommended
for use on Government of Canada sites and the proprietary assignment of
Access keys in commercially available software, therefore Access keys are
not being used." 
[http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/cioscripts/help/specs_e.asp?who=/clf-nsi/]

JF
Received on Thursday, 2 November 2006 18:37:10 UTC

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