W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ua@w3.org > October to December 1998

keyboard accommodation

From: Bryan Campbell <bryany@pathcom.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 17:21:46 -0500
Message-Id: <2.2.32.19981119222146.00682194@mail.pathcom.com>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org, Greg Lowney <greglo@microsoft.com>
At 09:19 AM 18-11-98 -0600, Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu> wrote:

[snip]
>Most of the discussion on the list and in the telecons have focused on the
>blind and I think other types of disabilities should be included
[snip]
>Jon

Ok back to keyboard navigation for minute because the issue isn't that
complex & shouldn't take longer to resolve. This round also has thoughts on
people using just their Left hand to type or being most able (& or more
accurate) to use the 2 key rows closest to SpaceBar. My grade school was
just for kids with disabilities & I remember more keyboard approaches the
longer I read this list (using an electric typewriter was a huge deal around
1965, grin). No wonder I'm still so interested in NASA human & other space
flight programs, I'm as much an experiment as they are. If something needs
testing I'm here!


"Since the Web is nearly all made up of pages browsing commands should be
placed close to the page movement keys (Up, Down, & so on), the Keypad
area", just left of Enter (the get link key). "Having browsing commands in
one large block is troublesome for people lacking fine motor control as they
are apt to slid on to nearby keys. To lessen chances of hitting another key
command keys are best isolated by keys with no commands (just as Keypad keys
have some empty space around them). Because rows of keys across keyboards
are offset from those above & below there is less chance of sliding up or
down to hit incorrect keys. Placing browsing commands in columns should let
people watch the Web, not the keyboard. The most used commands would be best
put in a column by Enter. For example, with Page Next & Back on "=" & "["
above Link Anchor Up & Down on ";" & "." (perhaps CONTROL could Modify the
Link keys to move the Anchor 6 Links) choosing links requires little
movement around the keyboard. Using one keystroke commands also reduces
typing which helps unsteady people as they hit the wrong key more often than
most" especially when trying to finish a 2 key shortcut (Murphy's Law).

This 2nd column serves more as an example, than suggesting what controls are
used most: "Using O or Zero seems too confusing so lets use '9' for Previous
Frame & 'I' as Next Frame [& Anchor movements should cycle within a Frame,
not the whole page]. DHTML Layers 'K' as Up & "," as Down with 'U' to
Activate events." Other controls could switch between instances or windows
depending on whether a browser is MDI or SDI. A form of this layout should
suit people using headwands, 1 finger per hand, or only their right hand.
For people using the Left-hand the columns could began on keys "2 W S X".
Another layout, or profile that would be terrific is 'Short reach', using
only the 2 key rows nearest Spacebar for people who must rest on lean on a
surface in front the keyboard for stability. I do something like that to
work TV & VCR remote controls that have large button on the left side. Back
to browsers, there'd be a 'Browser Keys' menu option to set which, if any,
of the layouts would be enabled. "For shared systems it might be worthwhile
to take a tip from 'Sticky Keys' & have 'Browser Keys' turn Off
automatically if unused for a set time."

"Now function keys, possible uses. F9 toggles forms input [& navigation] on
& off. F8 highlights the current URL for Coping & lets people give Opera a
URL to get. F7 allows Hotlist editing. F3 Find on current page. F6 to show
Hotlist as a menu to get sites." This is one view of having one key keyboard
controls ready to go!

Regards,
Bryan

-> "Just because we call it the Web does not mean its supposed to tangle
people up!"
Received on Thursday, 19 November 1998 17:23:55 GMT

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