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RE: keyboard accommodation

From: Bryan Campbell <bryany@pathcom.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 10:59:46 -0500
Message-Id: <2.2.32.19981124155946.00678840@mail.pathcom.com>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org, Greg Lowney <greglo@microsoft.com>
20-11-98 Denis Anson <danson@miseri.edu> wrote:
>Bryan,

>I would say that the specifics of keyboard navigation do not need to be part
>of the document. If a product *has* keyboard navigation, I can make a
>keyboard that will access it, with any spacing of keys you need.

Yes add-ons do make keyboards much more useful. Of course, that requires
redefining basic needs repeatedly: closely placed keys for those with ok
motor control & largely isolated while not too spread out (any area is large
when using 1 digit) for those with poor motor control, me. In WWW we're
talking the World where it isn't always easy to get the finishing touches.
By placing clear examples in the Guildlines most computers will be somewhat
usable by everyone (just Windows 98 has Magnifier for emergency or limited
use http://www.microsoft.com/enable/news/status9810.htm ) & some people will
not need any extras as with Opera: This opportunity is to be relished.
Charles Oppermann <chuckop@microsoft.com> closes email with an inspirational
& liberating idea, "A computer on every desk and in every home, usable by
everyone!" (almost like telephones). 21 years ago the advice given to me was
not to buy a dedicated word processing box, but to get a computer because it
is easy to improve it with new software, that is truer today. With multiple
layouts in software Denis & all therapists will have more time to aid people
with more taxing disabilities. 

[snip]
>that affect abstract thinking. There is no single, "right" answer to
>keyboard layout. But keyboard equivalence is a must.

Agreed. Nevertheless it is possible to give software designers insight so
they can provide a firm foundation for Accessibility.

12-11-98 Lakespur Roca <lake@netscape.com> , Usability Engineer, wrote:
>As some one who has written an internal guidelines document for
>engineers and designers I have found that laying the ground work is as
>important as giving directions.

An Appendix could say something like this:
>>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."

Regards,
Bryan

-> "Just because we call it the Web does not mean its supposed to tangle
people up!"
Received on Tuesday, 24 November 1998 11:01:48 GMT

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