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Properly Handling Simulated Keyboard Input

From: Greg Lowney <gcl-0039@access-research.org>
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2011 16:39:22 -0800
Message-ID: <4D40BEBA.6070405@access-research.org>
To: WAI-UA list <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Hi! Kim Patch pointed this out in our conversation today.

Could and should we craft an SC that would address the following type of problem:

When using Firefox with the Mouseless Browsing extension, the user can type a number on the numeric keypad to navigate directly to the link that the extension has labeled with that number. You can normally use Dragon NaturallySpeaking's sendkeys command to activate this functionality. However, when viewing the new, updated Google Docs and Dragon NaturallySpeaking uses SendKeys in this way, the Mouseless Browsing extension correctly detects the (simulated) keystrokes and moves the focus to the desired link, but Google Docs ALSO see the keystrokes and types that number into the document.

The problem seems to be that the document (Google Docs) is watching keyboard events at a low level, before they can be trapped and consumed by a browser extension. (That is to say, the extension presumably does not pass the keyboard event to further event handlers, and so it would not be seen by normal scripts, plug-ins, etc.) This one example of ways that software can be incompatible with assistive technology that simulates keystrokes, which is of course not limited to user agents, extensions, and scripts.

     Greg
Received on Thursday, 27 January 2011 00:42:05 GMT

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