Re: User Survey: accesskey

I tested the visual behavior of the screen, which is relevant for people 
with motor disabilities, even when they are sighted.

With MSIE 5.00.2614.3500

Looking at accesskey file 1

No visible effect of pressing ALT-A, ALT-B, etc. except where they happened 
to pull down a menu from the menu bar, e.g. ALT-F is the file menu.

Looking at accesskey file 3

There's no longer any interference from the menu bar.  I see the URI in the 
bottom status line change, e.g. when I press ALT-J  it appends #j to the 
URL there.  In other words it becomes

However, the screen does not scroll down to that point.  So this would not 
help a person with a motor disability.

It turns out that if you want the screen to scroll to the A tag with the 
accesskey, you need to make the tag a link, not an anchor.  In other words, 
it has to have an href attribute.

You can verify this with

which has a link and an anchor at the bottom.  The link will cause 
scrolling, but the anchor will not.

This isn't the suggested behavior of HTML 4.01 [1], which states that
For example, when a user activates a link defined by the A element, the 
user agent generally follows the link

In MSIE 5 isn't following the link.  It's just giving focus to the 
link.  You have to then press return to follow the link (actually, I think 
the MSIE behavior is better than what HTML 4.01 suggests).

Note however, that HTML spec doesn't really specify what should happen: it 
has that word "generally"... so it seems to be trying to describe the 
status quo.  (And it turns out that, like I mentioned, it isn't describing 
the status quo, at least as far as MSIE 5 is concerned).

What HTML 4.01 does specify is that
Pressing an access key assigned to an element gives focus to the element

That doesn't seem to mean anything for anchors (what does it mean to give 
an anchor "focus"), so the fact that nothing happens for anchors seems to 
be consistent with the spec.

Bottom  Line:
We need to add a specification to HTML to specify behavior for anchors: 
viz. that it scroll to that point.


Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Department of Electrical Engineering
Temple University 423 Ritter Annex, Philadelphia, PA 19122

(215) 204-2247 (voice)  (800) 750-7428 (TTY)

The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant:

Received on Thursday, 6 July 2000 08:59:39 UTC