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RE: Access Keys - your collective help is urgently requested!

From: John Foliot - bytown internet <foliot@bytowninternet.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2002 09:54:05 -0400
To: "Jukka Korpela" <jukka.korpela@tieke.fi>, "Aware-Techniques" <aware-techniques@hwg.org>, "Webaim-Forum" <webaim-forum@list.webaim.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <GKEFJJEKDDIMBHJOGLENKEGPCLAA.foliot@bytowninternet.com>

> I had thought, and the consensus of some discussion has been, as far as I
> know, that using digit keys as access keys is the safest way to avoid
> clashes with browsers' built-in shortcuts. I had even documented and
> recommended such usage:
> http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/forms/accesskey.html#assign

Thanks Jukka, I'll pass this link on to the client.

> I hadn't used IBM HPR enough to have noted the problem. How
> serious is it in
> practice? How often are those shortcuts used, and are there
> alternative ways
> of doing what they do?

No, they override the coded ACCESSKEY attribute, but since the Skip Nav
function aids the visually impaired the most (not exclusively, just the
most), having it paired with non-functioning accesskeys (and even going so
far as to telling users what they are) is just hopeless... <sigh>

> > Current thinking is to move to "Alt+X", Alt+Y" and Alt+Z"
> I'm afraid any letters as access keys are reserved by one or
> (probably) more
> programs for some use.

It's appearing that X,Y and Z may in fact not be viable.  Perhaps Alt+7,
Alt+8, Alt+9 (and after reading your page) Alt+0="Accessibility Features on
this site"

> For "Skip Nav", are access keys needed at all? Isn't it sufficient that
> there is a link to the start of the main content, or otherwise past the
> navigation? It could be a "visually hidden" link, i.e. a transparent
> single-pixel GIF with something like
> alt="Main content of the page."
> Such links have their problems, but I'd say that they are, as a
> whole, more
> tolerable than the harmful side effects of access keys.

The intent here is to actually assign Accesskeys to 3 "hidden" skip nave

Received on Friday, 13 September 2002 09:54:25 UTC

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