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Re: Access Keys as a means to passing 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks

From: David Hilbert Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2012 07:51:55 -0400
Message-Id: <9589FD73-3829-4721-962C-A7F2C4EBF895@comcast.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
It's not that difficult to use headings.  a small bit of exploration may be required by the user in some cases but most assistives have the functionality built in to use headings to rapidly go through and two areas on the page.

I'd use access keys to launch another site or do something that tabbing and hitting space bar or enter cannot do.  You also need to make sure the user doesn't have to read the description more than once unless they want to.

On Oct 16, 2012, at 2:48 AM, Vivienne CONWAY <v.conway@ecu.edu.au> wrote:

Hi David

Thanks for that.

I find that when access keys are used, they are often very well-hidden and only people 'in the know' realize they are even there.  As you said, normally they are described in a separate page/link.  Putting the link to the description and purpose of the keys is often more cluttered than just using well-placed skip links.  At least with skip links most people know how to use them and their purpose is clear.  If only we could get people to have them always visible - yes, I know it clutters the top.  However I have seen it done very successfully so I just think we need to be more open to having the accessibility features visible - demonstrates our desire to make things easier for people.

By the way, I'm still not sure why headings satisfy this criterion.  If you rely on the heading, it then requires subjective analysis to determine if the headings are sufficient to enable people to satisfactorily skip the repeated content.The headings only help screen reader users, not people who rely on tab control or have low vision.


Vivienne L. Conway, B.IT(Hons), MACS CT, AALIA(cs)
PhD Candidate & Sessional Lecturer, Edith Cowan University, Perth, W.A.
Director, Web Key IT Pty Ltd.
Mob: 0415 383 673

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From: David Woolley [forums@david-woolley.me.uk]
Sent: Tuesday, 16 October 2012 2:41 PM
To: Vivienne CONWAY
Cc: Harry Loots; Userite; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Access Keys as a means to passing 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks

Vivienne CONWAY wrote:

> Question - do you believe that the provision of access keys would
> produce a 'pass' grade for 2.4.1?

For an inside page of a site which people have to log in to, and
normally access frequently, maybe.  For a page that could be reached by
search engines, by unfamiliar users, you would need to explain the
access key at the top of the page, and that would probably be more
intrusive to the design than a skip link.

On an earlier point, if a user has to follow a special link to find
accessibility features, they are only going to do so if they are
desperate to access the site, or they are going to be  frequent user.
Normally these are done as a sop to accessibility with the hope that
they won't disrupt the design.  Often they just tell you how to use the
general accessibility features of mainstream browsers.

David Woolley
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Received on Tuesday, 16 October 2012 11:52:23 UTC

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