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RE: Auto-Tabbing - Is this ever allowed?

From: Phill Jenkins <pjenkins@us.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 28 May 2015 12:27:46 -0500
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF01795496.B093CC8D-ON86257E53.005E6EE1-86257E53.005FEE0C@us.ibm.com>
I would not label this as "auto-tabbing", but simply optimized keyboard 
navigation.  We all want a better user experience. 

Example scenario: so placing the input focus in an input field when the 
page loads is a best practice because all users can simply begin typing 
and the input filed will receive the keystrokes, no extra tabbing or arrow 
keys needed, or gestures required = better user experience.  If the a user 
wants the label to be spoken as well, then that is an AT setting or 
configuration since WCAG already has the provision for associating the 
label with the input field.  After the user types the input and then 
presses enter (or SpaceBar) it would also be a best practice for the web 
page/app to move the input focus to the next input element in the form. 
Note that I do not consider that auto-tabbing since the focus only moves 
after the user presses enter to complete the input step. 

What some call auto-scanning, as is typical for AT the allows 
auto-scanning of on screen keyboards is useful for some, but not all user 
with disabilities.  So  auto-scanning should be user or AT configurable. I 
would rarely (never?) recommend that the web app developer provide the 
auto-scanning since it could (would?) conflict with the platform or more 
commonly, the user's AT settings.

Phill Jenkins, 
IBM Accessibility

From:   Léonie Watson <lwatson@paciellogroup.com>
To:     "'Wishnew, Mary '" <mary.wishnew@citi.com>, "'IG - WAI Interest 
Group List list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Date:   05/28/2015 11:26 AM
Subject:        RE: Auto-Tabbing - Is this ever allowed?

-----Original Message-----
From: Wishnew, Mary [mailto:mary.wishnew@citi.com] 
Sent: 28 May 2015 16:41

I have worked in the past with a reputable Third Party Accessibility 
Vendor that has advised auto-tabbing should never be allowed for a form 
with input fields such as an online application.  The application would 
have multiple input fields such as First Name, Last Name, Address, phone 
number, SSN, etc.  I realize that if the user isn't advised the form will 
auto tab they can end up multiple fields down the form instead of moving 
to the next field as they don't realize the form has auto-tabbed. 


The development team wants to add auto-tabbing back into the application 
form.  What is the industry best practice?  I would like to get input from 
those on the list about auto-tabbing. I am receiving significant push back 
to add this tabbing back into the form and would like to advise 

Speaking as a screen reader/keyboard user, I strongly dislike having 
auto-tab functionality imposed on me. It is unexpected, and based on a 
flawed assumption that it is helpful.

It's worth noting that it takes me more time and effort to correct 
mistakes caused by auto-tab, than it does to move focus for myself. 


Léonie Watson - Senior accessibility engineer
@LeonieWatson @PacielloGroup PacielloGroup.com
Received on Thursday, 28 May 2015 17:28:20 UTC

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