RE: keyboard focus of overflow:auto/scroll element

Thanks for this David. Being able to navigate an overflow element with
keyboard controls should be a user agent function. The User Agent
Accessibility Guidelines just release its second working draft on 11 March
2009 [1]. We extensively reworked the keyboard accessibility section. I will
take the issue of the user being able to focus and navigate to and within an
element with overflow property, and move to the next available element after
the current element to the working group.  If it is covered by our Success
Criteria 4.1.1 [2], we will add a technique.

If the group decides it is not covered, we will make something to cover

There is a public comment period on the latest draft until 22 April, 2009.
Please send comments to  

If there are other accessibility issues the User Agent Working Group [3]
would like to hear about them.  

Jim Allan, Accessibility Coordinator & Webmaster
Co-Chair W3C/WAI User Agent Working Group 
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756
voice 512.206.9315    fax: 512.206.9264
---> Share to Win!! <---

2. 4.1.1 Keyboard Operation: All functionality can be operated via the
keyboard using sequential and/or direct keyboard commands that do not
require specific timings for individual keystrokes, except where the
underlying function requires input that depends on the path of the user's
movement and not just the endpoints (e.g., free hand drawing). This does not
forbid and should not discourage providing mouse input or other input
methods in addition to keyboard operation. (Level A)

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of David Woolley
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2009 5:21 AM
Cc: 'wai-ig list'
Subject: Re: keyboard focus of overflow:auto/scroll element

fantasai wrote:
> aurélien levy wrote:

>> is it possible for the CSS spec to specify that an element with an 
>> overflow property set to auto or scroll must received focus with the 
>> keyboard (otherwise its contents can become unreachable for people 
>> using keyboard navigation mechanism). For information, Firfox do it 
>> correctly

> I believe this behavior is currently outside the scope of the CSS
> specifications.

Although the correct normative place for this is probably the Web 
Accessibility Initiative User Agent Guidelines, I think it would be 
advisable for the CSS specification to take a view as to whether this 
was a user agent or authoring problem and either:

- advise authors that they cannot assume that users will actually be 
able to scroll these areas; or

- advise user agent developers that they need to consider the WCAG 
requirements to provide keyboard only access.

This is especially important if some browsers currently do not provide 
keyboard access.

If it is as seen as an authoring problem, the WAI Content Guidelines may 
need amending to discourage the use of such constructs.

Although I don't particularly like cross posting email, I am copying to 
the WAI list.  Please remember, when replying, that moderation may be 
required on one of the lists, if you post to both.

David Woolley
Emails are not formal business letters, whatever businesses may want.
RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
that is no longer good advice, as archive address hiding may not work.

Received on Monday, 23 March 2009 19:09:25 UTC