Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Web Accessibility Wednesday: Keyboard Accessibility

This is part of a continuing series of web accessibility tips for IT personnel, web managers and web development groups. These tips can be used to review current website accessibility and to utilize in developing new websites with the hope of improving web accessibility for everyone.

Ensuring that your web page is fully accessible using only the keyboard is a vital component of web accessibility. All interactive elements, including links, buttons, form fields, media controls, etc. should be accessible using only the keyboard. Use the Tab key to navigate through page elements. Shift + Tab will navigate backward. The Enter key will typically activate links, buttons, etc. The navigation order of interactive elements should be logical and intuitive. It should generally follow the visual presentation order (left to right, top to bottom). Particular care should be taken to ensure that forms can be completed and submitted using only the keyboard. If you must press the Tab key a significant number of times to interact with a page, consider adding a "Skip to main content" or "skip navigation" link.

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