ACTION-458: Put text about keyboard navigation paradigm from Bugzilla 6872 into Primer

Put text about keyboard navigation paradigm from Bugzilla 6872 into Primer

Michael Cooper
Due on:
September 30, 2010
Created on:
May 15, 2009
Associated Product:
ARIA 1.0 Primer
Related emails:
  1. Agenda: WAI-PF ARIA Caucus 10 May 2010 (from on 2010-05-07)
  2. minutes: PFWG telecon 2010-01-20 [draft] (from on 2010-01-20)

Related notes:

This is a splinter action from

Starter text from Joshue:

Some verbiage on Keyboard navigation paradigm. I am a little unsure of the
correct /voice/ to use and have added a couple of questions at the end
regarding how to complete the introduction. Should I indicate various
resources, describe them in detail in the piece itself etc. Comments welcome.

1. Introduction: explain paradigm of keyboard navigation in introduction
to address usability of Web 2.0 applications

One of the most common methods of user interaction with the computer and web
content is the mouse. In common parlance we are used to hearing “if you wish to
access this content it’s just a matter of going to this page and clicking on
this icon” so the language has entered common parlance and our everyday
vernacular and is associated with ease of use.

However, this is only the case if you are a mouse user. If you cannot use a
mouse and there are many who cannot (more of which I will talk about later)
then this model of ‘ease’ does not translate to your situation. Also as more
people use mobile devices, various pointers etc the whole notion of what a
“click” is needs to be revisited.

So who cannot use a mouse?

Many users who are blind for example cannot use a mouse at all. Simply because
the use of a mouse requires that the user can firstly see the screen,
successfully identify the various items on display and interact with them.

Other user groups who either cannot use a mouse or find using a mouse
problematic are people with limited physical mobility, or tremors and other
involuntary movements that make sensitive movement and control very difficult.
There are many others but suffice to say that there is a need for a more
accessible mode of interaction that will allow people who have problems with
mouse, for whatever reason, interact successfully with web applications.

Happily, there is alternate hardware that is usually not a million miles from
any mouse and that is the regular keyboard. The common or garden keyboard comes
to the foreground as a very accessible navigation device that can be used by
blind and vision impaired people, many people with disabilities and so on.
There are also very many augmented and specialized keyboards that can be used
by others who find the regular keyboard difficult for whatever reason.

Suffice to say many users will need to be able to interact with web content
solely via the keyboard or augmented Assistive Technology. Therefore keyboard
accessibility is vital for many users when they wish to use the ever more
sophisticated web applications that are emerging today.

So how does it work?

There are several key aspects to accessible web applications but they are all
governed by a simple premise – that every thing that one user can do with a
mouse must also be do-able via the keyboard alone. This is relatively easy to
hammer home – just get rid of your mouse when you are trying to use a website
or application and if you can access the core parts of the application via the
keyboard alone then you are closer to having an application that can be
considered accessible and usable by wide range of users including people with
disabilities and older people.

What to do?

<add piece on specific ARIA technologies>
<what currently works>

Michael Cooper, 15 May 2009, 16:31:34


Created action 'Put text about keyboard navigation paradigm from Bugzilla 6872 into Primer' assigned to Michael Cooper, due 2009-06-30 bound to Product 13

15 May 2009, 16:30:32

Due date changed to 2010-02-03

20 Jan 2010, 17:12:06

Due date changed to 2010-09-30

Michael Cooper, 28 Jul 2010, 17:44:31

Action now bound to Product 'CSS'

Alex Qiang Chen, 22 Feb 2012, 17:13:01

Action now bound to Product 'ARIA Primer'

Michael Cooper, 6 Mar 2012, 15:32:23

Status changed to 'closed'

Michael Cooper, 25 Feb 2016, 15:29:44

James Nurthen <>, Chair, Michael Cooper <>, Ruoxi Ran <>, Staff Contacts
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