Understanding WCAG 2.0

Skip to Content (Press Enter)

Keyboard Accessible:
Understanding Guideline 2.1

Guideline 2.1: Make all functionality available from a keyboard.

Intent of Guideline 2.1

If all functionality can be achieved using the keyboard, it can be accomplished by keyboard users, by speech input (which creates keyboard input), by mouse (using on-screen keyboards), and by a wide variety of assistive technologies that create simulated keystrokes as their output. No other input form has this flexibility or is universally supported and operable by people with different disabilities, as long as the keyboard input is not time-dependent.

Note that providing universal keyboard input does not mean that other types of input should not be supported. Optimized speech input, optimized mouse/pointer input, etc., are also good. The key is to provide keyboard input and control as well.

Some devices do not have native keyboards—for example, a PDA or cell phone. If these devices have a Web browsing capability, however, they will have some means of generating text or "keystrokes". This guideline uses the term "keyboard interface" to acknowledge that Web content should be controlled from keystrokes that may come from a keyboard, keyboard emulator, or other hardware or software that generates keyboard or text input.

Advisory Techniques for Guideline 2.1 (not success criteria specific)

Specific techniques for meeting each Success Criterion for this guideline are listed in the understanding sections for each Success Criterion (listed below). If there are techniques, however, for addressing this guideline that do not fall under any of the success criteria, they are listed here. These techniques are not required or sufficient for meeting any success criteria, but can make certain types of Web content more accessible to more people.

  • All advisory techniques for this guideline relate to specific success criteria and are listed below.

Success Criteria for this Guideline: