Proposed Speech Command Mechanism

From Mobile Accessibility Task Force

Proposed SC Shortname

Speech Input Command Mechanism

Proposed SC Text

The user can adjust any customizable key shortcut on the webpage to an alternative control of a string of up to 25 Characters, including spaces.

Extension Reference

Suggested Priority Level

Level AAA

Suggested Glossary additions or changes

Associated Principle and Guideline *or* proposed Guideline the SC falls within

Proposed SC Intent

Keyboard shortcuts are the de facto universal control. Speech users can voice keyboard shortcuts, but they are not as efficient or comfortable to use as native speech commands are, e.g. speak the keyboard shortcut "Press Control Papa" versus the native speech command "This Print" to press Control+P.

In addition, while using single letter keys as controls might be appropriate and efficient for keyboard users, single key shortcuts are disastrous for speech users. Because only a single key is used to trip a command, a spoken word can become a barrage of single key commands if the cursor focus happens to be in the wrong place.

Therefore, to fully include speech users, keyboard shortcuts should be accompanied by a mechanism that allows the user to customize keyboard shortcuts in a way appropriate for speech commands. For example, the user could change the single key shortcut “r” for reply to “This Reply”.

The need for this type of customization becomes more acute the more web sites and apps a user regularly uses. It takes cognitive effort for a user to track different commands for different programs. Because there are a limited number of keys, keyboard shortcuts are often more cryptic and therefore more difficult to remember than native speech commands. And long keyboard shortcuts are more difficult for the speech user to voice, e.g. Control-Alternate-Foxtrot versus "New Footnote", or Control-Shift-Zulu versus "Redo That". Customization would allow a user to use more memorable commands and to standardize across webpages and web apps, freeing up brainpower for the task at hand.

This success criterion is of growing importance in the Mobile realm as an increasing number of apps more fully enable keyboard controls (see resources).

Proposed SC Examples

Proposed SC Benefits

This will give speech users a mechanism, independent of the speech engine they're using, to add native speech commands to a program rather than having to speak keyboard shortcuts, which are optimized for the keyboard, but not for speaking.





Mobile devices are gaining keyboard shortcuts:

Web programs employ single key shortcuts: