Web Accessibility Perspectives: Keyboard Compatibility
Web accessibility is essential for people with disabilities and useful for all. Learn about the impact of accessibility and the benefits for everyone in a variety of situations.
Video on Keyboard Compatibility
What is "Keyboard Compatibility"?
All functionality must be usable with the keyboard. That is, users can access and move between links, buttons, forms, and other controls using the Tab key and other keystrokes. Websites should not require a mouse; for example, pop-up calendars should also let users type in a date.
Who depends on this feature?
- People with physical disabilities who cannot use the mouse.
- People who are blind, and cannot see the mouse pointer on the screen.
- People with chronic conditions, such as repetitive stress injuries (RSI), who should limit or avoid use of a mouse.
What are the additional benefits?
- Content works for people with temporary limitations, such as a broken arm or broken mouse.
What needs to happen for this to work?
Native HTML controls, like links, buttons, and form elements, work with the keyboard by default and should be used where possible. Custom-made controls, CSS styles, and scripts that control interaction may need additional coding for keyboard compatibility. Ensure that the tab order is logical, to allow keyboard navigation around the content and controls. Provide a way for users to jump between blocks of content and controls. Keyboard issues occur particularly in forms, menus, and applications with many controls.
- Accessibility Principle:
- Getting Started:
- Easy Check:
- User Story:
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG Overview):
- Mobile Applicability:
- Web Accessibility Tutorials (several related topics)