Testing Accessibility for keyboard users

The web was originally designed for use without a mouse. Many disabled users cannot use a mouse and so still rely upon the keyboard for navigating a web-site.

This is probably the easiest test to do. Simply push your mouse out of reach and try to navigate your site using just the keyboard. A list of typical keyboard functions is given at the end of this page.

  1. Check that you can see each link as it is in focus. A common mistake is to use the CSS a:hover element for "roll-over" buttons without including duplicate styles for a:active and a:focus.
  2. Check that you can navigate the site map easily, Keyboard users make more use of the site map than mouse users.
  3. Check that any forms work with teh keyboard. Check that field selection is logical as you work through the form and that the "Submit" button works.
  4. If you use scripts on a page check that they work with a keyboard. A common mistake is to use OnMouseOver and OnMouseOut without corresponding keyboard commands (OnFocus & OnBlur)

 

Use the Keyboard to Navigate Screens

Use these common keyboard commands to navigate web pages without a mouse. Some keystrokes may not work with every Internet browser.

IF you want to...THEN select
Move forward from link to link or to controls Tab
Move backward from link to link or to controls Shift + Tab
Select buttons Spacebar
Navigate and select Radio Buttons Arrow
Select/deselect boxes Spacebar
Move from box to box Tab
Open a List Box ALT + Down arrow
Read the prior screen CTRL + Page Up
Read the next screen CTRL + Page Down
Go to the top of the page CTRL + Home
Go to the bottom of the page CTRL + End
Close the current window (in Internet Explorer) CTRL + W
Refresh the screen F5
Go back a page ALT + Left Arrow
Go forward a page ALT + Right Arrow
Navigate to & select teh text in the address combo box ALT + D

Using Hotkeys Or Access Keys

Most applications contain hotkeys to improve navigation and provide information. On many screens there is a continue button that allows you to go to the next page or a previous button to return to the prior page.

Other keyboard commands, hotkeys or access keys will vary based upon your type and version of browser.

You will find a list of these commands in the Help section of your browser. Locate the Help feature on the Menu bar of your browser or by using your keyboard F1 function key.

Use these common keyboard commands to navigate web pages without a mouse. Some keystrokes may not work with every Internet browser.