2.1 Keyboard Accessible

Make all functionality available from a keyboard.


If you couldn't use your mouse, could use access everything on your application or website with only a keyboard? People with motor disabilities, whether lack of fine motor function control (e.g. Parkinson's disease, tremors) or non-existent motor function (e.g. spinal cord injury, loss or damage of limb), often use keyboards or alternate keyboards and other input devices to access content.

Things you need to consider to be keyboard-only accessible:

  • Overriding functions: Most operating systems (e.g. Windows, Apple OS, Android) have keyboard shortcuts you can use to give your device commands without using a mouse. When your application or website overrides those commands, you need to inform your users what those changes are, or what the keyboard commands for your application are, in general. 
  • Trapping the keyboard: When using an interactive component in an application or website, there should be a way in and a way out via keyboard. For example, if you select a dialog box to pop up on the screen, you should also be able to tab over to some kind of "close dialog box" button.

Other navigable issues include being able to tab through content in a sequential manner and see the cursor's focus on components you can access.