It Conflicts with Screen Reader Software

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Thread Starter


Joined Jun 12, 2009
Although access keys are also meant to help blind users as well, they are for the most part useless to them. Most commercial screen reader software basically takes over the keyboard and redefines most of the useful keys to some other purpose.

This redefinition usually conflict with the access keys supported by the browser.

However, in this case, <snip> don't need to get up in arms over the issue. If you have tried any of the commercial screen readers, you will probably have noticed that they have some very useful keyboard shortcuts that make surfing with a screen reader very much easier. Their keyboard shortcuts provide better functionality than any you can create using the brain-dead access key facility, so the fact that they nullify your access keys is not going to be a loss to your users.

In other words, access keys are irrelevant to blind users.

To sum up: Access keys need to be standardized to be useful but cannot be standardized if they are to be useful. They are meant for people with mobility problems and blind users, but are a hinderance for people with mobility problems and are useless to blind users.

There isn't much a webmaster can do with access keys that can make it really useful.
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