This is beta redesign of the W3C WAI website. (Beta Info and Comments) The published website is at w3.org/WAI/.

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

This video information is available as a Text Transcript with Description of Visuals below.

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?

What are the additional benefits?

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.

Learn more

Text Transcript with Description of Visuals

Audio Visual
Web Accessibility Perspectives: Keyboard Compatibility Web Accessibility Perspectives:
Keyboard Compatibility
Not being able to use your computer because your mouse doesn't work, is frustrating. A man drops his computer mouse off the desk. The computer mouse no longer works.
Many people use only the keyboard to navigate websites — either through preference or circumstance.
 
Whether it's temporarily limited mobility, A woman with her arm in a sling is typing on a keyboard — but the website requires the use of a mouse to select the date.
a permanent physical disability, A man with a wheelchair is using a mouth-stick to type.
or simply a broken mouse,
the result is the same:
The man with the wheelchair also cannot use the site.
Websites and apps need to be operable by keyboard. He switches to a different website that allows typing the date.
Web accessibility: Essential for some, useful for all.  
Visit w3.org/WAI/perspectives for more information on Keyboard Compatibility Visit
w3.org/WAI/perspectives
for more information on
Keyboard Compatibility.
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative logo
Back to Top

This is beta redesign of the W3C WAI website. (Beta Info and Comments) The published website is at w3.org/WAI/.