Accessibility Tip: Support keyboard only access

Last updated on January 01, 2022A11y issues

If you can make your site usable with just a keyboard then it is likely that other assistive input devices can also use your site so you should always aim to make sure it is usable by just a keyboard.

It is also very easy to test (we don’t need any specalised hardware to test it).

How to test

Try using your site or application with just a keyboard. You should be able to tab around and interact with everything.

For some interactive features such as tabs there are specific interactions (such as left/right arrow functionality to switch between tabs) that you can find in the WCAG specs (example on MDN: )

WCAG guidelines

Success Criterion 2.1.1 Keyboard (Level A):

Success Criterion 2.1.1 Keyboard (Level A): All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes, except where the underlying function requires input that depends on the path of the user’s movement and not just the endpoints.

This exception relates to the underlying function, not the input technique. For example, if using handwriting to enter text, the input technique (handwriting) requires path-dependent input but the underlying function (text input) does not.

This does not forbid and should not discourage providing mouse input or other input methods in addition to keyboard operation.

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