People that have a motor skill disability like myself, have limited use of their hands and must rely on adaptive technology such as StickyKeys to help them maneuver through their computer programs and access websites.
StickyKeys is a Windows operating system accessibility feature that is designed to help people who have difficulty holding down two or more keys at the same time. StickyKeys allows users to press one key at a time instead of pressing multiple keys simultaneously. For example, StickyKeys allows a user to press and release a modifier key, such as Shift, Control, Alt, or Windows key, and have it remain active until any other key is pressed.
One of the ways some people with a motor skill disability may navigate websites is by using the “Tab” key, or Tab order key strokes. You can move around websites by using the tab key to move from one menu to the next. When you tab to the next menu, link, or form field, it will be highlighted or have a faint border around it to indicate where you are located. Unfortunately not all websites are keyboard-friendly so using the style navigation can be difficult at times.
Some points to keep in mind when developing a website for people that live with a motor skill disability who use a keyboard:
- Make sure the menus, links, and form fields are visually indicated such as having a faint border around it so the user knows where they are at when they use the tab key to move to the next menu, link, or field.
- Ensure that the keyboard can access all parts of a website such as form fields. It is recommended that the keyboard be able to perform the same tasks as a mouse device.
- Provide simple keyboard navigation methods. Keyboard navigation methods should be as straightforward as mouse navigation methods.
- Assign simple and consistent shortcut key combinations for website navigation.
Read more about other disabilities and how to develop accessible websites in WeCo’s IT Accessibility Information Blog.