Many people cannot use pointer devices (mice, trackpads) or touch input to navigate the web. They usually use the keyboard.
Why Is This Important?
Users with mobility impairments use the keyboard to navigate around the page and activate links and other interactive elements.
Checking for Basic WCAG Requirements
- Click into the address bar of your browser. A note for macOS users.
- Press the tab key tab ⇥ to move forward through the page. You can use shift ⇧ + tab ⇥ to move backwards through the page.
- You should see your visual focus when navigating through the page.
This requirement is met when all interactive elements that are available with a pointing device or touch input are reachable for keyboard users and those users can interact with all reached user interface elements. (This can require the use of the arrow keys, for example in tabbed interfaces.)
Keyboard Testing on macOS
For historic reasons, keyboard access needs to be enabled in the system preferences. Navigate to System Preferences → Keyboard → Shortcuts and check the box Use keyboard navigation to move focus between controls.
If you test in Safari, open its preferences (command ⌘ + ,), navigate to the Advanced tab and check the Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage option.
- It is always clear where you are on the page.
Tools & Bookmarklet
- ANDI has very nice visualizations that show interactive elements.