Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Across the world today, people are paying attention to what it means to be a person with a disability.  As a technologist I’d like to suggest some simple tasks to help you learn about some of ways people use assistive technology to get around the web and/or their mobile devices.

Say “goodbye” to your mouse

Detach your mouse and try navigating using only your keyboard.  The following keys can be used:

  • Tab key:
    • Navigates to most elements, usually links or buttons.  If the website is built correctly you should see an outline around each element as to tab to it.  Notice the blue outline around “Information Technology Services”
  • Enter or Return key
    • Use this when you land on a link – behaves like a mouse click
  • Enter/Return or Space bar
    • Use when you land on a button or link – behaves like a mouse click

Here are a couple of good resources if you want to learn more:

Try surfing the web using a screen reader

Windows Users

Apple Users

Use Command-F5 to turn it on or off. It can be used to read the entire html content on web page using short cut control + option + shift + Down Arrow. To move between different items on the web page use Control + Option + left or right arrows. To click any link use Control + Option + Space bar. To go back in the browser use Command + [. To stop interacting with HTML content use Control + Option + Shift + Up Arrow. (Apple VoiceOver reference )

Use Speech-to-Text and dictate an email, a letter or a paper

Use headings to organize your document