2.1.2 – No Keyboard Trap (Level A)

Your website must not trap keyboard users

Your users have varying degrees of motor skills and may use your website with only their keyboard.
You must make sure that keyboard-only users can’t get stuck anywhere on your site. All parts of your website should be reachable by keyboard alone (See Guideline 2.1.1). Your users must also be able to navigate away from all parts of your website. If your users can reach a feature (such as a subscribe form) by keyboard but can’t leave it by keyboard, they are keyboard trapped.

What to do

  • Test your website to make sure you can navigate away from, as well as to, all parts of your website by keyboard only.
  • Make sure all navigation is controllable by either the ‘Tab’ or arrow keys, which is a standard many people are familiar with.

Tips

  • Unplug your mouse and make sure you can fully use your website with your keyboard.
  • It’s tempting to use non-standard navigation with a text explanation of what to do, but this isn’t worth your time. Stick to the Tab and arrow keys and the majority of your customers will already know how to use your website.
  • Be wary of third-party adverts and widgets, often these are not accessible.

See also

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  • Patricia

    Hi. Just joined the group today, and I am so happy to see something about accessibility here. It is an area of particular interest to me. I worked hard to get my company to take it seriously, with only partial success. I will look forward to your posts on this topic and plan to check through the archives to learn more. Thank you. Patricia

    • Thanks Patricia, it’s often an uphill struggle to get accessibility built in to a company’s way of life but it all starts with one person like you raising your voice and tackling one thing at a time. Good luck!