Motor impairment

✎ Technique: Content on hover or focus

Make it easier for users to interact with added content. Tooltips, drop-down menus, and popups are examples of added content. This new content is usually made visible when you put your mouse pointer over a "trigger" item such as a button or link. It can also display when an item receives focus. Some people have difficulty keeping the mouse pointer over the trigger item. Also, the new content will sometimes obscure existing content. The three requirements of this success criterion, as outlined below, help make the added content more operable.

Dismissable

When using magnification, tooltips or added content can display on top of other information. Unless the newly visible content is displaying an error, the user must be able to dismiss that content without moving the mouse or changing focus. The easiest way to implement this is by providing a keyboard command, such as pressing the escape key, to close the content. The developer can also include a close button within the added content.

Hoverable

Often the new content only displays when the mouse pointer is over the trigger element and disappears when the mouse moves off of the trigger. It can be hard for people with tremors or limited movement to keep the mouse over the trigger element. To remedy that situation, the content must stay visible as long as the mouse remains over the trigger or the mouse moves onto and remains over the new content.

Persistent

This rule combines the previous two. The content must remain visible until the user dismisses it, the hover or focus trigger is removed, or the information is no longer valid.

✎ Technique: Character key shortcuts

If keyboard shortcuts are implemented using only a letter (including upper- and lower-case letters), punctuation, number, or symbol characters, provide a way to turn off or remap character key shortcuts:

  • Turn off: A mechanism is available to turn the shortcut off;
  • Remap: A mechanism is available to remap the shortcut to use one or more non-printable keyboard characters (e.g. Ctrl, Alt, etc);
  • Active only on focus: The keyboard shortcut for a user interface component is only active when...
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✎ Technique: Pointer gestures

All operations must use simple gestures that need only a single touch. Gestures that need two fingers or complicated movements can be hard to operate for people with hand tremors or limited movement.  Users with alternative input devices such as a mouth stick, sip-and-puff, or head mouse also benefit. Simple gestures are easier for someone with cognitive impairments to remember and use. If the site or application does use multi-touch gestures, be sure to also provide simple interfaces. 

✎ Technique: Pointer cancellation

Make it easier for users to operate functionality through various inputs beyond keyboard; however, it is essential that functions emulate a keyboard and that a mechanism to undo or abort an action is provided.

This guideline helps people with tremors or mobility impairments who may touch or click on the wrong location by mistake. This mistake can cause an unintended action. This success criterion also benefits people with cognitive disabilities, who can become confused when something unexpected happens because they activated a control by accident.

✎ Technique: Label in name

People with disabilities rely on interface controls that are used programmatically. These controls have a visual label, as well as a programmatic label, known as its Accessible Name. Users have a much better experience if the visible text labels of controls match their accessible names.

Speech input users can navigate by speaking the visible text labels of menus, links and buttons that appear on the screen. It’s confusing to speech input users when they say a visible text label they see, but the speech input does not work because the accessible name that is enabled as a speech input command does not match the visible label.

✎ Technique: Motion actuation

Ensure that functions that are triggered by moving a device (for example, shaking or tilting) or by gesturing towards the device (so that sensors like a camera can pick up and interpret the gesturing), can also be operated by more conventional user interface components, unless the motion is essential for the function or not using motions or gestures would invalidate the activity. 

Users who may be unable to perform particular motions (such as tilting, shaking, or gesturing) because the device may be mounted or users may be physically unable to perform the necessary movement, should still be able to operate all functionality by other means (e.g., touch or voice input).

Some users may accidentally activate sensors due to tremors or other motor impairments. The user must have the ability to turn off motion actuation to prevent accidental triggering of functions.

✎ Technique: Site search

People use different methods to find web content. Screen-reader users might prefer navigation regions, people with dyslexia might prefer the logic of a site map, and people with motor impairments might prefer to type in a search term using a search facility.

So it's important the search facility on your site is logically and conventionally placed and constructed for optimal accessibility.... Read more about ✎ Technique: Site search

✎ Technique: Site and page navigation

It's important to provide consistent navigation regions to navigate between a site's pages and—where there is a lot content on each page—between sections of pages.

Clear, logical and consistent navigation tools reliably help people find their way to the content they need and recover quickly when they are in the wrong place. This helps everyone but particularly people with visual, cognitive, or motor impairments who might otherwise find it time-consuming to locate the information they need....

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✎ Technique: Autocomplete input controls

Autocomplete widgets can be helpful for accessibility because they can make it easier to enter text by providing suggestions based on the characters initially typed. This particularly helps people who find typing more difficult and people who may be susceptible to spelling mistakes.

Creating an accessible integrated autocomplete widget is a complex process. You need to ensure that screen-reader users are notified when the list of suggestions appears and that they can enter the list and select an option...

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✎ Technique: Session extension

For a number of reasons including data persistence, performance and security, it is sometimes beneficial to terminate idle user sessions.

So that users do not lose data, it's important to warn them of a session that is about to expire and give them the option to continue. This is especially true in the case of people who might take longer to read or interact with a page due to a disability. It's important to make such prompts accessible.

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✎ Technique: Accessible modal dialogs

Modal dialogs can enhance usability by focusing attention on a specific message that requires a user action to continue.

An accessible modal dialog is one where keyboard focus is managed properly, and the correct information is exposed to screen readers. HTML and WAI-ARIA can be used to provide the necessary semantic information, CSS the appearance and Javascript the behavior.

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✎ Technique: Expandable sections

Expandables (sometimes called “collapsible” or “disclosure widgets”) are simple interface patterns that allow you to expand and collapse content. They can be helpful accessibility aids as they give users the choice of revealing content to read it, or bypassing the content, making page navigation more efficient for screen-reader users and people using the keyboard or alternative input devices.

To ensure that they are accessible, it's important that expandable sections are coded so that their state (...

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