September 16, 2011

CAT Skills: Browsing Websites and Forms with JAWS

Photo: Web page and Links List displayed using Insert + F7

 Website designers try to make websites visually appealing and easy to navigate, but often don’t take into account those utilizing accessible software, like JAWS (screen-reading software).  Additionally, there are some basic rules for Website design, but no real standards which again, can make navigation frustrating and time consuming.  To make Website and Form navigation more efficient and less frustrating, following are easy to use tips for JAWS users:
Quick and Easy Website Navigation
Ø  INSERT + F7 brings up a List of all Links on a current page.  The List of Links can be explored by using the Up and Down arrow keys.  Then, press the Enter key to activate the chosen link.  Additionally, using the first character in a Link, like C for Contacts, is a quick way to find the desired link (see example).
Ø  INSERT + F6 to display a list of all headings on the current page.  Likewise in the links list, use Up and Down arrow keys to explore the list and the ENTER key to jump to the beginning of the chosen heading.
Ø  INSERT+ F5 to display a list of all form fields on the current page.  Use the arrow keys to select an item and press ENTER to jump to that item.
Ø  INSERT + F9 to display a list of all frames/content on a current page.
Quick and Easy Table and Spreadsheet Navigation
Ø  ALT + CTRL + RIGHT or LEFT ARROW takes you from Column to Column, Cell to Cell or Item by Item. 
Ø  ALT + CTRL + UP or DOWN ARROW takes you from the Cell Above or Below in a Column or Cell.

Ø  CTRL + WINDOWS KEY + SHIFT + J returns to the previous cell.
o  These keyboard strokes are particularly helpful for navigating through Bank Statements, Telephone Bills, Bus and Train schedules or most anything in a table format.

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