Success Criterion 2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts *

Understanding Success Criterion: 

If a keyboard shortcut is implemented in content using only letter (including upper- and lower-case letters), punctuation, number, or symbol characters, then at least one of the following is true:
Turn off
A mechanism is available to turn the shortcut off;
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 that component has focus.

Accessibility Level: 
Exceptions to Success Criterion: 

Note that this success criterion doesn’t affect components such as listboxes and drop-down menus that contain words that may be selected by one or more character keys, since the shortcuts are only active when the components have focus. Similarly, components such as menus may be accessed or opened with an initial, non-single character shortcut (e.g., “ALT” or “ALT+F”). This makes the full path to invoking a menu a two-step shortcut that includes a non-printable key.
Note that Accesskeys are not affected because they include modifier keys.

Intent of Success Criterion: 

Character key shortcuts work well for many keyboard users, but are inappropriate and frustrating for speech input users — whose means of input is strings of letters — and for keyboard users who are prone to accidentally hitting keys. As a result, users must be able to turn off or reconfigure shortcuts made up of a single character key, or two or more successive character keys.
This success criterion is becoming increasingly important in the mobile realm as growing number of apps more fully enable keyboard controls.

Specific Benefits of Success Criterion: 

• Speech users will be able to turn off single-key shortcuts so they can avoid accidentally firing batches of them at once. This will allow speech users to make full use of programs that offer single-key shortcuts to keyboard users.
• Keyboard-only users who have dexterity challenges can also be prone to accidentally hitting keys. Those users would be able to avoid problematic single character shortcuts by turning them off or modifying them to include at least one non-character key.