Enabling Keyboard Accessibility on a Mac

Enabling Keyboard Accessibility on a Mac

Keyboard accessibility may NOT be enabled on your Mac, and historically has been turned off by default (possibly even including after updating the operating system), though that is subject to change. Your keyboard accessibility and screen reader test results will be inaccurate if you do not enable keyboard accessibility in the following two places:

  1. System Preferences
  2. Safari Preferences

Enable System-Wide Keyboard Accessibility

The default keyboard access on a Mac is to allow users to tab only to form controls (text inputs, buttons, etc.). To tab to links and other elements, you need to enable the "Use keyboard navigation to move focus between controls" setting in:

System Preferences > Accessibility > Keyboard > Full Keyboard Access

Screenshot of the System Preferences 'Full Keyboard Access' feature

Enable Safari Keyboard Accessibility

Keyboard accessibility must also be enabled separately in Safari too.

Safari Preferences > Advanced > Accessibility > Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage.

The advanced accessibility setting checkbox option in Safari