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Derek Featherstone @feather
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
I remember two moments very early on in my teaching career that led me to REALLY understand the importance of keyboard accessibility. They turned out to be pivotal moments that made web accessibility feel completely natural to me.
The first? In 1995 I bought my own computer, and noticed that there were really tiny screws on the back that I could remove. When it was time to get online, I bought my own modem (US Robotics 14.4 fax internal model) and endeavoured to install it myself.
I went for it but messed it up. I installed the modem on the right COM port but with the same IRQ as my mouse. I didn’t know any better //shrug
So that meant that any time my modem dialled out to get online, my mouse suddenly stopped working. I had no idea why, and no idea how to fix it. But it meant that when I went online I had no mouse and HAD to use the keyboard for everything.
That taught me how important keyboard access is, full stop.
I eventually figured out how to fix that IRQ conflict. But another thing happened - there was a massive thunder storm. I’m not sure what exactly happened, but after that storm my mouse just stopped working.
Thankfully I knew how to use the keyboard, and I was able to still get online and research what was going on and research a new mouse for my computer.
When I harp on the importance of being able to do everything with a keyboard AND overall keyboard efficiency, it comes from those experiences back in 1995, and everything I have learned since.
Keyboard accessibility and efficiency are fundamental requirements for doing anything with a computer, and that’s not changing any time soon.
Someday, when my hands don’t work very well any more and operating a mouse is painful, I’ll be thankful that you have made all the things you work on work well with a keyboard.

So thanks, in advance.

#accessibility #keyboard #MyFutureSelf
Also, I believe the specs on that computer were as follows:

CPU: Intel 486 DX 100 MHz
Memory: 16MB RAM (4x4MB SIMM) - I think.
HDD: Western Digital 40GB
Creative Labs SoundBlaster 16 soundcard plus speakers
Quad speed CD-ROM
AND a laser printer!
That was my first purchase after I got my first teaching job. Huge thanks to my parents for loaning me the money (~ $4000 CAD) to buy it.

Up until then I had been using an old 8088 for email and basic text docs for about a year.
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