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I think any forcible redirection of focus makes your page inaccessible to users with screen readers. Just setting explicit tabindex on tags really screws things up; its best for accessibility to let the natural tab order rule. Many sites actually make the first tabbable element a "skip link" that jumps past the page's header and left nav content and jumps to the first <h1>.

So this topic made me curious, were does the first tab in the tab chain on Amazon go? I loaded the page in firefox, hit tab, and saw the first tab was http://amazon.com/access

Ok, this is an interesting design choice. That access link goes to a page with minimal styling, probably optimized for screen readers.

Now I'm really curious, and I pop open NVDA to give the page a listen. After the page title was read, the access link was read, which was very helpful: "A different version of this web site containing similar content optimized for screen readers and mobile devices may be found at the web address: www.amazon.com/access". It would have been best if Amazon did the work to make their default site screen reader accessible, but this is a nice alternative to having no accessibility at all.

Amazon needs to do some html/css/script minification on their homepage! Oh, nevermind, they gzipped it. :)




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