jQuery UI's datepicker has complex keyboard navigation. Source: https://api.jqueryui.com/datepicker/

While the datepicker is open, the following key commands are available:

  • PAGE UP: Move to the previous month.
  • PAGE DOWN: Move to the next month.
  • CTRL + PAGE UP: Move to the previous year.
  • CTRL + PAGE DOWN: Move to the next year.
  • CTRL + HOME: Open the datepicker if closed.
  • CTRL/COMMAND + HOME: Move to the current month.
  • CTRL/COMMAND + LEFT: Move to the previous day.
  • CTRL/COMMAND + RIGHT: Move to the next day.
  • CTRL/COMMAND + UP: Move to the previous week.
  • CTRL/COMMAND + DOWN: Move the next week.
  • ENTER: Select the focused date.
  • CTRL/COMMAND + END: Close the datepicker and erase the date.
  • ESCAPE: Close the datepicker without selection.

Typical interactions, tab & arrows, do not work with this library. Are screenreader users aware of this navigation or will I need to implement further enhancements:

  • 2
    The problem with keyboard controls in the browser is that they sometimes conflict with the keyboard commands of the screen reader software. So this may be something you simply need to test. As to whether the component is accessible, see if it's using ARIA attributes properly.
    – DA01
    Jun 3, 2015 at 21:16
  • @DA01 - the datepicker does not have very good accessibility, but before overriding the keyboard controls I wanted to know if screenreader users were familiar with these controls (and I'm betting they are not)
    – Jason
    Jun 4, 2015 at 13:45
  • I highly doubt it. These seem custom to me.
    – DA01
    Jun 4, 2015 at 15:07
  • When I reviewed the same thing a few months ago, I ended up using the modified datepicker that you refer to in the links above. There is an effort to re-write the jQuery UI datepicker to support accessibility among other things. You can track progress on their wiki (wiki.jqueryui.com/w/page/12137778/Datepicker) and meeting pages (meetings.jquery.org/category/ui).
    – pppeater
    Jun 23, 2016 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


I would ask the leading representative of blind or partially sighted computer users in your target territory - Here in the UK I'd ask the RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind) for advice. Leading vision-based charities may also be able to help.

Also, as DA01 suggests, check the available key controls in the most used screen reader software for your target audience. Remember that users are more likely to get annoyed when their usual controls don't work on your site than they will be delighted with new controls.

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