Lotus Notes checklist

Checkpoint 1.1: Keyboard equivalents for navigators

Provide keyboard equivalents for all navigator actions.

Applicable user interfaces

This checkpoint only applies to Lotus Notes applications viewed through the Notes client.

Note: Applications that support both the Notes client interface and the Web interface must complete both the Web checklist and the Lotus Notes checklist.


Navigators provide a graphical display of folders, views and design elements to make it easier for some users to find information. However, navigators cannot be accessed without the use of a mouse, so the information is inaccessible to anyone who must use the keyboard. To make navigators accessible to someone who cannot use the mouse, provide an alternative method to accomplish the same function.

Required development techniques

The following are the minimum required to meet Checkpoint 1.1 from the Lotus Notes Application Accessibility Checklist:

  1. Instead of using navigators, use one or more of the following accessible navigation methods:
    1. Folder Pane. The Folder Pane is the standard navigation structure available in Notes that was commonly used in older Notes applications.
    2. Outlines. Outlines provide more control over how elements are displayed in a navigation pane for a more custom navigation look. Outlines are programmable and customizable so you can control the look of the outline while maintaining accessibility. The database templates provided with Lotus Notes use outlines for navigation.
      NOTE: If your application is also displayed on the Web, do not display outlines using the Java applet. Outlines displayed using the Java applet are not accessible. For more information see Examples for IBM Lotus Domino developers in Web checkpoint 2.1c.
    3. Frames. Framesets can also be used to provide accessible navigation. The frameset is accessible if a title has been provided for each frame in the frameset. For more information, see Lotus Notes checkpoint 1.3: Titles for Frames.
    4. Imagemaps. Programmable hotspots on the imagemap can perform an action when selected by a user, but alternate text must be provided for each area of the map to make it accessible. For more information, see Lotus Notes checkpoint 3.2: Alternate text for image maps and hotspots.
  2. If navigators are used, provide equivalent functions through the Actions menu. For example:
    1. List navigator views in the View menu. When the view is created, display the View Properties box. Go to the Options tab and check the option "Show in View menu". The name of the view must be consistent with the name of the action on the navigator or it is not accessible. For example, if the action on the Navigator is "Create deviation", the view name should be Create deviation. Providing consistent names make it easier for someone using the view menu to find the same information as someone using the Navigator. A user can access the navigator view actions by going to the Actions menu to select View and then Go To. They can then select the view corresponding to the navigator action.

      Domino show view

    2. List navigator actions (e.g. creating documents, opening links) in the Actions or Create menu. For example, if the navigator has an option "Submit a change request", there must be an action titled "Submit a change request" in the Actions menu with the same function.
    3. If an application uses a full screen navigator, the Actions menu is not available from the navigator screen. In addition to making the views and actions available from the Actions menu, an additional step must be taken to provide equivalent function. Create a special view with the name "Instructions for users with disabilities" and check the option "Show in View menu" in the View properties box. The view must contain one document that describes how to access the navigator views and actions using the keyboard. When this view is selected, the default Folder Pane is displayed providing accessible navigation to the View, Actions and Create menus.
    4. Document how to access navigator functions with the keyboard using the Actions menu in the "Help Using This Database" document. For example, discuss that all navigator functions are available by using the View or Actions menu on the Action bar. Give an example of how to accomplish a function on the Navigator and how to accomplish the same task using the menus. If the navigator is full-screen, discuss how to access the special view created in the previous step.

Required test techniques

Test the application to ensure that it complies with accessibility requirements.


No tools are required to test this checkpoint.


The following techniques are required to verify this checkpoint:
Action Result


Manually verify all navigator actions are available using only the keyboard:




Verify the on-line help provides instructions for navigating the application using keyboard alternatives to the navigator.



©2009 IBM Corporation

Last updated August 25, 2009.