Alright, so skip links are undoubtedly a user-agent issue. This is a given I suppose, but should they be used? If not, is there a need for an alternative?

Skip links are an accessibility feature intended to help visitors navigate their way around a web document. They are sometimes called jump links as well. On a web page they will typically be read as “Jump to Content,” “Skip Navigation,” or some variant thereof.

They are offered primarily by accessibility-aware developers, but, strictly speaking, the potential need for their very existence is directly related to user-agent or UA shortcomings. The system is broken, but developers — and users — are stuck with it for now. It’s unreasonable to expect developers to make up for the shortcomings in UAs, and it’s obviously better for everyone if these types of features are provided in a consistent manner by UA manufacturers, rather than being implemented inconsistently, if at all, by developers.

Because skip links are a UA issue, they fall into the dreaded “until user agents” category of WCAG 1.0 under Grouping Related Links: 13.6 Group related links, identify the group (for user agents), and, until user agents do so, provide a way to bypass the group (Priority 3). The by-pass, of course, is the author-provided skip link…. Source: Accessites.org

[tags]skip link,ua issues,skip navigation,grouping related links[/tags]