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No Mouse Challenge

Have you ever counted the number of times you “click” your mouse button in a minute? If your computer mouse suddenly stopped functioning, would you be able to continue working? What if you had a deadline and couldn’t wait for a replacement? 

For some, using a mouse is not an option. These users rely on their keyboard, or an assistive technology, to perform their computer tasks. And if a website or app is not properly coded, based on how digital platforms (like operating systems, software programs, apps, or websites) are set-up, they may be drastically limited in their ability to use them.

Can you recall when you’ve been stuck on a site or in an app that wouldn’t accept your mouse commands? This frustration is often a daily experience for keyboard-only users. Perhaps a popup window won’t close without a mouse click. Or a form field is skipped by the tab sequence. These situations are tough to navigate without a mouse, which can jeopardize the ability to perform tasks effectively or completely.

That's why we created this challenge. Are you willing to put your mouse aside and navigate a routine task in a different way?

Take the Challenge

We encourage you to spend at least 15 minutes doing  a common task  without using your mouse by taking the No Mouse Challenge and only use your keyboard. We understand that this will be challenging, so we’re providing some hints in the form of handy keyboard shortcuts.

Looking for keyboard shortcuts? We've created a keyboard shortcuts quick card for easy reference.

Keyboard Shortcuts Quick Card (PDF)

What to Try on a Computer with Only a Keyboard  

  • Select an open app on your desktop: Navigate through your open apps to select and focus on one. Hint: Use the Alt and Tab keys.
  • Your file manager: Try to get to your files or open a program you use frequently. Hints: Tab key moves through icons on the task bar. Enter key acts like a mouse click. 
  • Your email: 
    • If in an app (like Outlook), try to create a meeting invite with a title, invited guests, and a location selected. Hint: Use the Alt Key to open ribbon commands!
    • If in a browser (like Gmail), try to get to your list of emails, open one, and interact with the information. Hint: Use the Tab Key to get to emails. Use the up and down arrow keys to move through the list. Enter key is like a mouse click.
  • A website you frequent (think about where you shop online or read the news). Tab through the web page to find out if you can open links or scroll through the content. Hints: Enter key is like a mouse click. Up and down arrow keys are like a mouse scroll.
  • A Word or PDF document:  
    • Can you tab to a link? Can you open the link?  
    • Are there form fields? Can you tab to them in a logical order? Can you enter information?

Remember! Try hard not to use your mouse to get you out if you are “trapped” or wanting to go back. Rather, take that moment to consider how you feel.

You did it! Thanks for Accepting the Challenge!

The challenge is complete. Thanks for taking time to better understand the experience of different users when exploring the digital world. 

Willing to share your experience with us? Complete this short, four-question survey.

Want to keep going? Try a new task from the list above or check out our Experience Lab. You can also look below for additional accessibility learning opportunities.

What to Learn Next

Ever wondered how accessibility is incorporated into digital content? Check out these learning areas to find out.


Learn how you can make your electronic documents accessible to everyone.


Learn how to create accessible maps, through the use of font, color, symbols, and more.

Web & Apps

Learn the best practices of creating accessible websites and applications.

Social Media

Learn how to reach a larger audience through accessible social media and outreach.

Take what you’ve learned to the next level!

Do you create digital content? Help make a difference by remembering these simple guidelines:

  • Make sure all your documents are formatted for accessibility.
  • When writing requirements, include accessibility for all deliverables, from interface to training materials.
  • Include keyboard shortcuts in your instructions.
  • Require vendors to incorporate accessibility in their deliverables.
  • Talk about accessibility with your co-workers.
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