M1 Recovery Requires Mouse or Trackpad

When testing with the M1 Mac mini, I booted into M1 recovery by holding down the power button (Apple refers to this as 1TR, or one true recovery). I was then presented with the flashing mouse/trackpad, which was not unexpected. What was unexpected is that it cannot be dismissed with a simple space press. This was easy on Intel Macs, but not so much on Apple Silicon. Once you plug in a mouse, you are dropped into recovery. From that point on, keyboard navigation works great (with a mix of voiceover and tab, tab, tab). I’m not sure why the mouse plugin is a requirement, since I have been able to navigate recovery without even touching the mouse. It’s also a pretty big accessibility issue, since requiring a mouse is a no-no for some users.

When automating Mac setup using the MDS Automaton, it automatically pressed the space bar to get past the mouse requirement. This isn’t possible on M1 macs, but I could switch the Arduino into mouse mode just long enough to be detected, then switch back to keyboard mode. Meh.

I filed a feedback with Apple as shown below. This recovery is at version 11.3.1.

 5/13/21, 10:03:33 AM CDT
 Mouse / trackpad required for booting to M1 recovery
 FB9104953 — macOS
 Basic Information
 Please provide a descriptive title for your feedback:
 Mouse / trackpad requierd for booting to M1 recovery 
 Which area are you seeing an issue with?
 What type of issue are you reporting?
 Incorrect/Unexpected Behavior
 What does the accessibility issue you are seeing involve?
 Something else not on this list

Please describe the issue and what steps we can take to reproduce it:
When booting to M1 recovery by holding the power button, if a mouse or trackpad is not attached to the Mac (in this case, a Mac mini), a full screen will appear alternating between a trackpad and the bottom of a mouse instructing the user to attach the input device. On intel Macs, the space bar could be pressed to dismiss this screen and allow for keyboard navigation only. On the M1 Mac that doesn’t have a built in trackpad, this does not seem possible. Once attaching a mouse or trackpad, it can be removed and all other navigation seems to work fine in recovery via keyboard navigation. It seems to force this input device without it actually being required.