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Sakai Accessibility and Usability Working Group Teleconference
April 8, 2010


  • Brian Richwine, IUB
  • Mike Elledge, University of Michigan
  • Mary Stores, IUB
  • Margaret Londergan, IUB
  • Apple Suwannawut, IUB
  • Scott Williams UM
  • Eli Cochran, UC Berkeley
  • Joe Humbert, IUPUI

Sakai 2.x Accessibility Statement

  • Because Sakai 2 is going to be around for a while, Eli proposed an accessibility statement should be written.
  • The desired goals originally were put together before there was much of a community, so they were decided by Mike Elledge.
    • The goals were to meet Section 508 and WCAG 1.0 level A and AA guidelines.
    • The documentation for this is in the accessibility help information under the "Compliance" heading and in the charter forwarded in an e-mail to Brian by Mike.
  • For writing the accessibility statement, it will be good to keep in mind that Sakai 2x, especially rewriting of tools such as Gradebook 2 and Assignments2, emerging technologies will be used.
    • Gradebook is being developed using GWT, and Assignments2 is being developed with Javascript.
  • Suggested wording of statement:
    • Mike Elledge suggests "Sakai 2x will continue to attempt to meet the guidelines for WCAG 2.0 A and AA requirements."
    • When creating the statement, Eli says we need to be clear that we are only talking about tools for the core. We may want to be specific and say, "For new code intended for inclusion in the Sakai core, it needs to reach the following guidelines..."
  • Brian and Mary will go through the notes taken and write the first draft of the statement; it will be based off of the statement written for Sakai 3.
    • Between now and the next teleconference, Brian and Mary will e-mail the statement, and if comments from the Working Group can be exchanged via e-mail, that would be great.

VPAT and Section 508 Wiki Post

  • There is a need to update VPAT guidelines; they have not been updated since 2.5. Mike put together the VPAT.
    • Regarding VPAT, Eli wonders how frequently that tool is used.
    • Brian will look for next meeting to see how long it will take to update the VPAT, because the conference participants have determined that updating it would be important.
  • Regarding the 508 compliance comment on the wiki posted March 29, Mike Elledge answered it.

Noah Botimer's Proposed Online Summit

  • Eli CCed the WG on an e-mail from Noah Botimer regarding an online 2-day summit that will cover rich text tools, formats, etc.
    • Eli will keep the thread up-to-date and encourages members of the Accessibility Working Group will attend.

Jira Tickets

  • There is a page in the wiki to go through the outstanding accessibility issues dating back from 2002.
  • Brian and Mary have tested all but 9 Jira tickets.
  • One thing Brian and Mary noticed was that not enough context was provided for the developer to understand the accessibility issue. As a result, the fix may not quite work, though an honest effort was made to repair the issue.
    • Example: Most assistive technology only functions correctly when forms have explicit labels, and unfortunately, developers don't have knowledge of the tools to test and verify their own work.
    • The take-home from this is that tickets need to be written to make them more attractive to the developer.
    • A good idea would be to couple the developer with a person to test in order to get feedback that the fix the developer implemented really works.
    • Several tickets have been closed because a patch was made but the desired results were not achieved.
  • The fixes should have been tested in the trunk in nightly server before the WG recommended they be merged.
  • Eli states that it's fair that the bugs be reopened. A description of the problem can be created in order to see if they can be fixed or not.
  • Brian will call Gonzalo to talk about this.

Jira Ticket Follow-Up and Miscellaneous

  • Scott filed Jira tickets, and they were picked up by Noah. Scott wanted to know how to follow up.
    • If you've posted the ticket, you should receive email when ticket changes. You can make yourself a watcher on any Jira ticket. It also would be beneficial to contact that person directly in charge of the Jira ticket that you've posted to say that you are willing to answer any accessibility questions any time.
  • Accessibility testing for Sakai 2.7 continues. Joe has signed up for four tools.
  • Brian will create a page of testers for web developers and e-mail about guidelines statements.
  • After all of this has been accomplished, the Working Group will need to talk about next steps for Sakai 3.
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