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This is the Accessibility Information page as included with Sakai 2.6's Help Documentation

Accessibility information

This page is provided for persons using assistive technology.

On this page:

Note: Suggested screen reader settings for JAWS and Window-Eyes follow each description.

Note: The - (hyphen) used in the instructions below signifies to press the keys simultaneously.

Known accessibility issues

Sakai contains a number of accessiblity issues yet to be resolved:

  • JavaScript must be enabled for the software to function.
  • Tool headings are often redundant due to separate page title and content frames.
  • Items in drop-down menus in Gradebook, Profile, Preferences, Syllabus, Samigo, Presentation, Roster, Wiki, and Section load when pressing the up or down keys. Press Alt-up arrow or Alt-down arrow to scroll through a menu instead.

Please notify the Sakai Accessibility Team Lead at if you find other problems. Use the subject line "Sakai Accessibility Issues".

Also, note that it is highly recommended to use JAWS version 8.0 and Window-Eyes version 5.5 or later, as performance will be significantly better.

Download the JAWS upgrade at:
Check for Window-Eyes upgrades at:
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Tips and tricks for navigation

Here are some tips for navigating:

  • To scroll in drop-down lists, press Alt-down arrow to open the combo box. Then press the up or down arrow to view the choices.
  • After selecting a tool, move the focus to tool content with Alt-c.
  • If you get lost, press Alt-c to return the focus to the top of the tool.
  • Go to the bottom buttons (e.g., Cancel) on a page by pressing Insert-F5 to open the forms list dialog. Then press Ctrl-End.
  • Use headings (with the letter  h ) to navigate. The worksite and tool sections, as well as page content, are marked with headings.
  • To see all the headings for a page, press Insert-F6 for a list, and then scroll using the up and down arrows.
  • Press Insert-down arrow to repeat the text.
  • If links to tools, content, or worksites do not work, press Insert-F6 to pull up the headings list, and navigate using headings.

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How to Configure JAWS and Window-Eyes Settings

You can execute most of the recommended settings in Internet Explorer through the Insert-v command, followed by the relevant letter for MSAA commands (such as  h for headings), and then using the up arrow or down arrow.

To access HTML settings within JAWS itself (for example, to change default settings for JAWS), follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Utilities by pressing Alt-u .
  2. Select JAWS Configuration Manager by pressing  c .
  3. Select Set Options by pressing  s .
  4. Choose HTML Options by pressing  h .
  5. Press Ctrl-Tab to move between pages.

To access HTML settings within Window-Eyes:

  1. Choose Control panel by pressing Ctrl-\ .
  2. Select the Global Menu by pressing Alt-l .
  3. Choose the Verbosity Menu by pressing  v .
  4. Select MSAA by pressing  m .

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Use headings to navigate. Links to worksites, tools, and content appear as headings to facilitate navigation. Content within tools is also structured hierarchically using <h1>, <h2>, and <h3> tags.

JAWS and Window-Eyes enable headings announced with level by default.

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Because frame titles are frequently repeated, it is recommended that you do not have them announced by screen readers unnecessarily. The default setting for JAWS is not to say frame names.

If you wish to set JAWS to "Say Frame Name at Beginning and End" anyway:

  1. While in Internet Explorer, press Insert-v to go to the MSAA menu.
  2. Type  f f , and then e  to execute.

Window-Eyes enables frame names by default.

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Accesskeys follow the UK e-commerce standards wherever possible, and are mnemonic otherwise. On a PC, use Alt to invoke accesskeys; on a Macintosh, use Ctrl. Accesskeys are announced in the title tag for each link.

Portal-based accesskeys

  • Accessibility page: Alt-0. (This must be set in Permissions by your institution. It is also available in the Help tool under Accessibility).
  • Help page: Alt-6
  • Skip to content: Alt-c
  • Skip to tools list: Alt-l
  • Skip to worksites: Alt-w

Tool-specific accesskeys

Accesskeys are available for most form-based tools.

  • Delete, remove, or cancel: Alt-x
  • Edit or revise: Alt-e
  • Help: Alt-h
  • Refresh: Alt-u
  • Save: Alt-s
  • View or preview: Alt-v

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Screen refresh

Users control page refreshes. To refresh page content, press F5.

To set JAWS to turn off page refresh:

  1. While in Internet Explorer, press Insert-v to go to the MSAA menu.
  2. Type  r r , and then  e  to execute.

To set Window-Eyes, press Alt-Shift-m until you hear "suspend all".

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Title tags

Title tags help comprehension of action buttons and links by providing additional information.

To set JAWS to "Use Title":

  1. While in JAWS, go to Utilities by pressingAlt-u .
  2. Go to Configuration Manager by pressing  c .
  3. Select Set Options by pressing Alt-s .
  4. Choose HTML Settings by pressing  h .
  5. Select Graphics Verbosity by pressing Ctrl-Tab Ctrl-Tab.
  6. Press Tab once, and then press the up arrow until you hear "Use title".
  7. Press Enter.

Window-Eyes enables title tags by default.

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Form tags

Forms contain common accessibility elements, including fieldset, legend, label for, and id tags.

Recommended JAWS and Window-Eyes settings

The first column of the table below contains page elements, the second column provides suggested screen reader settings, and the third column contains shortcut keys in Internet Explorer to create settings.
JAWS and Window-Eyes Settings by Element| Element | Suggested screen reader setting | Shortcut keys in Internet Explorer |


Headings with level

Press Insert-v . Press h and then e to execute.


Read title tag

Press Insert-v . Press l l l and then e to execute.


Announcement off

Default. Press Insert-v . Press f and then e to execute.

Tables (JAWS)

Recognize data tables only

Press Alt-u for Utilities, and then press c for Configuration Manager. Select Alt-s for Set Options, and then press h for HTML Options. Press Ctrl-Tab to go to Lists and Tables, and then press Alt-y for Detect Table Type.

Tables (Window-Eyes)

Recognize data tables only

Press Insert-v to to go to Verbosity Settings. Press t . Press Tab to go to the radio button. Use the up arrow or down arrow until "insert beginning/end message" is selected. Note that this is enabled by default.


Suppress refreshes

Press Insert-v . Press r r , and then e to execute.

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The continuing objective of developers is to make the application compliant with Section 508 and WCAG 1.0 Priorities One and Two, and as usable as possible for persons using adaptive technology. Most tools follow W3C accessibility guidelines for headings, forms, tables, links, and images, but do not include non-script alternatives to JavaScript, or user messages for pop-ups or completed actions. Tools following most guidelines include:

  • Announcements
  • Chat Room
  • Discussion
  • Email Archive
  • Gateway
  • Home
  • My Workspace--Membership
  • My Workspace--Preferences
  • Page Wrapper
  • Permissions
  • Sakai News
  • Schedule
  • Site Info
  • Web Content
  • Worksite Setup

JSF (Java Server Faces) tools have not been revised to include all accessibility elements. These include the following:

  • Administrative Tools (Users, Aliases, Sites, Realms, M, On-Line, Memory, Site Archive)
  • Gradebook
  • Profile
  • Preferences
  • Syllabus
  • Samigo
  • Presentation
  • Roster
  • Wiki
  • Section
  • Drop Box
  • Sections
  • Assignments
  • Resources

    Compatible adaptive technology

Sakai has been tested with JAWS version 8.0 and Window-Eyes version 5.5. Compliance has been evaluated using A-Prompt, WebXACT, and W3C Validator, but is not guaranteed.

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1 Comment

  1. From an email response to an inquiry about 508 compliance, some additional information:

    Additionally a very condensed version [of the this Confluence page] is available at:

    This is accessible to any user from the portal (accesskey=0) and is specifically targeted to screen reader users. It needs updating.

    Our 508 compliance sheet:'s Section 508 Compliance ('s+Section+508+Compliance)

    More than 508 we are instead using WCAG 1 as a guide, the results of that compliance can be seen here:'s WCAG 1.0 Compliance ('s+WCAG+1.0+Compliance)

    So - a very honest look at compliance. Additionally - most accessibility barriers except those created by FCK will be removed for 2.7.