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Web Accessibility Compliance

Compliance to Section 508 (and the stated goal of meeting WCAG 2.0 A & AA Success Criteria) varies from tool to tool, and to a certain extent depends on how tools are configured. It's also true that much of a disabled user's experience --and how accessible Sakai feels to that user -- will be determined by the content uploaded to it, and so a course with good accessibility will also require some forethought on the part of an instructor or course designer.

Compliance Standards

Since the current Section 508 standards were implemented in 1999, the WCAG 2 Level A and AA Success Criteria, and their associated techniques for success, have become the internationally recognized standards to meet for accessibility conformance. If the WCAG 2 Level A and AA Success Criteria are met, then the Section 508 §1194.22 Standards will be met. It is possible to meet all Section 508 §1194.22 Standards, and not meet the WCAG 2 Level A and AA Success Criteria.

Generally Accessible Sakai Tools

Tools that follow most accessibility guidelines include:

  • Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Chat Room
  • Gradebook
  • Home
  • My Workspace--Membership
  • My Workspace--Preferences
  • News
  • Permissions
  • Resources
  • Site Setup
  • Syllabus
  • Web Content
  • Worksite Setup

WYSIWYG editors

Any tool or task that requires the student to use the JavaScript WYSIWYG editors, and the other Rich Text Editors found in Sakai, will pose challenges to non-mouse users (low-vision, blind, and users of alternate input devices).

No one has perfected an accessible JavaScript WYSIWYG editor. The CKEditor – which is expected to be included with Sakai 2.8 – is generally accessible, however can require significant effort on the part of an adaptive technology user to learn how to use it effectively. It is the most accessible WYSIWYG editor we have tested. A less obvious, but big plus with the CKEditor, is that users would gain the advantage of being able to paste documents into the editor from more accessible external editors (like MS Word) that they are likely much more competent at using with their adaptive technologies.

Sakai Tools Requiring Improved Accessibility

Some tools still need work to improve their accessibility. These include the following:

  • Administrative Tools (Users, Aliases, Sites, Realms, M, On-Line, Memory, Site Archive)
  • Calendar
  • Drop Box
  • Forums
  • My Workspace--Profile
  • Roster
  • Tests & Quizzes
  • Wiki
  • Signup

Sakai has been tested with current versions of JAWS using both Internet Explorer and Firefox. Compliance has also been evaluated using manual code inspection, the Firefox Accessibility Extension add-on, the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation tool, and W3C Validator in order to continually improve accessibility.

Results from Previous Accessibility Reviews

Accessibility Issues


As we find problems, we put them in the Jira queue for repair (jira is the system used for issue and bug tracking related to Sakai development).

Note: The lists may contain some items that do not relate to accessibility, due to Jira's text based search mechanism.

Several issues remaining to be resolved:

Content Generation

The WYSIWYG editor does not provide a keyboard-based exit from the text input box.

You can view other general issues:

You can view other enhancements by version:

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