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RA11y Plan (Review Accessibility Plan)

MS Word alternative version - rA11yPlan.docx 

The RA11Y Plan (Review Accessibility Plan) is an initiative by the Sakai Accessibility Working Group to commission a substantive review of Sakai’s accessibility by an NFB-like group with a goal of obtaining a certification, including a VPAT and WCAG2-based review, that would assure potential adopters and current users alike.  Sakai has a good history of accessibility but resources are limited and new developments in Sakai need to be reviewed and brought up to standard.


Some institutions have already contributed funds.  More is needed and community input about priorities is welcome. 
Our goal is US$61,000 as this matches some of the quotes we’ve received for the review and some assumptions made about the work that needs to be done in response to the review.

Phased Plan

Timeline of rA11y Plan

Timeline updated November 9, 2017


  1. Review and Identify

2. Fix and Enhance

3. Comprehensive Review for VPAT & WCAG2

  • Generate prioritized and comprehensive review of remaining unaudited areas of Sakai
  • Identify potential contributors
  • Create/adapt test scenarios for reviewers

    Existing Resources:
  • Use 2013 Brock University partial audit
  • Use 2013 Longsight partial audit
  • Ongoing community reports
  • Identify work and other requirements associated with reported JIRAs
  • Make enhancements in response to itemized reports (JIRAs). Requires contributions from community at large & tool leads
  • Incorporate replacement components in assessments (ie. Syllabus enhancements, Morpheus project)
  • Verify the likelihood of a successful review (this could result in a VPAT1)
  • Select a reviewer to provide an audit and a statement of success, like the NFB
  • Commission a review

As items are identified and resolved issues and tools will move through parts one and two. All parts will need resources. Areas of Sakai might move through phases one and two at different paces, but they should culminate in phase three together.
As the Longsight partial audit is incorporated, a revised list of unreviewed areas of Sakai can be generated, prioritized based on the 2014 tool use survey and the scope of a complementary partial review can be identified. Based on the prioritized list, the new partial review project cost can estimated and the estimate used to seek contributions.
The partial review will no doubt identify issues that need resolution before a full review and accessibility statement can be sought. Additional contributions responding to these issues will be needed. Contributions would include modifying components directly or contributing funds to support work by commercial partners.

A recording of the update webinar can be found on YouTube.



  • Short term, Winter 2015
  • Medium term, Winter 2015 ~ Summer 2015
    • Encourage work on identified issues from the short term.
    • Fundraise for partial accessibility audit and remaining issues in Sakai.
    • Commission partial audit of Sakai.
    • Identify the scope and resources required for identified work.
    • Encourage work on newly identified issues.
  • Long term, After Completion of Phases 1 and 2.
    • Phases 1 - Fall and Winter of 2015
      • Verify that Sakai is ready to be reviewed and seek an accessibility statement
        • Create a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) as a self study before submission for a full review and interim certification.
      • Agree on a reviewer like the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) or a similar established commercial reviewer.
      • Fundraise for full review
    • Phase 2 - Summer and Winter 2016
      • Commission full review
      • Work to address idenfited issues
  • Outcome
    • Verification or conditional statement of accessibility from a reviewer like NFB and confirmed or conditional WCAG 2 Level AA status for Sakai.

1 VPAT - Voluntary Product Accessibility Template - {+}
2 Sakai Jira - {+}

Issues Identified

453 instances have been consolidated to 51 JIRA-issues, listed below or searchable in Sakai's JIRA

Some trends of key issues have been identified:


Total: 61 . Chart by: Assignee
Total: 61 . Chart by: Resolution

Full List

Key Summary T Created Updated Due Assignee Reporter P Status Resolution



Early Fall 2015 Update

Fully funded!

The $61,000 and 60 hours of in-kind development time have been pledged.

Thanks to: Apereo, Durham Tech, Tufts University, Oxford, Pepperdine, Longsight and I should probably thank Brock University.

Next is for members of the accessibility working group to have serious talks with accessibility reviewers.

There are still many ways to contribute: There's participating in decision making process around selecting an accessibility reviewer selection and the opportunity to fund or directly provide development time to respond to the audit results.

A big thanks to those individuals and institutions that have pledged and everyone who has participated in the process.

Summer 2015 Update 2

As of Thursday September 3, 2015 $54,500 and 60 hours of in-kind development time have been pledged!

Matt Clare ( would love to hear from the people or places that can help get us to our goal!

Summer 2015 Update

We are under way and hoping to raise US$61,000.

If support in the form of financial contributions to these costs is possible, please contact Matt Clare ( to let Matt know the amount and so that the Apereo Foundation can prepare an invoice and set up electronic transfers.

March 2015 Update

Progress on this project continues.  The  accessibility reviews of previous versions of Sakai that have been made public, notably Brock University’s and Longsight’s, have been incorporated into  Most issues have been reviewed and some have already had work completed on them for Sakai 11, and potentially coming updates to Sakai 10.

Donations of funds to support commissioning Phase 1 and Phase 3 reviews are being sought.  Resources in any form are appreciated for the fix and enhance portion of Phase 2.

The Sakai Accessibility Working Group is maintaining a list of the review status of unique pages and trying to assign a priority to unreviewed areas.  Crudely, there are 341 unreviewed pages in Sakai 10.  Industry scans have suggested that a worst-case budgetary figure for having each unique web pages professionally reviewed is $100/page.

Inquiries has been made with the following organizations about complitary Phase 1 partial reports and the possibility of a Phase 3 certification statements, starting with a VPAT and then a WCAG 2 Level AA certifications.  Discussions are ongoing, but early positive developments include suggestions that a representative selection of Sakai’s total unique elements maybe be sufficient for certification by some groups.

Status of current vendor inquiries:
  • Deque Systems, Inc.- web contact
  • National Foundation of the Blind - Emailed
  • SSB bart Group - Emailed, phone conversation
  • WebAIM - Emailed, ongoing dialogue 
  • - Web contact
  • Paciello Group - Respectfully declined the opportunity

If you are interested in participating please contact Matt Clare through details outlined on the main page of the Accessibility Working Group.

Matt Clare

Spring 2016 / Open Apereo Con 2016

If you are interested in reviewing the results please contact Matt Clare through details outlined on the main page of the Accessibility Working Group.

There are 452 Issues Detected with guidance on how to address them.

Matt Clare

July 2016

453 instances have been consolidated to 140 JIRA-issues
The export from SSB Bart has been reviewed for:

  • Correct component
  • additional brief community summary
  • additional notes
  • Add {code} {code} and {noformat} as needed

Matt (and any others are welcome) to review with SSB Bart on Delivery Call, Matt’s concern is some of the ARIA/Tabpanel feedback is very vague.

SSB Bart currently asses Sakai 11 (from April 15 2016) as 75% WCAG2 A compliant and 76% WCAG2 AA compliant.

Next steps:
Matt Clare slices the Google Sheet by Sakai Project/Component and imports into JIRA based on this mapping (Screenshot of mapping)
Example of what they look imported to JIRA in a "fake" project

Once import is deemed ready, will import issues per project/component to their areas of JIRA
Will create public searches to reveal rA11y Project across JIRA

Once in JIRA:
Sakai development community alerted to new rA11y related JIRAs. Focus on the quick wins.
Informing others Core team meetings: Every Tuesdays 10AM EST
Alert Sak-dev and Slack
Will host Q&As on issues (ideally common ones)

Matt Clare

August  2016

453 instances have been consolidated to 51 JIRA-issues 
The export from SSB Bart has been reviewed for:
  • Correct component
  • additional brief community summary
  • additional note
  • Add {code} {code} and {noformat} as needed
The complete list of 51 rA11y related JIRAs can be found by searching for the label rA11y (case counts)

Some issues are large in scope, many are seemingly small, such as colour changes ( SAK-31617 - Getting issue details... STATUS ) and CSS class use ( SAK-31549 - Getting issue details... STATUS ) and ideally can represent some swift and significant progress.

A few trends have been identified  "Ensure screen reader specific content is rendered off-screen rather than hidden or not displayed"  has emerged as a wide-ranging issues that might be easy to solve, a
We're hoping that work can begin on these issues within components and projects in the Sakai community.  There are also some funds and pledged time that can be used to address difficult issues, but ideally now that items are identified the resolution is forthcoming through regular means, but those funds and time could be used.

Before the end of 2016 Sakai needs to be ready to be ready to be reviewed and at that time SSB Bart can issues a WCAG 2 Level AA compliance statement, ideally without reservations.

June  2017

Presentation given at Open Apereo 2017.

Look to be on track for WCAG compliance statement and community authored VPAT with Sakai 12 relase.

Apereo 17,Update on Sakai Accessibility and WCAG 2 Status


October 2017

We have commissioned a regression test for Sakai 12 from Level Access, formerly SSB Bart. This will results in a published WCAG 2 Level AA compliance statement, published audit results, and we will create a VPAT based on these results.

Work is to begin in December of 2017 and intended to coincide with the release candidate of Sakai 12 being ready.

Thanks to everyone who have supported this initiative, in both time, direct funds, development time, QA time, and support.  This includes, but is certainly not limited to, people associated with the following organizations

  • Apereo
  • Brock University
  • Durham Tech
  • Illinois State University
  • Longsight
  • NYU
  • Pepperdine
  • Tufts University
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of Virginia
  • and more...

August 2018

During our last Level Access review, 90% of the originally identified issues had been resolved. However, a number of newly identified issues were found which related to new features/code in Sakai 12. These new issues must be corrected before Sakai receives the above mentioned statement of compliance. Resolution of these new issues is the goal for Phase 2 of this project. Please see the recent Open Apereo 2018 presentation for more detail on the current status of a11y efforts.

New issues requiring remediation have been labled "a11y2" in the Sakai Project JIRA. See below for a detailed list of these issues and the current resolution status.

Key Summary T Created Updated Assignee Reporter P Status Resolution



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