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  • Accessibility WG Teleconference Minutes 06-02-2011
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  • Scott Williams
  • Gonzalo Silverio
  • Joe Humbert
  • Brian Richwine
  • Mary Stores


  • Brian Richwine received the Sakai fellowship. More information can be found here
  • The rest of the Accessibility WG appreciates the fact that Scott Williams has the knowledge to use VoiceOver to test the accessibility of tools in Sakai.

CKEditor Accessibility concern

  • Walt was trying to set up a table with the CKEditor when creating a pole.
  • He found it difficult to orient himself in the table because of no table headers.
  • He was unsure of where text entries were being placed in the table.
  • Brian says there is a dialog box that allows the user to create table headers. JAWS also announces what column and row the user is in.
  • Scott will meet with Walt personally to get more information.

Sakai 3

  • Mary and Brian met with a Sakai 3 team, and it was a good initial meeting.
  • Mary and Brian made connections, learned what to expect, who to communicate with, and listened to the opinion of the Sakai 3 team concerning how accessible the site is now.
  • Mary and Brian are going through and figuring out the overarching accessibility concerns, but a more thorough review will be done later.
  • Walkthrough scripts are being written by Brian based on use cases since there are no specific tools to test.
  • Initial Sakai 3 reviews are posted on the wiki.
  • Joe will go through some of the walkthroughs with Dragon Naturally Speaking, and Mary will use screen readers (mostly JAWS).
  • After the scripts are done, it would be good if Scott could go over them with VoiceOver.
  • There are fundamental accessibility mistakes in the web site design. For example, huge chunks are not keyboard accessible.
  • There are incorrectly semantically coded items, so they don't show up in a links or forms dialog, making navigation difficult for screen reader users.
  • There are a lot of things where it isn't obvious that a user can interact with the items.
  • Joe is going to mock up example of handling form validation errors.
  • Gonzalo would like to be a tester for Sakai 3.
  • For the upcoming Sakai conference, Brian would like to use Jing videos to show how a web developer can test for accessibility errors.
  • A lot of the accessibility testing tools that seem to work well in Sakai 2 do not seem to work in Sakai 3.
  • A lot of things that are not visible on the screen still show up to accessibility tools. For example, when logging in, Mary sees both messages that the username is available and the username is not available, even though CSS is set to DisplayNone for one of the messages.

Sakai 2.9 Accessibility Review

  • Joe hopes to submit comments about the Microsoft Word document by Tuesday.
  • The Chat portal should not even be looked at by this point. It is not going to make it. The code is static.

Sakai Accessibility documentation

  • The link to the Sakai 2.7 VPAT has been posted.
  • Volunteers are needed to look through it and see if they agree with the format and content.
  • If no one objects, Brian can write one up for Sakai 2.8.
  • More documentation is needed from people outside of IU: if there is knowledge on creating accessible course materials and can share that information, this would be a good resource for Sakai.
  • It's important because students see a lot of PDFs, Word docs, etc.

Ongoing Accessibility Issues

Action Bars and VoiceOver

  • The Accessibility WG is considering recommending removing the ARIA menu role from the action bars.
  • After reviewing ARIA documentation to determine what a menu is supposed to be, the action bars fit into the navigation landmark category on 90% of the tools looked at by the WG.
  • Brian was wondering about adding ARIA describedby and a navigation landmark.
  • It could be used so it's name is actions bar and it could be distinguished from the worksites list and my Workspace.
  • Joe has been looking into the way the RSS and printing icons have been coded that weren't working well for VoiceOver users.


  • Kiran Kumar, a student employee, has been working on the Add and Action Menus for the Resources tool.
  • He was working on seeing if jQuery UI widget worked on that.
  • keyboard accesssibility had to be improved on that widget.
  • Testing of the results of Kiran's work have been tested with both JAWS and VoiceOver, and the results are good.
  • We have started working with Gonzalo on getting that plugged on to sakai.


  • There is a fix for the keyboard trap issue.
  • Put comment in fckeditor configuration files about accessibility opportunity in tab key handling
  • Should the same information be in the Sakai Administrator documentation ?

Meaningful Symbols Instead of ASCII Text

  • Fixes are now in for the Assignments and Announcements tools, but more Jira sub-tasks need to be created in order to fix them.


  • Joe and Gonzalo are working on this issue.
  • Many tables lack row headers, contain blank columns or have incorrect table summaries.
  • Table layout is also inconsistent.


  • Forumns are still difficult to navigate, because it is hard for a screen-reader user to distinguish topics from threads, for example.

Multiselect Elements

  • It may be difficult or impossible to select multiple e-mail addresses.
  • Since JAWS 12 has been released, Mary has had no problem selecting multiple recipients using IE* and Windows XP.
  • However, the experience may still be difficult for other screen-reader users, so a walkthrough script will need to be created to test this.

Pop-up Messages/Tool Tips

  • The WG needs to identify use cases and corresponding best practices for each.
  • The WG will create and test best practice models.
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