Sakai Accessibility Working Group Conference Minutes 11-05-2009


Scott Williams (UMich), Mike Elledge (MSU), Eli Cochran(UC Davis), Brian Richwine (IU), Joe Humbert (IU), Margaret Londergan (IU), Mary Stores (IU).


Notes taken by Mary Stores.

Discussion continued on how to develop new accessibility testing protocols for Sakai 2.x and Sakai 3. Eli mentioned that understanding Sakai's accessibility goals is important to knowing how to proceed.

As far as developing guidelines/recommendations for developers, Eli suggested that developers would benefit best from a checklist like document so they know what actions to take in order to meet goals for accessibility design.

Brian made a request to gather materials for developing an accessibility testing protocol that would better fit a web application like Sakai 3. Mike suggested looking at the WAI-ARIA best practice document. Eli and Mike mentioned they would send protocols they know of to the list.

Discussion turned to the WYSIWYG editors TinyMCE and the CKEditor (latest version of the FCKeditor) and markdown/Wiki text-based editors. The fckEditor used in current versions of Sakai is inaccessible and there has been some recent conversation on Sakai email lists about upgrading it to its latest version (the CKEditor now at version 3.0.1), which claims to be accessible.

The ATC's Web Accessibility team did a quick investigation of the CKEditor (using the demo version found on the site) with JAWS, and found that while it is an improvement over the FCKeditor, that several accessibility issues exist. While the CKEditor is somewhat usable to users with disabilities, it is only so with restricted abilities and through much annoyance. Some issues noted include:

It was noted that Mary has had better success using the WYSIWYG TinyMCE editor. (The TinyMCE editor appears to be in use on the Sakai 3 demo server.)

Both the CKEditor and the TinyMCE editors can be configured to allow the user to toggle between editing in the WYSIWYG mode and a text only mode (HTML, Wiki Markup, etc.).

It was determined that no matter which type of editor is used students will experience a learning curve because of the keystrokes needed to mark up the document. (The ATC sent their initial findings on the accessibility of CKEditor to the Accessibility WG email list on November 4.)

Near the end of the meeting, Eli proposed that the Accessibility working group develop Sakai's accessibility goals and criteria by the next regular meeting (in 2 weeks). It was suggested that the Accessibility Working Group's wiki space on confluence be used for this effort's workspace. Eli will put a document up on the space which will outline how work on developing the accessibility goals can begin.