WebCT Accessibility Interest Group

Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES) and Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES)

University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

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Teleconference Information

Date: 2006-05-08

Time: 1:30 PM


Hello Everyone,

It is a very critical time for us that we look into the WebCT upcoming release and provide them with accessibility problems we find. We all have worked hard to identify accessibility problems with the WebCT version we are using in our campuses and based on our feedback and recommendations WebCt is going to apply all those feedback in their new release. I know you all are very busy and have a lot on your plates but it is very important that WebCt receives the accessibility feedback on their upcoming release now.

I would like to setup a teleconference for next Monday to talk about the preliminary results of our testing. Please find info about the next teleconference at the end of this e-mail.

Kostas and I have uploaded some materials on the demo server and it is ready for testing. You are very welcome to upload more stuff on the demo server as well.

For now, we have 3 tester groups, namely Erin, Philip/Kim and Kostas/Hadi. I am still waiting for Frances to find out more about 6 potential testers. Saroj student is not available until late may.
I would like to suggest that Erin and Phil/Kim groups pick at least two of the following modules and I will take care of the remaining modules. If I hear from Frances meantime, I will pass the testing of some of the modules to them. So Erin and Phil/Kim, please send a note to the list and let us know what modules you would like to test for accessibility.

Here is the list of modules we would like to test in all 3 modes-- build, teach, and student view:

1. Assessments
2. Assignments
3. Discussions
4. Calendar
5. Class List
6. Learning Modules
7. Learning Objectives
8. Mail
9. Media Library
10. Syllabus
11. My grade
12. announcement

We would like to perform testing each module based on Accessibility Best Practices at:


This will help us to have more consistent accessibility reports and ensure that we all are looking for same accessibility problems.
Here is the summary of the Accessibility Best practices organized in 5 major categories:

1. Navigation and orientation:
   * Unique Titles. Does each page have a unique title?
   * Major/Minor Topics. Is major and minor sections in a page are identifiable using H2-H6 elements?
   * Menus. Do navigation bars are easily identifiable and navigatable? Is UL element is used for creating them? or do they have any kind of heading like H2?
   * Form Labels. Do form controls (textbox, combobox, radio box, check box) have proper LABEL markup? (very important)
   * Language. Does the module honor change of language in multi language content? (for screen reader testers)
   * Links. Do link texts provide a clear indication of the target of the link? For example, do they say if they open in a new window? Or do they say "click here", and etc?
   * Data Tables. Are data cells are associated with the corresponding column and/or row headings using ID and HEADERS attributes? (very important for large data tables)
   * Access Keys. Is any access key defined and if yes, is it being used consistently across the application?
   * Frames. Do frames have proper name and/or title? Do frame name/title provide the relationship between frames? Do the number of frames seem to be reasonable?

2. Text Equivalence
   * Informational graphics. Do informational graphics have proper alternative information as ALT or TITLE attribute?
   * Buttons. Do buttons have proper text labels? Are on-screen label for buttons are consistant with ALT or TITLE attributes used for them? Note that some buttons have very different on-screen label and ALT or TITLE attributes like "Begin Assessment".
   * Icons. Do icons have proper alt tag info? Note that you do not want Alt attribute for icons that are links and followed by a regular link to the same target; otherwise, you will end up with redundant links.

3. Styling
   * Inline formatting. Do you see any Inline formatting markups such as FONT, SIZE, COLOR, TEXT, BGCOLOR, B, etc>
   * Layout table. Are tables used for layout?
   * CSS. Is CSS used for styling the content?

4. Scripting:
   * Keyboard. Can every links, buttons,and forms be reached?
   * onChange event handler. Can a desired item be selected without user control?
   * Refresh/redirect. Does any page refresh or redirected without user interaction?

5. Standards
   * Doctype. Does every page have a valid doctype?
   * Default language. Does every page has a default language definition?
   * Charset. Does every page have a default charset definition?

Info about the next teleconference:

Date: Monday May 8 2006
Time: 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM CDT (Chicago Local Time)
Phone: 217 265-9181



Hope I got everything, this was a difficult one to keep up with, all the
talking.  Please add or edit what I have missed

Notes from conference call 5/8/2006
Erin O'Driscoll, Excelsior College
Kimerly J Wilcox, University of Minnesota
Philip Kragnes, University of Minnesota
Lisa Fedor, North Carolina State University
David Schwarte, Purdue University
Robert Dumas, WebCT
Saroj Primlani, North Carolina State University
Konstantinos Nikos Yfantis, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
Jon Gunderson, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
Hadi Bargi Rangin, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

Hadi welcomed everyone, he appreciated that it was exam time and thanked
everyone for their support.  He realized last week everyone was busy with
accessibility testing, however some may not have had time.
Erin??- she could not get on the server and has no access to a screen reader
so could only test the tab order.
Hadi -  that testing works well both the disabled person and non-disabled
person be at the same place and talked about Jon had created tools so that
testing could be done without AT?? One model for testing WebCT complicates
the matter.
Jon - the tool involved taking a snapshot of different screens and using web
based form to test for code at page level.  Combine the snapshots of
different configuration of pages and develop a combined report.
Someone - that the logo on the demo box was showing new version of campus
edition not WebCT Vista.
Robert-that both had the same code base, with Vista having added
functionality at the back.   Logo does not give the alt tag, however it is
just banded for CE.
Jon - we need to organize our effort and have consistent reporting structure
so as not to miss any module.
 Kim /Phil - covered the first screen found problems immediately.
Hadi -not cover actual problems but how to report.
Kostas- experience tested few hours for most part while Hadi took notes and
tested using screen reader.  They identified issues that could be addressed.
Tested main page, students home page, url, assessments, but not grade.  They
took extensive note using the rubric Hadi sent out.  Used the rubric and
tested similar to webform Jon spoke about.  Now need to decide on the report
format.  .
Kim/Phil reported some good stuff, controls were well labeled, frame names
were 5 and 6 words long over kill, could be shortened.  Un-label graphics,
calendar, link graphic small close tab.  Another series of course related
links, working on My_WebCT page.  Not much content there.  Series of links
expand collapse after links are listed, were very confusing.  To-do list was
very awkward to work, heard item name, priority # and then action column
(heard 1 view, 2 view, 3 view etc).  Table should be designed with three
columns, with event name in first column as row header.  Then when the event
name would be associated with action
Robert- few weeks demo server up and running, all the problems Hadi had sent
had been resolved
Hadi- found same problem, how can we verify the changes are made.
Robert- demo server is being used by other products and cannot be rebuilt
everytime changes are made
Hadi- so how do we know changes have been resolved, is there any way to
verify changes
 Robert- will check to see if he can find some options. Robert has seen
changes, and has access to daily build
Can we have access to the new build? Robert- he did not think so but will
try and find some options.
 Some issues images without text descriptions and links without description,
information and comments about these links.
  Hadi -wondering latest version of web form if it was too generic.. Did you
find not relevant, add to it or change it.
Jon - add tab navigation bars, unique titling of pages, marking up
navigation bars, no headers??  Will try to incorporate a long list of check
Reporting testing in a standard format. following items
Page or tool
List of issues
Suggestions correction
Comparison with UIC best practices
Rating critical to nice to have (priority 1, problem 2, etc)
Priority does not reflect personal preference
Robert what priority of what needs to be fixed.
QA headings have already been done, we should give subjective opinions
rather than that heading is absent.
Like suggestion and everyone test against same criteria
Review of testing
Kostas and Hadi have done accessibility testing for first module,
Phil will do calendar
David take care of one of the modules - learning
Kevin Price committed to one module
 Brain will to do syllabus
Erin take care of module mail tool/discussion similar.  Mail not a big
module to test, discussion tool has higher priority -
Phil -every time message posted every message is read read,
media library??
Kim- only multiple choice question, having trouble importing, something pull
in content but does not maintain structure.  Wants to import quiz and it
keep it as a quiz.
List of modules, assisgnments, gradebook,??
Erin would import information, create test every question type, add content
to my grade book.
Jon - conference panel
Robert- reality check cannot not be put any more change into application
pack for next release, as release code has been shut down for stability.
Changes would show up in the next release date end of year, another 6
months.  Wants us to come up with compelling issues that are show stoppers.

Discussion as this was not acceptable as change Hadi gave were preliminary.
Jon -move ahead, resolution on the reporting protocol.  He will create web
page for who is going to do what, web forms common reporting tools view
other peoples report, build a model and keep track of.  The report is not
comprehensive and we need meeting, we must get our issues up, what has been
fixed.. those were implemented as normal build and may have missed some 15
-20 items, addition a quick test quick check they are into the build.  List
current issues list, very what has been done, not been done and reconcile
them with issues.  One issue we are a public forum then WebCT has to look at
its claim for accessibilities.
Phil? - Issues list need to be prioritized; observation go through either,
"I find this confusion and frustration, confusion but doable or  I can't get
pass it.

Next meeting date- Monday same time.  Jon, and David and Philip will be at
conference in July in Chicago July 10 to 14th.    Conference call they can
talk about panel discussion.
Robert will send list of items already included

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