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: 2006-10-16

Time: 1:30 PM CDT


1. Welcome; organizational points
2. Report on EduCause by those members attended
3. Accessibility & Help in WebCT environment; a draft work from David Schwarte
4. Recording accessibility problem and the their status
5. Selecting a tab/navigating to a tab

I will be also very thankful if you could look into the accessibility problem called
• Issue 3: Selecting a tab/navigating to a tab.


I would like that we do some brain storming on this subject. I have listed 3 ways of selecting/navigation to a tab and I would like to discuss these 3 methods and potentially other solutions.



WebCT Meeting Notes

Date Monday, October 16, 2006
By: Saroj Primlani

* Lisa Fiedor
* Jon Gunderson
* Saroj Primlani
* David Schwarte
* Kimerly Wilcox
* Konstantinos Yfantis
* Hadi Rangin

* Philip Kragne 
* Erin O'Driscoll

Discussion on whether we need to have biweekly meeting.  What do want to do, what we want fixed of keep up with Robert if things have been fixed.  Questions whether we need to meet in two weeks. The part of the problem is the turn around time it takes to work with Robert as everything has to be done by email as even Hadi does not have access to phone number
Saroj- cannot always make the meeting
David- He needs time to some of the task and needs to make time to do it.  
Jon and Hadi had a discussion about the time it takes to work on the product and  accessibility and should a Hadi commented if this would help CIO’s understand that person be dedicated to accessibility.  
Scribe for the next meeting – Oct 30th David.
Kim’s boss attended and she has not had time to debrief her.
Saroj on Educause -  felt while the letter writing campaign of last fall never materialized it appears to have had some effect as there were a few sessions on accessibility, including one on Designing Accessible Web Pages and accessibility has been added as one of the issues on the call for papers for next year.  The session attendance was better, people had questions on how to bring faculty on board.  The discussion on the round table was on web accessibility and accessibility of on line tools and applications.  Suggestion was made for people to think about consortia similar to WebCT and to join ATHEN.
The vendors in general appeared to know about accessibility and some are keen to get help.  They commented that they try to meet section 508 without understanding functional needs of people with disabilities or even the assistive technology used.  Elluminate mentioned that they were using it as a marketing tool and had been demonstrating real-time capturing during the conference.
Jon made a suggestion that may be we should right a paper comparing the accessibility of the various LMS like WebCT, Blackboard and Desie2Learn that are been currently evaluated by different groups in this consortia.
Hadi mentioned World Accessible Day, email sent by Daniela  and wondered if anyone knew about it.  Saroj thought it would be a good idea if we could do something in general rather than focus only on WebCT, as that would be a great marketing tool for them.
Discussion turned to testing product
David- has not had the time to get into the product 
Hadi mentioned Robert was not there and not able to get status of the problems as they are not updating the changes on the demo server.  He had turned in some recent issues.
Discussion turned to evaluation methods.  Hadi uses two different methods, one Page Evaluation Form customized for WebCT application (http://www.cita.uiuc.edu/collaborate/webct/forms/pagelevel.php) which gives a good overview of static pages but does not work well for dynamic pages.  He records problems individually for example a single page like course home page has multiple issue and we are recording issues individually, he does not like it as it not giving status of the page.  Would like to brainstorm how we can improve the recording of issues.  Jon said he took a snapshot of a page in a particular state and took the web form and reported that particular state.  Screen shot associated with the report and shows what part of the application they are in.  The page titles are not dynamically updated and therefore it is hard to track and report dynamic page feedback modification.  
Jon asked Kosta about the web form – very detailed and takes more time, but is essential to record.  Form forces people to be diligent.  No suggestion to improve it.  Jon suggested to that they publish the evaluation forms.  Asked for opinion.
The form version was not in existence when David evaluated if same form used issues list can point to the form.  Give Title of issues, issue and comment, for example evaluation on heading issues.  Point to the URI in the form; put a link to the previous evaluation.  It is easy to update the evaluation by linking to it.   Report should have a link to the evaluation.  Database says see individual report and added link to the FAE.  Go through the evaluation using the tools and feedback to see if they work.  Have a consistent evaluation and better issues list.  Current thinking is based on web 1.1 and need to move to web 2.0 as they do not translate easily from 1.0 and we may want to explore those and find what works.  
Next meeting – go through the meeting and step through using the tools evaluating with 
Jon asked Hadi to send out the links to the forms and beta version with the Firefox tools with a link the FAE to the list.
Multi tab windows very popular on the web.  What is the best way of representing suggested 3 ways, create headings Brain storm multi-tab is getting very popular and need to recommend to vendors especially WebCT,  Share new ideas.  Web tabs very difficult for blind and visually impaired.  David said that they had been dealing with them for 3 years.  Come up with a good solution – current technology and future technology.  Future will have contracts called tab and the accessibility API will expose  
Trend to engineered accessibility API no screen scraping and all of the screen information will be through API.  Future, we need to deal with windows and screen readers.

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