WebCT Accessibility Interest Group

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

University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

All Teleconferences

Teleconference Information

Date: 2006-10-30

Time: 1:30 PM CST


Last spring as we revisited the accessibility of Vista 4, only a few modules were covered namely Assessment, Calendar, Discussion, and Learning Module. Some members agreed to cover other modules but because of whatever reasons they couldn't do it. 

I checked with Robert at several occasions and it seems that accessibility reports we create based on WebCT Accessibility Evaluation Form at


works for him and his developers. We have still the following modules to evaluate:

1. Syllabus
2. Announcements
3. Assignments
4. Class List 
5. Learning Objectives 
6. Mail
7. Media Library
8. Grade Book

Depending on the number of participants I would like that every of us takes one module and evaluate it during the teleconference. We know that the Accessibility Evaluation Form does not all potential accessibility problems but it is a good start to have more consistent reports. Ideally we would like to have better and more comprehensive evaluation form. Today's session can give us an opportunity to improve the form questionnaire. For most questions an "Yes" answer is positive and "No" means negative; so the recipient of the report can quickly find out how good or bad he/she is doing. However, it is not the case for all questions; some questions can not easily be formulated to meet the above criteria. So if you find a chance to review the questions before the teleconference, please send me your feedback and I can make the necessary change before the teleconference starts.

1. Every person or group selects a module for evaluation. I strongly recommend that those with vision impairment work as a group together during this session.

2. Please familiarize yourselves with the page evaluation form and its questions at:

3. Please familiarize yourselves also with the module you would like to evaluate (listed above). We will be working on Vista 4 version located at:


Select "Product Management" from the institution list and then login using the following username/password:

[This portion of content has been removed due to security reason; please contact me at hadi@uiuc.edu to obtain the username/password or read the e-mail sent to the mailing list.]

4. Install Firefox Accessibility Extension at:


There are a few ways to install the FireFox Accessibility Extension but the easiest way is to install it directly from the web. Here's the instruction:

Direct from the Web:

This is the easiest method, but it is blocked by default by Firefox for security reasons. To use this method, one must allow this website to install extensions.
A dialog box will still allow the user to cancel any installation.

a. Open a Mozilla/Firefox browser window
b. Go to the Accessibility Extension install file URL
c. A dialog will appear and, after a pause, you may select "Install Now" to install the Accessibility Extension
d. Close all Firefox/Mozilla browser windows
e. Restart Mozilla/Firefox; the accessibility extension should be available

5. Make sure that you are logged into the vista4 demo server and have loaded the Accessibility Evaluation Form before the teleconference starts. This will save us a lot of time.

My dear visually impaired friends, expect a lot of frustration during the evaluation process. You won't be able to click on some links while using Firefox
and you might need to run a parallel IE session at the same time. As you know under IE sometimes you have to wait very long until jaws responses and you
sometimes have to switch back and forth between your session and another one to hear jaws again.

Robert, you have mentioned that some of the reported accessibility problems have been fixed which are not applied to the demo server yet. Could you please
make sure that the demo server is up-to-date by Monday?

Teleconference info:
Date: Monday October 30 2006
time: 1:30 PM CST
Phone: 217 265-5200



WebCT Vista Accessibility Meeting October 30, 2006

* Kostas Yfantis, UIUC
* Hadi Rangin, UIUC
* Jon Gunderson, UIUC
* Phil Kragnes, Minnesota
* David Schwarte, Purdue
* Lisa Fiedor, NC State

* Jenny Blaine
* Erin O'Driscoll
* Don Amos
* Marsha Allen
* Robert dumas
* Kim wilcox

The Next meeting will be Monday November 6.

Meeting schedule for the future        
We should have a regular schedule so everyone can make time on
his/her calendar.          
We should meet twice per month.  The first and third Monday of
each month.  

Hadi reported on a conversation with Robert Dumas
Robert will attempt to get the Vista 4.0 server updated.  He will be out
of the office for the next two weeks so this will not happen in that
Robert will also attempt to set up a meeting between our group and the
WebCT Vista developers.  The developers still do not understand the
importance of testing for accessibility during the development process.

Jon Gunderson suggested that we consider having a chat channel open
during our teleconferences to facilitate the transfer of written
information such as URIs.  He suggested IRC as an option.  We will
consider this at a later meeting.  

We discussed the use of the WebCT Accessibility form located at: <
One of the issues of dealing with applications such as WebCT Vista is
that there is not a specific URI to define where the issue is located.
It is important to carefully describe the location of the issue so there
is no confusion.          
In the future we would like to have functionality in the form to
allow the insertion of screen shots to show the location instead of
writing a description of the location in words.  Jon has successfully
used this technique in the past.            
The form can be saved locally so you can complete a page
evaluation in more than one session.  To save the form; select "Print
View", select "Edit or Update", and then save the form.  If you do not
follow these steps you may lose the information you have already
inserted into the form.        
Please your own email address when filling out the form.  When
you select "Submit" you will be emailed a copy of the form.          
Please email the forms to Hadi when they are completed.     

Jon suggests we download and install a new version of the Firefox
Accessibility Evaluator for testing WebCT Vista.  This version has the
ability to evaluate the entire page regardless of the number of frames.

To use this new feature select: "Accessibility"->"Tools"->"FAE
Configuration"->"Treat all frames as one document"
The "FAE Report" lines up with the items in the form listed earlier.
This should make filling out the form much easier.  
Some minor bugs were noticed during the teleconference.  Jon will
discuss these bugs with the developer and send out a link to an updated
Firefox Accessibility Evaluator in the future.  
The web-based FAE will not work with Vista because Vista requires a
login and pages do not have specific Uri's.

Edit teleconference

Discussion List