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: 2005-11-14

Time: 1:30 PM


Hello Everyone,

Robert has spoken to their QA manager and he is available to join us at the next teleconference.
Robert, thank you very much for arranging it.
After the interesting discussion from last teleconference, it is the time to discuss all methods and procedures they are currently using and potential functional
testing procedures that can ensure the accessibility of the programs or modules they are testing. So please think about more functional testing procedures
and share them with us at the next teleconference.

You can find the functional testing we are suggesting at:


Info about the next teleconference:

Date: Monday November 14 2005
Time: 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM CST (Chicago Local Time)
Phone: 217 265-6999

Suggested topics:

1. Functional testing procedures
2. Multi language content (English/Arabic)
3. More accessibility improvement suggestions?

Please send any relevant topics you would like to discuss at the telemconference.

Thank you.


Teleconference November 14th, 2005 of the WebCT Accessibility Interest Group

Hadi Bargi Rangin, Chair
Jon Gunderson, Scribe
Philip M. Kragnes, Minnesota
Robert Dumas, WebCT
Jodi Roberts, Mississippi State
Steven Michaud, WebCT
David Schwarte, Purdue
Konstantinos Nikos Yfantis, UIUC
Saroj Primlani, NCSU
Kimerly J Wilcox, Minnesota
Lisa Fiedor (joining late), NCSU

Allen Marsha
Adrian Wehmeyer

HR: Welcome Steven

ITEM #1 Functional testing procedures
SM: We have a two teir approach for accessibility, so we can check for accessibility as we can
SM: We do outsource some accessibility testing to a third party, that supply a section 508 

SM: We have a twenty page test documents
RD: Just to be clear, we do not have a full blown accessibility testing
SM: We do spot checking with screen readers, we do manual testing like with the keyboard
RD: Partly what we are doing here is just looking something after it has been identified as a 

RD: We may ant to setup an additional test suite for accessibility and make it part of the 

default testing.  Can this group help Steven in making the QA testing.
RD: Steve I sent the URL to you.
RD: Hadi can we go through this list
HR: We like to have accessibility out of the box, we agree with RD, we want testing integrated 

into the QA testing.  I know that fixing bugs is hard.
PK: What does testing with accessibility mean.  Section 508 compliance testing does not mean 

that is functionally accessible.
RD: The section 508 does allow us to say that we meet the standard, but this is often not enough
PK: The section 508 is just a guidelines or goals
HR: When I worked for a company they did not include people with disabilities, so this is a new 

way of thinking.  The accessibility laws in this country though require accessibility for 

DS: I have looked at the issues, and I have worked on accessibility in the telecon industry and 

IBM on accessibility issues.  The big issue is getting executives to allocate the resources.
RD: We need to work on management buy,
DS: Time and resources is the big issue and this group can help us to focus our resources.
HR: Thats good, SP do you have any comments
SP: If you do this functional testing, you will not need to do the external Sectino 508 testing.
RD: We need to do the testing anyway
SP: We can't get away with poor accessibility for our students
HR: Can you explain the process of QA, do you try to access functions using the keyboard
SD: We do have as part of all of our test suites the tab navigation to functions and default 

field.  If you can tab to all the active fields, we can cover 90% of this requirement.  But 

there is also an efficiency issue, how can people cancel out and have focus put back in the same 

HR: There are many areas of the program that are not keyboard accessible like the discussion and 

e-mail system.
SD: We report the problems and it is up to management to allocate the reources.  Depending on 

the phase of things are found, keyboard support may not make the keyboard.
KW: The discussion system is widely used.
SD: A lot of the feedback we get from people who purchase the product, is new features and not 

on accessibility.  This forum is giving us feedback.
HR: What does first line administrators mean?
SD: The person who signs the check, not the indivdiual users
HR: What about onChange events
RD: I definitely get information on these things from QA.  I often get change requests from QA.  

Like inconsistencies in design.  They look for them and provide information to me.
SD: We are moving forward in improving the consistency i the new design.
PK: What happens when you are using keyboard navigation when using or not using assistive 

technology.  For example in a screen reader, you need to go into a forms mode, and having dual 

functions for the same keystroke is very confusing.
SD: Adaptive technologies like screen readers, I have not done that personally, there are people 

on my staff that know more.  These different layers of software, many times it is JAWS 

intepreting things incorrectly.  Pilot error.
SP: We have suggested that we do some of the testing.
SD: Thats an offer I am more than willing to take up.
SP: Different people can pick up different ATs other than screen readers, and how certain 

features degrade when magnified.
SD: I often need to pick and choose in terms of what technologies to check.
PK: You cannot specify a particular assistive technology
SD: Right, but we can only test so many
KW: If you choose something someone is not using it is the wrong one for them
SJ: The differences between screen readers is keyboard
JG: We do know there is differences between screen readers 
RD: You can help us test with a wider range of technologies, without a group like this it would 

be much more difficult to do
RD: We would like to open up one of the stable servers for testing
SD: Yes
JR: Is this for Vista 4, or another future list
RD: Yes
PK: What about the problems of your design getting changed
RD: We have been working on this and the HTML validation.  In my group we design features and 

the initial HTML.  We do a validation for accessibility and standards confomrance.  It is sent 

to developers foe encoding into JSP.  Then we get the code back and we check it.  The one thing 

we were not soing, but we are doing now is doing another validation check at that point.  During 

the UI clean up or QA phase another validation be done.
PK: I was wondering if there is a functional description, they can look at it and say this the 

functionality has been implemented.
RD:  QA takes the function specs and in concert with product managers develop a set of QA tests.
I am just trying to think of an angle here.  When you have a feature or a specification for a 

specific tool... The more application wide features for accessibility the more QA subsets have 

to be defined.  
PK: To me that would be over whelming, but we want to make sure that some things are NOT done, 

like onChange events.
RD: We do a search on those event handlers, and we make sure they are fixed.
SP: We can use validators to do that testing for you.  We use some automated tools to do this.
HR: Is HTML validation part fo the QA process?
DS: We are starting to use tools for dynamic accessibility testing, like the firefox 

accessibility extension
HR: What is your general opinion about the requirements
DS: It is not out of sync with what we want to do it, I will work with RD on making sure we can 

do the maximum testing for the resources we have.  Hopefully we will be able to do everything, 

but when push comes to shove what should we use our resources on.
SP: Are you asking us to prioritize
DS: You have a number of different sections, when we have specific problems, we need some help 

in saying which problem is more important to fix.
HR: It is difficult to say which is more important, since different disabilities have different 

KW: No easy answers.
RD: They are all priority 1, I need them all
DS: When it comes down to the last few days before we ship it helps to get opinons on what is 

more important
HR: It is very difficult to prioritize these items.
RD: What I am hoping to get out of this meeting is to review the list with Steven and try to 

help him get these into the QA testing.  This is a test suite for full keyboard.  I know right 

now we are getting better and making sure that QA is checking before something goes out the 

door.  QA is the last defence before a product goes out the door.
HR: Any other comments on functional testing?
RD: I will keep SD in the discussion and trying to organize a company meeting to help developers 

and managers.
HR: I would like to visit
RD: Maybe HR you could do the meeting
HR: Thank you SD for attending and for integrating functional testing into the QA process.
HR: What about the next meeting?  
RD: We are still writing code.
HR: There is the expanding menu issue and the focus changing issue.
SD: We are aware of the expandable menu problem.  
HR: I was talking to Jon about it, but how do other people feel about it.
SD: It is both a usability and accessibility issue.  It is anoying to everyone.
HR: Next meeting?
RD: Not next week.
Next meeting December 5th.

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