Sakai and Accessibility

Sakai is a learning management system (LMS) created to assist faculty and students by providing online tools for communication, assessment, content delivery, and other learning activities.

Sakai is composed of sites, and each site has a number of tools selected by the site creator. There is also a My Workspace site private to each user, where they can access personal information and change individual settings.

This document is assistive technology agnostic and will briefly describe the different areas of the interface, indicate how these areas are implemented for accessibility, and discuss where additional assistance may be needed.

For specific help with additional assistive technology, please contact the Loyola University Chicago Student Accessibility Center (SAC) and/or Information Technology Services (ITS).

For additional information on Sakai accessibility, visit the Accessibility Working Group on the Confluence Wiki.

Note: The content depicted in images on this page may differ from the Loyola Sakai experience due to the Loyola customization of Sakai. However, the functionality described is the same.

This article describes the following:

For specific help with assistive technologies, please refer to the Loyola Student Accessibility Center to find contact information for groups that can assist you with accessibility accommodations. 

Desktop versus Mobile View

Sakai has responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes, so certain elements only display when an internet browser window is larger than 770 pixels in width.  In the descriptions below, Desktop View will be used to refer to the display when an internet browser window is larger than 770 pixels in width.  Mobile View will refer to the display on smaller windows.

Organization of Sakai

The following features are always present in Sakai:

  • Quick access Skip to... links
  • One of the following two items, depending on whether a user is logged into Sakai:
    1. Before logging in: Login links
    2. After logging in: the View All Sites menu and the user profile picture and name (a menu to access Log Out)
  • List of favorited sites (in Desktop View)
  • Tool Menu for the current site
  • Expand/Collapse Tool Navigation feature (for sighted users on Desktop View)
  • Content area
  • Footer

Important Access Keys for Main Navigation

The major elements of a Sakai site can be accessed via Access keys (see note for more information on how to use Access keys):

Content - This access key takes you to the area that contains the site where you are working.

  • Landmark: main (“Jump to Content”)
  • Access key:  [C]

Tools - Every Sakai site has a Tool Menu with a list of links to the current site tools.

  • Landmark: navigation (“Tools”)  
  • Access key:  [L]

View All Sites menu - After you log in, you can use this menu to access your active sites.

  • Landmark: navigation (“My Sites”)
  • Access key:  [W]

Note: The exact keyboard commands to trigger an Access key depend on the computer operating system and internet browser.  Commonly used browsers tend to use the following commands:

  • Most Windows browsers: Shift + Alt + [the Access key]
  • Most Mac browsers: Ctrl + Option + [the Access key]

The information on Access keys in this note provided by WebAIM.org (opens new window).  You can learn more about Access keys on their website, Keyboard Accessibility © WebAIM (opens new window).

Location: The quick access links are the first three links on the page. They are announced by text-to-speech software after the page title.

These links enable the user to reach frequently used areas of Sakai.

Pictured above is how one of these (normally invisible) links displays on the page if you navigate using the Tab key on your keyboard in Chrome after logging in to Sakai.

Sites

When logged in on Desktop View, the Sites menu follows the Academic alerts icon.

On Mobile View, the Sites menu appears below your profile icon (described next).

You can expand the Sites menu to access your active sites.

Your Profile Picture and Name (Use this menu to log out)

When logged in on Desktop View, your profile picture (which displays as your initials) follows the View All Sites menu.

On Mobile View, your profile picture and is at the top right of the screen.

Selecting your profile picture opens a menu with the following options:

  1. Your profile picture and a Profile link that you can select to edit your picture or profile  
  2. A My Connections link that will take you where you can search for, add, and manage your connections
  3. A Calendar link that will take you to your aggregated calendar for all enrolled sites
  4. A Preferences link that will take you to a page where you can edit your Sakai notifications, time zone, language, and active sites
  5. A Tutorial link to start the Sakai introductory tutorial (this tutorial also appears the first time you log into Sakai)
  6. A Log Out link to log you out and take you to back to the Gateway page of Sakai

Favorite Sites List (on Desktop View)

  • Location:  On Desktop View only, the favorite sites list appears after the Tool Menu.
  • Landmark: navigation (“Sites list begins here”)  
  • Heading: Level 1 (“Sites list begins here”)

This list contains the links to sites you most commonly use.  You can select which sites appear in the list by selecting them as Favorites from the View All Sites menu.  Each favorite site's tab will either take you to the site, or if you Tab to the menu and press the Down arrow key, it will supply you with a submenu of that site’s tools so that you can go straight to that tool on the selected site.

Using the Up and Down arrow keys, you can navigate the submenu to the site specific tool links. These links can be activated using the Enter key.

If you have a large number of favorite sites, only the first 15 sites will display in this list.

Tool Menu for the Current Site

  • Location: On Desktop View, the Tool Menu appears to the left of the screen. On Mobile View, it can be accessed by selecting Tools near the top of the screen.
  • Landmark: navigation (“Tools list begins here”)
  • Heading: Level 1 (“Tools list begins here”)
  • Access key: [L]

Pictured above is the Tool Menu of a Home site, in Desktop view (left) and Mobile view (right).

Note: The Help tool will always be present as the last item in the Tool Menu for any site. (In Mobile View, Help is the last option in the Tools drop-down menu. In Desktop View, Help is the last option in the Expand/collapse tool navigation menu to the left of the page.) This enables quick access to the Sakai Help documentation.

Expand/Collapse Tool Navigation (for Sighted Users, on Desktop View)

expand-collapse

Location: On Desktop View only, at the bottom of the screen underneath the Tool Menu is a button to collapse or expand the menu.  When collapsed, the Tool Menu displays with icons only and no text.

The Expand/Collapse Tool Navigation button display switches between << (to collapse the Tool Menu) and >> (to expand the Tool Menu).

Note: Using the Expand/Collapse Tool Navigation button will have no effect on page navigation for users of screen reading software, as all tools will still be available and announced.

Content Area

The content area comes after the Tool Menu.  

  • Location: In Desktop View, the content displays to the right of the Tool Menu.  In Mobile View, the content appears underneath the Tools link.
  • Landmark: main
  • Heading: Level 1 “Content begins here”
  • Access key: [C]

For most tools, the content area includes:

  1. The title of the tool you are currently viewing.  This is also a Refresh Tool link that returns to the main page of the tool when selected.  Pictured above is an example of an Assignments (Refresh Tool) link.
  2. The title will be followed by a Help button, which opens a new tab or window (depending on your internet browser preferences) with inline documentation for the selected tool.

Access Keys to Navigate the Content Area

Most content views use some or all of these Access keys:

  • Delete, remove, or cancel - Access key: [X]
  • Edit or revise -  Access key: [E]
  • Help -   Access key: [0]
  • Refresh -   Access key: [U]
  • Save -  Access key: [S]
  • View or preview -  Access key: [V]

Note: The exact keyboard commands to trigger an Access key depend on a computer operating system and internet browser.  Commonly used browsers tend to use the following commands:

  • Most Windows browsers: Shift + Alt + [the Access key]
  • Most Mac browsers: Ctrl + Option + [the Access key]

The information on Access keys in this note provided by WebAIM.org (opens new window).  To learn more about Access keys, visit Keyboard Accessibility © WebAIM (opens new window).

The footer contains the following:

  • A link to the Loyola University Chicago website
  • Copyright information for the Sakai software
  • Jump to top arrow, which will take you back to the top of the page

Note: These links may differ based on your institution's customization of Sakai. 

Rich Text Editor Accessibility

In most areas of Sakai where text can be entered, the Rich Text Editor to edit and format text, add links, images, and media.

Steps to access the Rich Text Editor toolbar with a keyboard are included in What are some keyboard shortcuts for the Rich Text Editor?

Instructions for Enlarging Screen Elements and Modifying Colors and Contrast

To enlarge screen elements such as text and images, use the browser zoom function. Sakai will work well up to 200% zoom.

For a higher level of magnification, or to augment the cursor/pointer, consider a third-party magnifier such as MAGic (opens new window) or ZoomText (opens new window).

To change color and contrast settings, use the computer operating system settings, browser settings, or preferred browser plug-ins.  

Additional Support

For further support or accessibility resources, contact the Loyola University Chicago Student Accessibility Center (SAC) or Information Technology Services (ITS).