Accessibility Information

Sakai is a Learning Management System created to assist faculty and students by providing online tools for communication, assessment, content delivery, etc.

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

This document is assistive technology agnostic and will briefly describe the different areas of the interface, point out how they are implemented for accessibility, and go into more depth where extra assistance may be needed.

If you need specific help with your assistive technology, please contact your institution's office for Disability Student Services and/or Information Technology Services.

This article describes the following:

Desktop versus Mobile View

Sakai has a responsive design to adapt 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.

Sakai Organization

The following are always present in Sakai:

  • Quick access Skip to... links
  • One of the following two items, depending on whether or not you are logged into Sakai:
    1. Before logging in: Login links
    2. After logging in: the My Sites menu and your profile picture and name (a menu you access to Log Out)
  • List of favorite sites (on Desktop View)
  • Tool Menu for the current site
  • Expand/Collapse Tool Navigation button (for sighted users, on Desktop View)
  • Content area
  • Footer

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's tools.

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

My 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 your 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 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.

Please use the chart below to determine which keys to use along with the access keys listed throughout this article.


Windows Mac
Firefox Alt + Shift + key On Firefox 14 or newer, Control + Alt + key
On Firefox 13 or older, Control + key
Internet Explorer Alt + key N/A
Edge Alt + key N/A
Google Chrome Alt + key Control + Alt + key
Safari N/A Control + Alt + key

The Sites Menu

  • Location:  at the top of the screen
  • Landmark: navigation (“Sites begin here ”)  
  • Heading: Level 1 (“Sites begin here ”)
  • Access key: [W]

Note: Access keys will be capitalized for clarity only.

This menu contains the list of sites you belong to. Each menu link will either take you to the site, or if you Tab into the menu and press the Enter key, 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 Tab key, you can navigate the submenu to the site specific tool links. These links can be activated using the Enter key.

The rest of the sites you may be a member of can be found in your Home site. This site is always the first link in the favorite sites list, in the Worksite Setup tool.

The List of Tools for the Current Site

The List of Tools 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 both Desktop View and Mobile View.

Note: The Help tool will always be present as the last item in the Tool Menu no matter what site you are on. This enables quick access to the Sakai help documentation.

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, no text.

The Expand/Collapse Tool Navigation button display switches between << (to collapse the Tool Menu) and >>(to expand the Tool Menu), depending on the state of the 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 actual content of the tool is contained in an iframe. The iframe's title will match the name of the current tool

Organization of content area

The organization will vary with the tool, but will typically consist of:

  • a toolbar for actions on the content (creating new items, navigating to other views)
  • the content itself

Note: Most actions in a given tool will return the focus to the top of the content area, a few will reload the portal, returning you to the top of that instead.

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 your 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).

The footer contains a list of links:

  • Gateway, which takes you to the main page (homepage) of Sakai,
  • Accessibility Information, which displays the accessibility help documentation.
  • The Sakai Project and Powered by Sakai links, which take you to the Sakai LMS website.

The footer also includes:

  • Copyright information for the Sakai software.
  • Build Info, which can be expanded to display the version of Sakai currently running.
  • Server Time, which can be expanded to display the local time for the server.

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, you can use the Rich-Text Editor to edit and format your text, and to add links, images, or media.

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

Instructions for enlarging screen elements, modifying colors or contrast

You can use the browser’s zooming function to increase text size.  Sakai will work well with up to 200% zoom.

If you need a higher level of magnification, or if you need to have the cursor/pointer augmented, you may be more comfortable using a third-party magnifier such as MAGic (opens new window) or ZoomText (opens new window).

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