Screen Reader Accessibility Features
CougarView includes a number of features aimed at improving the usability of the system for assistive technology users. The following list outlines some of the design decisions that benefit screen reader users:
- Standard page designs: similar functionality is located in the same place and accessed in the same way across tools.
- Simple heading structure: heading 1s are used for page titles. Heading 2s are used for widgets and major page sections. Heading 3s are used to organize information within widgets and for subsections.
- Unique, contextual link and button names.
- Title attributes on links that “open in a new window”. We recommend that you adjust your assistive technology's settings to read the title attribute when different from link text if you want to be warned when a link opens in a new window.
- Descriptive alternative text on all system images and graphics. CougarView also prompts course designers to include alternative text when uploading images.
- Table row and column markup and table summaries.
- Toggle icons (such as show/hide) indicate the state of the control.
- Skip navigation links and ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) landmarks so you can skip sections of a page.
- User Preferences for simplifying the layout of many tools. Additional preferences specifically related to accessibility, including the ability to change system fonts and font size, change modal dialogs to windows, display math using MathML and turn off the HTML Editor (WYSIWYG).
- Full keyboard accessibility. The tab order is logical and tab focus visually indicated. Drag-and-drop and other Web 2.0 designs have keyboard alternatives.
- WAI-ARIA markup is used for tabs, context menus, and error and confirmation messages to help improve navigation.
- Support for browser and assistive technology scaling and contrast options. System content uses styles that can be overwritten by cascading style sheets (CSS), although the complexity of the system requires detailed style sheets.