Using a Learning Management System with a Screen reader

Uploaded by Desire2LearnInc on 09.07.2010

Hi, I'm Carin Headrick and this is my guide dog Trixie –
I'm a recent graduate of the University of Guelph
I'm an avid web user and I also user a screen reader called JAWS, it helps me browse the web and use all parts of my computer
When I was studying at the University of Guelph I took a few online courses.
and when you're taking correspondence courses it allows students to interact with each other and with the professor.
But the down side is, if the interface doesn't work
I'm not going to be able to enjoy the same level of interactivity and access to information as the rest of my class.
A common misconception a lot of people have about screen readers and the use of them
is that people have to sit there and listen to the whole page
I don't have all day to sit there and listen to the whole page, I skim for information just like sighted users do,
but I can only do that if the site is written well
When I first enter a web page, I look for the page title to see if this is the page I want to be on, if I'm in the right spot
and then I look through the headings to see how things are laid out
and I sometimes look for links that match what I want to do.
I'm on a page [JAWS reads page title]. Yup, I'm here.
So now I'll look through the headings [JAWS reads headings]. Looks like a landing page.
Let me show you an individual class page to show a few more things,
because I know this site really well, I can bring up a list of links to quickly find the class that I'm looking for.
[JAWS reads links list: "Links list dialog. Link I - Introduction to Science and Technology Enter"]
[JAWS read page title: "Colon Sandbox"
In Desire2Learn grades are presented in a table,
but Desire2Learn has table summaries and all the column headings are labelled so I can move between items easily
and not get confused as to what item is where.
[JAWS reads table: "List of grade items and their values column one"
List of grade items and their values, that tells me exactly what's in the table, no guessing.
[JAWS reads table: "Statistics for case study 1, 8 slash 10, 8 slash 10"]
[JAWS: "Individual Comments colon, Great work Carin, you did a really good job investigating this topic and explaining the different arguments."]
Sweet. I didn't do too bad (laugh).
In order to enter information in a form I have to enter Forms mode,
and once I get into forms mode,I can't look at everything on the page,
I can only see things that I can click, things that I can type in,
but as long as those fields are labeled properly, I should be able to do things pretty easily.
[JAWS reads form: "Comments colon edit contains text."
I see that I can enter comments about this presentation, so let me just do that
[JAWS: "Comments colon edit, enter forms mode on, H, E, R, E, space, I, S..."
[JAWS in background] There's the submit button.
The last time I was working for Desire2Learn, they showed me some really cool stuff they are doing with ARIA, I thought it was really neat.
It allowed you to interact with the website as if it's a desktop application,
which you don't often get from a lot of websites, visually it looks like you're clicking a menu,
but JAWS isn't able to pick up on that and treat it as such,
[JAWS in background] but because they've done it this way, it is like I'm working with a menu, so it makes things really easy
and, just, really awesome (laugh) and easy to work with.
It's been great showing you around Desire2Learn and showing you how I use it,
It's important that teachers and web designers and everybody involved in a course
understands the importance of accessibility,
If I'm trying to learn a course, I don't want to have to learn the interface just to work with the course,
on top of the material I'm trying to master. Using Desire2Learn's interface makes that so easy.
[Exit music]