OWL is composed of sites, and each site has a number of tools selected by the site creator. There is also a special site, Home, private to you, where you can access personal information and change your settings.
The following information will briefly describe the different areas of the OWL interface, point out how they are implemented for accessibility, and go into more depth where extra assistance may be needed.
The portal consists of the following elements. They are always present:
If you need specific help with your assistive technology, please contact Western's Student Development Centre.
Quick Access Links ("Skip to...")
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 OWL. All major areas of the portal are announced by a heading level 1, consist of landmark areas, and can be accessed via access keys:
Login and Logout Links
Location: the second link in the portal.
This link will take you to a login screen if you are not logged in. After successful login you will be returned to OWL.
Location: When logged in, the Logout link is the fifth link after the access key links.
This link will take you to a logout page.
The list of Favorite Sites
This list contains the menu links to sites you most commonly use. Each menu link will either take you to the site, or if you Tab into the menu and press the Down arrow 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 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 in this list, some sites will not be displayed due to space limitations. Any sites not displayed are contained in a submenu accessed via the More Sites link (not shown in screen capture), which is the last link in the favorite sites list.
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 .
Note: Access keys will be capitalized for clarity only.
The List of Tools for the Current Site
Note: The Help tool will always be present as the last item in the tools list no matter what site you are on. This enables quick access to OWL Help.
Minimize Tool Navigation Link
Location: right after the current site's tools list is a link to minimize the tools list.
The link text switches between “Expand Tool Navigation” and “Minimize tool navigation”, depending on the state of the tools list.
Note: Using this link will have no effect on page navigation for users of screen reading software as all tools will still be available and announced.
Site Tool Content Container.
The content comes right after the favorite sites list and the tools list.
For more details on this part of the portal, see the Content Container Details section
Content Container Details
The content container will have the following elements:
The title is contained in a heading level 2 and briefly describes the purpose of the tool (usually the tool title). The title is also a Reset link to return the content area to the initial state.
The title will be followed by a link that opens a new window with help documentation for that particular tool.
The actual content of the tool is contained in an iframe. The iframe's title will match the name of the current tool. The organization will vary with the tool, but will typically consist of:
Notest 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.
Navigating content area summary
All content areas are organized by heading levels. Links should all be unique and descriptive.
Most content views use some or all of these access keys:
Location: Bottom of the screen. After the content container.
This area contains a list of three links: Gateway which takes you to the main page (similar to a homepage) of OWL, Mobile View which takes you to the mobile version (simplified interface and supports smaller screen resolutions), and The Sakai Project which takes you to the Sakai project home page.
This tool lists files and links that the site creator shares with the site users. The main screen lists these in a hierarchical structure. Each line in the table will list the title in the link to the item and other data associated with the item, as well as menus with actions that you can take on the item. These actions will depend on your access level.
Navigating: the hierarchical list is represented by heading levels. You can also navigate via link lists. If you tab into a menu link, pressing down arrow will disclose the menu and you can use the up/down arrow keys to navigate the menu choices. If you are a site owner you will be able to create, revise and delete new items with these menus .
This tool contains communications from the site owner to the participants. To read a specific announcement navigate to its link and open it .
Navigating: It is a simple list with each item a heading level 4. Link lists will work well as well. If you are a site owner you will be able to create new announcements via the toolbar menu at the top of the tool, edit existing announcements via the “Edit” link associated with each one. You can delete announcements by selecting the checkbox associated with it, and then pressing Access key: [S]
Site owners set up assignments for participants with this tool. The initial screen lists the assignments as links in heading level 4.
If you are a student this will list the assignments available to you. Each assignment will reflect the status (open, in progress, completed). To start or revise an assignment follow its link to a form .
All tools use a rich text editor to allow users to create content. You will find this editor while adding resources, creating announcements, responding to assignments, etc.
Navigating Dialog Window
Navigating Context Menus
Navigating Toolbar Drop-down Lists
Note: For a complete list of all keyboard commands, please see the CKEditor 3.x Accessibility Guide.