[Athen] please resend to list - Peoplesoft and JAWS

Greg Kraus greg_kraus at ncsu.edu
Wed Sep 4 02:38:52 PDT 2013

I actually had a meeting with our PeopleSoft developers yesterday
about some development on our systems, and now I have one more piece
of information that is important to the discussion for screen reader
users. There is a fundamental problem with the way PeopleTools creates
the UI that will always make it very difficult for screen readers
users, and keyboard-only users to a degree, to fill out complex forms.
The short version of the story is screen reader users should not use
the tab key to navigate between form elements. They should always use
their virtual cursor. The reason is PeopleTools assigns a specific tab
order through the tabindex attribute to every single form element on
the page. You cannot disable the tabindex. Usually the tabindex order
gets set correctly, however, for longer forms or more complex forms,
it is not uncommon for the tab order to become seemingly erratic.
There actually is a logic to the order, but not a logic that is useful
for humans.

That's why I say screen reader users should never use the tab key to
navigate between form elements, because there is no guarantee that
pressing tab will take you to the next form element. Using the virtual
cursor solves this problem.


On Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 1:59 PM, Greg Kraus <greg_kraus at ncsu.edu> wrote:

> The other thing I didn't mention is it can also depend on which

> version of the application you are using. This number is different

> than the version of PeopleTools you are running. I think some more

> accessibility features started showing up in version 9.1+.


> Honestly, keeping up with all of the versioning numbers with

> PeopleSoft products is a nightmare. You have the version of

> PeopleTools, then the version of the Applications, and not all

> applications have to be using the same version - some can be old and

> some can be new, all in the same environment. Every time I sit down

> with our PeopleSoft developers I feel like we have to have a 5 minute

> recap of what all versions we are on and what all of it means.


> Greg



> On Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 12:57 PM, Greg Kraus <greg_kraus at ncsu.edu> wrote:

>> Hi Jean,


>> There are a couple of things that may help, but some of this will be

>> out of your control. These recommendations are based on how we have

>> implemented PeopleSoft, so I'm not 100% sure if it will apply in your

>> context.


>> 1. The version of PeopleTools (the environment all of the PeopleSoft

>> Apps are written and delivered in) makes a big difference in

>> accessibility support. I believe PeopleTools 8.51 was where they made

>> some significant accessibility improvements. (I hesitate saying

>> significant, because that implies I might be happy with it. It is

>> significant in that it is better than the older version of

>> PeopleTools.) Moving all of your apps to a newer version of

>> PeopleTools is a major undertaking. You just need to ask your

>> PeopleSoft developers what version of PeopleTools you are running.


>> 2. It depends on if you are using PeopleTool's built-in UI components.

>> When you use the default PeopleTools UI elements, they know for the

>> most part how to also display themselves accessibly when a certain

>> flag is set (see #3 below). If you are developing your own UI and are

>> simply using the PeopleSoft business logic to do most of the work,

>> like using it as an API, then you are responsible for providing

>> accessibility support for your UI.


>> 3. There is a user variable that you can set to always display the UI

>> in the accessible view. It is in the user's preferences, although it

>> is not always the easiest thing to find. I'm not sure how much of this

>> language is customized for our version of PeopleSoft, but once I log

>> in I need to go to "My Personalizations", then "Personalize General

>> Options", then "Accessibility Features", and set it to "Use

>> accessible layout mode". You will most likely need to log out and back

>> in for the setting to take full effect. Depending on other

>> circumstances and the type of disability the user may need someone

>> else to make this setting for them initially.


>> With #3, your PeopleSoft developers might not even know this feature

>> exists. One problem we ran into was the user could make that setting

>> in our "Portal", which is just the landing page you get to after

>> logging in, but the setting didn't automatically propagate down to the

>> individual apps. Our developers had to do something to make that

>> happen. It wasn't hard, but it is something that can get overlooked

>> when an underlying app gets updated.


>> Again, we have a fairly robust implementation of PeopleSoft, so our

>> environment may be a little different than yours. I hope some of this

>> helps. If your developers need some help with the implementation of

>> this I could put them in touch with some of our PeopleSoft developers.


>> Greg


>> --

>> Greg Kraus

>> University IT Accessibility Coordinator

>> NC State University

>> 919.513.4087

>> gdkraus at ncsu.edu



>> On Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 12:22 PM, Jean M Salzer <jeano at uwm.edu> wrote:

>>> There was so much chatter about mathtype - not sure if anyone saw my query

>>> regarding peoplesoft/oracle and JAWS.


>>> Message: 2

>>> Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2013 15:21:07 -0500 (CDT)

>>> From: Jean M Salzer <jeano at uwm.edu>

>>> Subject: [Athen] Accessible Instant Messaging Client?

>>> PeopleSoft/Oracle Access?

>>> To: athen-list at u.washington.edu

>>> Message-ID: <782116435.802863.1377807667752.JavaMail.root at uwm.edu>

>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"



>>> Hello,



>>> WE have a new blind staff member in our Graduate School who uses Jaws. The

>>> IT person for the school and the university have been trying to learn more

>>> about accessibility related to the following items.



>>> 1. PeopleSoft (student information) tool: I've spoken with students of mine

>>> who have said that PeopleSoft is workable to a certain point, then they just

>>> prefer a sighted person. If I'm not mistaken, we were able to get Jaws and

>>> PeopleSoft to play nice up to the point a person needed to search for a

>>> class or a grade or whatever. This is, of course, several versions ago.



>>> The staff member is fairly adept at Jaws and yet is unable to get into the

>>> screen past the login. She has tried the usual keystroke combinations and

>>> can't get anything going. I've advised the Grad School's tech person to

>>> contact the company, but in the meantime, thought I'd see what others had to

>>> say.



>>> Peace.


>>> Jean Salzer, Sr. Counselor

>>> BVI Program/Alternative Text Coordinator

>>> Accessibility Resource Center

>>> UW-Milwaukee

>>> 414-229-5660, Mitchell Hall B16




>>> _______________________________________________

>>> athen-list mailing list

>>> athen-list at mailman1.u.washington.edu

>>> http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/athen-list


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