Assistive Technology

How do I use Assistive Technology in onQ?

Many features in onQ can be adjusted to improve access for individuals with disabilities. We recommend that individuals who use screen readers, screen magnifiers, or navigate primarily by keyboard, read the accessibility topics to help ensure that the features and settings they use best support their needs.

The Account Settings link contains several tabs, depending on the role you have within the Brightspace Learning Environment. You can adjust the settings in these tabs to meet your personal needs; however, the following settings might be of particular interest if you are using assistive technology devices or software applications.

In the Account Settings tab, consider the following configuration options:

  • You can configure the Login Destination option to log directly into a course, rather than My Home. This option can simplify navigation if you are only taking a few courses.
  • The Font Face and Font Size options adjust the appearance of text Brightspace Learning Environment. Choose options that provide the best results for your needs. To adjust the size of icons, you can use a magnification tool such as the zoom feature built into most browsers.
  • If you use a screen reader to navigate Brightspace Learning Environment, you can turn on Show secondary windows as pop-ups. Otherwise, some secondary pages may not be distinguishable from the main page.
  • If you use a screen reader or you only use a keyboard to navigate Brightspace Learning Environment, you can select the Turn off rich text editor and view source option. Using this option, you can upload HTML content authored in an external editor.
  • To automatically detect embedded videos, turn on the Optimize video presentation for programmatically-driven assistive technologies option.

In the Discussions tab, consider the following configuration options:

  • To simplify the layout of discussion lists, turn off the Always show the Discussions List pane option.
  • Turn off the preview pane and show topics in grid view.

In the Email tab, consider the following configuration options:

  • To simplify the layout of your inbox, clear the Show the Message Preview pane and Show the Folder List pane check boxes.

The Metadata tab is available only to administrators and instructors. Consider the following configuration option:

  • To simplify movement through the main metadata page, select the Basic and Expand all Categories options.


Landmarks are waypoints that a screen reader uses to navigate a page. In general,onQ uses two landmarks:

  • The navbar has a landmark called Navigation.
  • The main body of all pages has a landmark called Main.

Accessibility Features

onQ 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. Learning Environment also prompts course designers to include alternative text when uploading images.
  • Account Settings for simplifying the layout of many tools. Additional settings specifically related to accessibility, including the ability to change system fonts and font size, change modal dialogs to windows, 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 dynamic features have keyboard alternatives.
  • WAI-ARIA markup is used for tabs, context menus, and error and confirmation messages to help improve navigation.