Logging into Brightspace using assistive technology
Note: Different assistive technologies have specific functionality, shortcuts, and commands. Ensure that you review the help material for your assistive technology to ensure you are getting the most benefit and assistance.
By default, the Login page for Brightspace has three form elements: Username, Password, and Log in. The Username field has focus when you enter the page. The Password field and Log in button are the next tab options. Your institution might have customized the Login page to display different form elements.
There are two additional options displayed as links:
- The Forgot Password link opens a new window where you can request a password reset link. An email containing the link is sent to the email address associated with your username.
- The System Check link must be turned on by an administrator. If it is turned on, the link opens a new page that checks your computer for the minimum requirements of Brightspace. If you do not meet one of the minimum requirement criteria, a message appears that explains which components need to be updated.
Logging out of Brightspace using assistive technology
The Log out link is available in your personal menu on the minibar at the top of all pages. The personal menu opens when you click your name on the minibar. You can open the personal menu using an assistive technology's links list, or by tabbing through the minibar links at the top of the page.
Brightspace site organization
Brightspace is organized into two levels of information. Organization-related information that appears on My Home, and course-related information that appears on Course Home and different course tools.
At the top of each page is a navigation area that includes the minibar and the navbar. You can skip the navigation area on any page by selecting the Skip to main content link.
The minibar appears at the top of every page. It contains links to My Home, a course selector that you can use to switch between courses, alerts about events and updates for you and your courses, and a personal menu for setting your preferences and logging out.
You can jump to the navbar by selecting the hidden heading Navigation. The navbar typically contains an unordered list of tool links for the course you are viewing. If you are not in a course, the navbar list contains tool links for My Home or a department. Depending on how the navbar was set up, the links might be organized into link groups. Link groups do not appear in the links list. You can locate link groups by checking the form fields list or navigating by button.
Navigating My Home with assistive technology
When you log in to Brightspace, My Home is the first page you access. It is a central area for checking institution-wide news and events, and opening organization-level tools.
Like all pages in Brightspace, My home has a navigation area across the top of the page that includes the minibar and the navbar. The navbar contains links to different tools. Since My Home is an organization-level page, the links on the navbar for My Home usually go to organization-level or course-independent tools, such as Email and Brightspace ePortfolio. For screen readers and other assistive technology, the navbar has a hidden default Heading 2 called Navigation, and it is organized using ordered lists. There might be other headings depending on institution configuration needs.
Other My Home content is organized into widgets. Typical widgets include News, My Courses, Tasks, and Calendar. Using an assistive technology program, you can navigate and search for widgets using Heading 2, and navigate across sections using Heading 3.
One of the main purposes of My Home is to provide access to organization-level tools and information. If you are using a screen reader, you can view a list of links or headings on My Home to familiarize yourself with the available options.
Navigating the Course Home with assistive technology
Course Home is the first page you visit when you enter a course. To access a Course Home, you must select it from the My Courses widget, or use the search feature to find the course. If you are using the My Courses widget and have more than one role in Brightspace (for example, you are both a graduate student and a teaching assistant), you select the role tab, and then view the courses for that role. Depending on the screen reader, tabs might be read as tabs or links. In both cases, tabs are read as the first content immediately following the widget heading.
Course Home is a central area for accessing course-specific information. Like My Home, Course Home pages have a navigation area across the top of the page, and a number of widgets that contain information and links. Information and links on Course Home are specific to the course, unless the information relates to course-independent tools. For example, depending on the implementation, the navigation area for Course Home contains links to Grades, Discussions, and Quizzes for that specific course. Use Heading 2 to navigate to the main Navigation area and the different course widgets.
Most pages that contain lists of items or user names have a Search For field near the top of the page. To perform a search, enter a word or partial word in the Search For field and select the Search button or press Enter.
Use the Show Search Options link to select advanced search options.
Use the Clear Search link to clear the contents of the Search For field.
Brightspace page layout
Pages in Brightspace have been designed so that the layout is similar across all tools. The way you interact with the navigation area, links, headings, action buttons, context menus, tables, tabs, forms, expanding and contracting text areas, pop-ups, search, and other content areas is the same on all Brightspace pages.
Calendar page layout
The Calendar displays events from multiple calendars in one view.
Using calendar view modes
The mode in which you're viewing the calendar is read to assistive technology devices as part of the Heading 1 on the calendar page. You can configure your calendar to display in Day, Week, Month, Agenda, or List view.
The Agenda view groups course events from your active course calendars by date, course, or type. Events appear in chronological order and all-day events display at the top of each grouped listing.
For learners with visual impairment, the List view displays all events from your active course calendars in chronological order. You can filter the List view by event type. To view more details about the event, click an event's name. If the list contains more items than fit on the page, a Load More link appears as the last entry on the list. To append more items to the list, click the link.
Using the calendar selector
The calendar selector appears to assistive technology as a bulleted list of available calendars. Each calendar corresponds to an individual course you are enrolled in. If one of your courses is missing from the calendar selector, you can add calendars to your list by selecting the Add Calendar link. Select a course link from the bulleted list to display the calendar events in the main calendar display.
If you set the calendar to display all calendars, events in the main calendar display do not indicate which course the events belong to. To distinguish which course an event is part of, select the event name to display event details.
Using the default calendar
The default calendar always displays the course from which you accessed the Calendar tool. The course name appears as a link on the page. If you have permission to create course events, those events appear on the default calendar.
You can change your default calendar by selecting the link labeled with the default calendar's name. When the calendar selector opens, choose a course calendar to view. When you change your default calendar, you also switch your current course in Brightspace to correspond to the course calendar you selected.