SIMnet has been carefully designed to support students with disabilities, including the physically impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, those with learning or cognitive disabilities, and the blind and visually impaired. This guide offers tips for using SIMnet with a disability.
SIMnet supports the latest version of the following browsers: Firefox, Edge Chromium, Chrome, and Safari. We recommend reviewing the list of supported browsers published by your screen reader. Each screen reader supports a different set of browsers and browser versions. It’s very important that your screen reader supports your browser. View the 👉 The Home Page System Requirements check for details.
SIMnet has a special color theme to increase the color contrast that many low vision students need to differentiate colors. Be sure to enable this setting prior to getting started by visiting the Student Profile link located on the upper right hand corner of the website after signing in. The setting can also be turned on from within a SIMbook or Lesson using the Accessibility Options dialog. High Contrast mode will only need to be enabled one time, and will remain in place for all subsequent website visits. View the 👉 Profile section for details.
Students who would like to zoom their screen are advised to use their OS display scale settings to increase the size of the information on screen. However, zooming past a certain magnification threshold may make the window too small to display all information on simulated questions without scrolling.
Text size and line-spacing can also be adjusted from within SIMbooks and Lessons using the Accessibility Options dialog. Similarly, in the Let Me Try and Exam windows, the text size can be changed without altering the size of other controls on the page.
For SIMnet exercises requiring the user double-click or triple-click a control, the standard click commands can be pressed multiple times to register the action. Also, when keyboard input is detected, the default Windows double-click delay is slowed by 50%. In addition, while most screen readers allow the use of both Enter and Space for activating controls, often doing the same thing as a mouse click, some of them only support both for certain control types or have a separate keybinding for click. For example, in NVDA spacebar will click buttons but not links and in VoiceOver Enter will activate most controls but clicking requires Control+Option+Space. In general, if you find the control activation key you typically use doesn’t click, try the alternate activation key.
For SIMnet GuideMe activities that ask the user to right-click a certain control, the standard context menu shortcut can be used by keyboard users.
Tabbing is a common way of navigating using a screen reader, however, it is limited. By default, using the Tab key allows access to Links and Buttons, but other elements such as headers, cannot be accessed by pressing Tab.. We recommend using native screen reader methods for quick access to certain elements on the page. For example, with JAWS, hitting the R key cycles through Landmarks/Regions and hitting the H key cycles through available headers.
In general, throughout SIMnet, buttons will correspond with an action and links will be used to navigate to different pages and views. For this reason, it helps to use native screen reader keybindings to cycle through links or buttons, depending on what you want to do. For example, when using NVDA in a SIMbook, the K key can quickly focus the Exit link at the end of the navigation region or the Previous/Next Page links at the bottom of each page. Most components that shift focus, such as menus and dialogs, can be exited in multiple ways, like exit/dismiss buttons or the Esc key. Certain dialogs are designed to not be dismissible by any student, however, such as those that prevent access to a SIMbook during a closed-book exam. In these situations, exit/dismiss buttons will be missing, shortcuts like Esc will not work, and students must select one of the options provided in order to proceed.
Most schools have dedicated accessibility teams and resources. We recommend that you first seek additional help or information directly from your schools accessibility team.