This application includes features that require JavaScript be enabled for your Web browser. Theseinclude printing, column sorting, the date picker calendar, context sensitivehelp, spell checking, and others. In most instances, comparable functionality is provided. If you choose not to enable JavaScript, please review our accessibility statement for details about comparable features that do not depend on JavaScript. If further assistance is needed, submit a support request or, contact the appropriate service location near you to obtain our services.
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Recommendations for Specific Assistive Technologies

JAWS - Screen Reader Software
This portal was tested extensively with the JAWS Screen Reader version 12. The following recommendations are defined in that context, but may also be applicable to other screen reading software.
Configuration Settings:
This portal will work with the standard JAWS default settings. However, we encourage JAWS users to use the JAWS Settings Center to activate the following options to further improve usability.
  1. Adjust the Speech Verbosity settings to select the verbosity level as "Beginner, highest". Adjust the verbosity settings in "Beginner, highest" to voice "Tool Tips." PA CareerLink® uses tool tips or title attributes to provide additional detail for text links and form elements.
  2. Settings for Web/HTML/PDFs options:-
    1. The following checkboxes has to be checked under Reading Tab:
      Skip past Repeated Text on new pages, Indicate Block Quotations, Expand Abbreviations, Expand Acronyms, and Speak Access Keys within Web Pages.
    2. Under Navigation Tab, Document Presentation Mode needs to have
      "Simple Layout" selected and check the checkboxes for Screen Tracks Virtual Cursor and Wrap Navigation.
    3. The following checkboxes have to be checked under Images/Graphics Tab:
      Include Images section should be set to "Labeled Images" and For an Image - Speak Option should be set to "Alt Text".
    4. Under Links Tab, the "Filter Consecutive Duplicate Links" selection
      should not be checked. In the "For a Text Link" section, choose "Longest of Above" to voice whichever is longer - Title, Screen Text, or Tool Tip. More lengthy Title attributes are generally used to provide descriptive detail about a link target when it is helpful.
      Include Image Links section has to be set to "All Image Links"
    5. Under Headings and Frames Tab, select option "Headings with Level" for
      Indicate Headings and "Speak Frame Start and End". Structural headings with levels are used on every page to aid navigation and organize content.
    6. Under the Lists and Tables Tab, configure the Table Presentation Information so that it is "For Data Tables Only".
    7. Under Misc Tab the following configuration needs to be set:
      • Indicate Element Attribute
      • Under For a Form Field Prompt Speak Options, select to use "Both Labels and Title If Different." This setting will provide the most detail about form elements.
      • Under For a Button Speak Options, choose "Title" instead of Alt or Value. This will provide more information about the action associated with the button. After you become familiar with the application, you can set this to "use Screen text" for faster processing.
  3. Under Forms Mode Options choose "Auto" for the Select Forms Mode setting.
  4. Under Text Processing Options check the option for "Detect languages" and check the option for Indicate Tables.
  5. Under Keyboard options check the option Navigation Quick Keys to "ON".
Helpful JAWS Keystrokes:
  • List Headers: INSERT + F6
  • List Links: INSERT + F7
  • List Form Fields: INSERT + F5
  • List Tables: INSERT + CTRL + T
  • List Buttons: INSERT + CTRL + B
  • List Frames: INSERT + F9
  • List Lists: INSERT + F3 from the selection dialog, select List lists.
  • Find Command: F3 (Requires Virtual PC Cursor Mode) or CTRL + F
For more information about using JAWS and a Web browser to access the Internet, visit this Freedom Scientific Web resource.

Don’t Skip On-Screen Instructional Text:
When dealing with Web forms, screen reader users often jump directly to the first form element on the page and begin completing the form. When using the PA CareerLink® portal,it is very important to read all the instructional text on the screen until you get thoroughly familiar with a particular page or form. Consequently, screen reader users should avoid "tabbing" through a page, since this causes the cursor to go to the next hyperlink, label or form element while skipping over important instructional text. For JAWS users it may be necessary to switch between Virtual PC Cursor Mode and Forms Mode frequently until they get thoroughly familiar with the instructions on the page.
Navigating PA CareerLink® Data Tables:
Simple data tables or data grids with multiple columns and rows are used extensively across the PA CareerLink® portal. These are necessary to show the relationship between data elements. Data grids are commonly used to display search results on the PA CareerLink® portal.
  1. Table Captions (Titles) and Summaries are provided immediately before each data table for screen reader users. The Summary provides descriptive detail about the purpose and design of the data grid. Table Summaries are not visible to sighted users. JAWS users are cautioned that when using the "List Tables" feature to navigate to a particular table, the table contents are voiced before the table summary. When this occurs, JAWS user can hear the table summary by pressing the "UP" Arrow on the keyboard to read the Summary text.
  2. Appropriate structural markup has been provided to enable screen reader users to voice column headers and navigate through the cells within the table. Row headers are not generally used. Within most data grids used on this site a radio button or checkbox is provided in the first column of the table. These tables consist of rows of individual records and the radio button or checkbox provides the means for the user to select that particular record (or records) for further action.
  3. JAWS users can also use short cut keys (INSERT + CTRL + T) to list all the tables on a page and jump to a specific table. The JAWS user can also press "T" to go to the next table when in Virtual PC Cursor mode. However, some caution is required since tables are also used to help with the general layout of the page. Screen reader users can distinguish general layout tables from data tables because only data tables include Captions and Summaries.
  4. Search results are always displayed using a simple data table. The Caption for that table always begins with the words "Search Results." An alternative method to find a Search Results table is to press F3 (the Find key in JAWS) and type in the keyword "Search Results". This will help direct the user to the Search Results Table that follows the form where search criteria are entered.
  5. When search results span multiple pages, a page number drop-down list is provided. JAWS users can bring up all the drop-down lists on a page using a keyboard combination (INSERT+CTRL+C). Users an also go to the next or previous search results page by selecting the "Next Page" and "Previous Page" buttons.
Error Notification and Handling:
This is a complex application and user errors will occur. An on-screen prompt is used to alert users of errors, warnings and other notifications that are of importance to a specific transaction. Alert prompts instruct users to return to the top of the page for more detailed information. For screen reader users an invisible "Error Summary" link is automatically added to the top of the page when an alert occurs. This becomes the first link on the page and precedes the Skip to Main Content link. The "Error Summary" link navigates to the area of the page where the error or warning is detailed. This is called the error list.

Alerts are provided for the following conditions:

Errors: Errors or omissions were made and must be corrected before the user can continue the process. (If you are using Internet Explorer with JavaScript turned on, the error list will usually be represented as a list of links. Selecting each link will take you to the specific form field that needs to be corrected. Some exceptions to this link rule occur when form fields are conditionally required in response to another form entry. In that instance, the error message will not be in the form of a hyperlink.)

Warnings: These vary according to context, but alert the user to potential problems related to the data entered or selections made. Alternative options may be presented. However, unlike errors, the user can ignore the warning and continue the transaction without making changes. Warnings are not represented as hyperlinks.

Notifications: These are mainly instructional and are designed to provide additional information to the user. The user can continue without taking further action.

Screen reader users should follow this sequence when responding to alert prompts.

  1. Read the alert message completely and select OK to close the alert.
  2. Use Ctrl + Home to go to the top of the page and the Error Summary link. (Alternately, the screen reader user can use the Access Key combination (ALT+C) to go directly to the Error Summary link; or, they can use JAWS short cut keys to list all page links. The Error Summary link is always the first link on the page when JavaScript is enabled. If you have JavaScript disabled, you would hear the warning message informing the user of features in the application that will not work without JavaScript, before the error summary link.).
  3. 3. The user should follow the Error Summary hyperlink to the error list. The user can optionally address single or multiple errors on the form. However, many users prefer to address one error at a time and then use one of the methods above to return to the error list to deal with the next error on the list. (If you are using Internet Explorer with JavaScript turned on, the error list will be represented as a list of links. Selecting each link will take you to the specific form field that applies to that error and needs corrected.).
  4. After completing all errors, re-submit the page. If there are any new errors on the page, you will be notified in the same manner.
Using Get Buttons with Bound Together Drop-Down Lists:
Within the PA CareerLink® portal drop-down lists are bound together to facilitate quick, drill down access to individual records within large data repositories. Single select drop-down lists are bound together to provide the ability to search a list of sub-categories within a single, higher category. The user selects a category from the first drop-down list. The first drop-down is followed by a GET Button. The naming convention for the GET Buttons in the series of drop-down lists provides information about the value of options that will be displayed in the next drop-down list. Here’s one example. A first drop-down contains a list of Workforce Partnering Agencies. The GET Button that follows this list is named "Get Programs". When the user selects a Workforce Partnering Agency from the first drop-down list and then presses the Get Program Button, the second or following drop-down list is automatically populated with programs associated with the selected agency (or category). Thus, the naming of the GET Button provides important information about the available options that will be presented in the drop-down list that follows.

In this scenario when a screen reader user selects the Get Program Button, cursor focus generally moves away from the Get Button to the form field that precedes the Get Button. However, after the page reloads, the cursor focus of the screen reader does not fall consistently on any particular field. In some instances, the screen reader focus returns to the top of the page. This behavior also varies with different screen reader software.

The focus issues described above can be disorienting for screen reader users. The following steps can help screen reader users get reoriented to a page in the event the cursor focus does not behave as expected when using a series of bound together drop-down lists.

  1. Make sure that you take note of which Get Button you select last. With that information, JAWS users can use the FIND command (F3 is the Find key in JAWS) to type in the Button name and navigate directly to the Button. After returning to the Get Button where they began, the JAWS user can then proceed to the next form element and complete the process.
  2. The JAWS user can also list form fields on a page by using the INSERT + F5 command and move to the drop-down list where they made the previous selection. The JAWS user can then proceed to the next form element and complete the process.
  3. c. Use the CTRL + HOME command to go to the top of the page. Then use the "Skip to Main Content" link to skip directly to the beginning of the form. Proceed through the form elements until you reach the drop-down list completed before. You can then resume the completion of the form.
    Caution:Be careful not to jump past the "Skip to main content" link. This is the first link at the top of the page and can be easily missed if the user TABS or presses the down arrow key quickly.
Going Back to a Previous Screen – Use the BACK Button on the Page
The PA CareerLink® portal has incorporated "Back" buttons on pages where data can be entered. Due to the methods used to save this data and aid in navigation, users should only use the "Back" buttons that are listed on the page or the ALT+Z access keys, and should not use the normal Internet Explorer or other internet browser Back button. Using the browser back button will cause data to be lost and may cause a warning message that states "Warning: Page has expired". The warning further instructs the user to refresh the browser page to resume working. By using the on-screen Back button or the ALT+Z access key, no data will be lost. If you encounter a page that does not have an on-screen Back button, the browser back button may be used.
JAWS and Browser Selection
The PA CareerLink® portal works best when JAWS is used with the Internet Explorer browser. For those JAWS users that may prefer the Firefox browser, consideration should be given to the "IE View" Add-On for Firefox. This Add-On enables a Firefox user to view a Web page using an Internet Explorer browser component within a separate tab of the Firefox browser. This brings IE Browser functionality to a tab within Firefox. JAWS users that favor the Firefox layout and features could immediately switch to the IE browser tab if problems occurred.
Zoom Text - Screen Magnification Software
The PA CareerLink® portal was tested using Zoom Text version 9.0. However, the following recommendations may be pertinent to various methods of screen magnification.
  1. Users that rely on significant screen magnification are advised to start reading from the left edge of the screen as they read down the page. Although form elements and their labels are aligned to the center of a page, care must be taken to insure that no pertinent information on the page is missed. Until users get thoroughly familiar with the application and page layouts, they are advised to browse the entire page top-to-bottom, left to right.
  2. Some screen magnification users modify system color settings to improve contrast and text readability. This can help reduce the level of magnification and amount of scrolling that may be required. This is often accomplished by adjusting style settings within the Web browser or color settings within the PC operating system. The PA CareerLink® portal controls colors with style sheets and these may be overridden by altering your browser style settings. This can cause established PA CareerLink® colors and fonts to display differently; however, the content of each page should still remain readable and organized in the proper reading order.
  3. ZoomText contrast recommendation: Try using the Reverse Video Settings available in ZoomText rather than changing the Windows Desktop display settings. This helps to avoid some of the issues previously described.
  4. Most screen magnification software automatically brings Pop-Up Windows into focus. However, products vary and other methods for magnifying browser screens are used. Within PA CareerLink®, title attributes or tool tips are used to alert users that links open in a new window. The Help system also opens in a separate Pop-Up window to preserve session state and entered data. Within the Windows operating system new windows are also represented in the Windows task bar. These can aid the screen magnification user when using multiple windows.
Dragon Naturally Speaking - Speech Recognition Software

The PA CareerLink® portal was tested with Dragon Naturally Speaking version 10 – Preferred Edition using the Internet Explorer 8.0 Browser. Since the PA CareerLink® portal is designed for device independence, it is controllable with just the keyboard and any application that emulates keyboard function. All navigation and form elements within the PA CareerLink® portal were controllable with voice input during our testing.

When using speech recognition software, it is important to match the Speech Recognition system to the recommended Web browser for that system. During our testing, the PA CareerLink® portal worked best when Dragon Naturally Speaking version 10 was used with the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser. Users must master the self-directed training and achieve an acceptable level of accuracy with the voice recognition system. Recommended hardware requirements and microphone sensitivity can also be factors in achieving proficiency when using Speech Recognition to complete online Web forms effectively. Background noise and setting can also influence accuracy. If these factors are addressed satisfactorily, the PA CareerLink® portal will work effectively with voice input.