Screen Magnifiers, Zooming and Color Contrast Tips
This topic provides some basic advice for using Brightspace with screen magnifiers, zooming functionality and color contrast functionality.
Screen magnifiers, zooming functionality and color contrast functionality are often used by people who have difficulties reading online. Difficulties can include low vision, color blindness, eye strain, or dyslexia. Screen magnifiers and zooming functionality are also used by individuals who have fine motor skills difficulty as they increase the target for selectable content (such as links, icons and form fields).
Magnifying vs. Zooming
There are a couple of ways you can increase the size of content in Brightspace to improve readability:
- Use the Account Settings tool in Brightspace to increase the system font size. This only increases the size of system fonts; it does not increase the size of icons and other graphics or user-created content.
- Use an assistive technology or browser that supports zooming. This increases the magnification of the entire page. This option works well in Brightspace except for courses that use legacy navigation bars, as images and navigation areas in the system resize well.
- Use a screen magnifier to magnify a portion of the page, such as the area around the cursor. Many users like screen magnifiers because they preserve the layout of the page, but allow you to focus on the content in a specific area.
Institutions, course designers, and course instructors can customize Brightspace page colors and text font as desired. As a result, the readability of your Brightspace courses depends a lot on your institution.
If you are having difficulty using Brightspace because of the text and background colors used, we recommend that you use a screen magnifier or other assistive technology that allows you to invert or adjust the colors on a page. We have found these options work well on most pages, but you may notice problems with graphs and charts.
Another popular option is to use a custom cascading style sheet (CSS). There are many free cascading style sheets available on the Internet. CSS works best in Brightspace when background images are turned off, but normal images and icons are left unaltered. Brightspace is a complex site with a number of different tools and page designs, as a result a fairly detailed style sheet is needed to display content effectively. For example, our homepages use tables to layout different content areas that are configured by your institution these may not linearize well.
There are a number of settings in the Account Settings tool that you may find improves the readability of Brightspace.
Account Settings Tab
- Select a different Font Face and Font Size than the default if there is a font you prefer. You can use this option in combination with a screen magnifier or zooming.
- If you disable style sheets to navigate Brightspace we recommend you select Show secondary windows as pop-ups; otherwise, some secondary pages may not be distinguishable from the main page.
- Clear the Always show the Discussions List pane to simplify the layout of discussion lists.
- Some users also Include original post in replies so they don't have to move between discussion messages as frequently.
- Some users select Include original message in email replies so they don’t have to move between messages as frequently.
- Clear the Show the Message Preview pane and Show the Folder List pane options to simplify the layout of your Inbox.
Getting Additional Support
If you are having difficulty using Brightspace to complete your course work, consider seeking help from your instructor or your campus Access and Disability Resources (ADR) office. Most institutions have support centers to help users learn new technology, seek special accommodations, and organize tutoring and other support.
Pima Community College is committed to providing accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities in a timely and effective manner. To request a reasonable accommodation, students must be registered with the campus Access and Disability Resources (ADR) office. Accommodations can only be made based on eligibility determined by Access and Disability Resources. Services can be requested at any time during the semester. Requesting services well in advance will help to ensure that resources are available when needed. Please contact an ADR office at 206-6688 or ADRhelp@pima.edu.