B Accessibility Features

This chapter provides information about how to configure and use accessibility features for Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition. It describes keyboard shortcuts and how to design for accessibility.

Using Accessibility Features

Accessibility features help users who work with accessibility tools access your information.

This section contains the following topics:

What are Accessibility Features?

The accessibility features in Oracle BI EE aim to make aspects of navigating and using the product easier for persons with disabilities and for the aging population.

The accessibility features support the use of standards-based assistive-technology hardware and software (such as Freedom Scientific JAWS or Microsoft Narrator). The accessibility features are grouped into these general categories:

  • Features used by third-party assistive-technology products. These features center on providing a user interface that consists of standard HTML elements that can be interpreted by third-party assistive technology products.

  • Accessibility mode. See Changing to Accessibility Mode.

  • Keyboard shortcuts that make it easier to navigate content for users with limited or no ability to use a mouse. See Keyboard Shortcuts.

  • Content design capabilities that make it possible for content creators to create content that supports users with accessibility needs. While Oracle BI EE provides accessibility mode that offers many features automatically, you as the designer must create content that meets the accessibility requirements of your user community. See Designing for Accessibility and Using Objects to Enhance Accessibility.

Signing In Using Keystrokes

You can sign in using a keyboard, which may be faster or more accessible than using a mouse.

Use the following procedure to sign into Oracle BI EE using keystrokes rather than the mouse.

To sign into Oracle BI EE using keystrokes:

  1. In a browser, display the Sign In page for Oracle BI EE.
  2. If you want to change the language that Oracle BI EE uses, press Tab to place the insertion point in the Language field and use the arrow keys to select the desired language. The insertion point is then placed in the User ID field.
  3. Enter the ID and press Tab to place the insertion point in the Password field.
  4. Enter the password.
  5. Perform one of the following actions:
    • If you want content for Oracle BI EE to be rendered in a browser in a way that facilitates the use of a screen reader or want to change the language that Oracle BI EE uses, press Tab twice to place the insertion point in the Accessibility Mode box.

    • If you are ready to complete the sign-in process, then press Enter to activate the Sign In button.

  6. If you want content for Oracle BI EE to be rendered in a browser in a way that facilitates the use of a screen reader, press the spacebar to select the Accessibility Mode box.
  7. Press Shift+Tab twice to place the insertion point on the Sign In button, then press Enter to activate the Sign In button.

Changing to Accessibility Mode

Accessibility mode in Oracle BI EE makes the rendering of the user interface more compatible with screen readers while allowing only that functionality that is supported for users with disabilities to be visible.

The following list provides information on accessibility mode:

  • The BI Composer wizard is displayed in place of the Analysis editor. See Using BI Composer to Work with Analyses.

  • The Home page does not contain links for accessing the Administration page or for performing most editing functions, such as for editing dashboards.

  • Graphs and map views are not displayed but are instead converted to one or more annotated tables.

  • Tables and pivot tables are rendered with appropriate internal annotations to enable screen readers to describe the contents of cells.

    Refer to your assistive-technology documentation for all applicable table navigation shortcuts.

  • You cannot use the mouse to modify the layout of a table or pivot table.

  • Performance tiles, heat matrixes, and treemaps are rendered as pivot tables.

  • The collapse icon is included in the upper-left corner of each section on a dashboard page, even if that section is marked as not collapsible in the Dashboard builder. This allows the icon to be the first element that receives focus when using the keyboard to navigate on a dashboard page.

  • The Page Options button on a dashboard page, which displays a menu of page options, is not available.

  • If the dashboard page is refreshed, even if you navigate to another page, then the location of the focus is not preserved. You must press Tab to navigate through the focusable items.

  • Trellis views, when displayed on dashboards, are converted to pivot table views with the following changes:

    • Attribute columns of the inner graph are not included in the pivot table views.

    • Measure values are aggregated to the new grain of the pivot table views.

By default, Oracle BI EE does not use accessibility mode. Each user can decide whether to enable accessibility mode during sign in (see Signing In Using Keystrokes) or after sign in by using the following procedure.

  1. Press Tab multiple times to navigate through the global header, until the focus is on your user name in the Signed In As area.
  2. Press Enter, then Tab to highlight the My Account link.
  3. Press Enter to display the My Account dialog.
  4. Press Tab to select the Preferences tab.
  5. Press Tab to navigate through the fields on the tab until you reach the Accessibility Mode options.
  6. Use the arrow keys to select the On option.
  7. Press Enter to save your changes and close the dialog.
  8. Refresh the page to see it displayed in accessibility mode.

Keyboard Shortcuts

There are multiple topics about keyboard shortcuts for the application.

This section provides the following information about shortcuts:

Keyboard Shortcuts for Oracle BI EE and Oracle BI Publisher

Keyboard shortcuts can speed up your work in the applications.

Both Oracle BI EE and BI Publisher support standard keyboard shortcuts that are used in many software applications. In addition, both components offer shortcuts to perform tasks that are specific to those components. The table that follows describes general keyboard shortcuts for use with Oracle BI EE and BI Publisher.

If you use Freedom Scientific JAWS or other screen reader programs, then you must first disable the virtual PC cursor before using the keystroke combinations to navigate the dashboard. You must enable the virtual PC cursor at other times, such as when navigating within table objects on a dashboard.

Keyboard Shortcut Result


Navigates to the first focusable element in the global header, which is the Skip to Content link. This link enables you to bypass the options that are available in the global header and to move to the features that available in the main part of the Home page.


Navigates to the Dashboards popup menu in the global header. You can then press ENTER to display a menu from which you select a dashboard to display.


Navigates to the current dashboard page tab, if the tab is displayed. If there is only one page in the dashboard, then the page tab is not displayed.


Navigates to the first focusable element in the next section. For a dashboard page, the first element is the collapse icon.


Navigates to the first focusable element in the previous section. For a dashboard page, the first element is the collapse icon.


Navigates to the next focusable element.


Navigates to the previous focusable element.

Down Arrow

Navigates to the next menu option.

Up Arrow

Navigates to the previous menu option.


Triggers the activity, when the focus is on a link, an image, or a button with an associated URL or activity.


Closes the menu that has the focus.

The table that follows describes keyboard shortcuts for navigating in dashboards in Oracle BI EE and reports in BI Publisher.

Keyboard Shortcut Result

ALT + Up or Down Arrow

Opens drop-down and combo boxes.

CTRL + Up or Down Arrow

Shows the next or previous item in a combo box.

The table below describes keyboard shortcuts for navigating the BI Composer wizard. See Using BI Composer to Work with Analyses.


The Catalog tree that is displayed in the Catalog tab of the BI Composer wizard is interpreted as a table. To navigate the tree, use the table keystrokes for your screen reader program.
Keyboard Shortcut Result


Navigates to the Back button.


Navigates to the Cancel button.


Navigates to the Finish button.


Navigates to the Next button.

ALT + CTRL + m

Navigates to the context menu. For example, selecting an item in the Catalog tree and pressing ALT + CTRL + m displays a menu with options to expand and collapse menu items.

ALT + Down Arrow

Reads the messages in a pop-up window, one by one.

Navigating on the Home Page

You can navigate the Home page using a keyboard.

If you display the Home page after signing into Oracle BI EE or by navigating from another location in Oracle BI EE, then you must press CTRL+ALT+G to place the focus on the Skip to Content link in the upper-left corner of the Home page.

  1. Sign into Oracle BI EE.
  2. Press CTRL+ALT+G to display the Skip to Content link in the upper-left corner of the Home page.
  3. Press one of the following:
    • ENTER on this link to navigate to the default starting location on the Home page, which is the first link in the upper-left corner under the global header.
    • TAB to navigate to the first focusable element in the global header.
  4. Continue to press TAB to navigate through the elements on the Home page.

Navigating in Oracle Business Intelligence Dashboards

Using keyboard shortcuts will help you navigate the application quickly.

You can navigate a dashboard using keyboard shortcuts in several ways. The following procedure is an example of one way to navigate using keyboard shortcuts.

  1. Sign into Oracle BI EE.
    • If the Home page is displayed first, then use keystrokes to display the dashboard. Press CTRL+ALT+D to navigate to the Dashboards menu in the global header, press ENTER to display the menu, press TAB or the arrow keys to navigate through the dashboard names, then press ENTER on the name of the dashboard to display.
    • If a dashboard is displayed, then proceed to the next step.
  2. Navigate to the desired dashboard page:
    1. Press CTRL+ALT+G to display the Skip to Content link.
    2. Press TAB multiple times to navigate through the global header to the tab that corresponds to the first page of the dashboard.
      If there are no page tabs, then you navigate to the first focusable element on the dashboard page.
    3. Press TAB to move through the dashboard pages. After the last page, pressing TAB gives focus to the dashboard page menu.
    4. Press ENTER when the focus is on the appropriate page tab to open that page of the dashboard.
  3. Press CTRL+SHIFT+S to navigate to the first focusable element in the next section, which is the collapse icon.
  4. Press TAB to navigate to the next focusable element in the current section.
  5. Press CTRL+SHIFT+S to navigate to the first focusable element in the next section.
  6. While the section collapse and expand icon has focus, press ENTER to collapse the current section.
  7. To navigate in a table or pivot table:
    1. Press TAB to select the table.
    2. Press TAB to move through the headers of the table and to select any menus that exist there.
    3. When the table has focus, press the arrow keys to navigate among the columns and body cells of the table
    4. To access the drop-down menus in the header rows when a body cell has focus, press TAB, then ENTER to display the options for the menu in the first header row. Press TAB and use the arrow keys to highlight the options in the menu and press ENTER to select the desired option.

Designing for Accessibility

When creating content for consumption by a wide variety of users, you must plan to provide support for users with various disabilities.

Accessibility support is a legal requirement in many locations throughout the world.

You can follow several general guidelines when designing content for consumption by a variety of people with differing abilities. These guidelines apply to any content that you create for Oracle BI EE or other applications. You must also be aware of features that are specific to Oracle BI EE that ensure that the content that you provide supports accessibility requirements.

This section contains the following topics on designing for accessibility:

Obtaining General Information

Information about the application can be found in various documents.

You can locate information about accessibility across the Information Technology industry in numerous published books. This guide does not intend to duplicate those works. Various standards and legislation are documented, especially as part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Section 508 of the United States Rehabilitation Act.

Avoiding Common Misconceptions

Many designers make assumptions about technology and accessibility.

Some of the more common misconceptions include:

  • HTML content automatically equals accessible content.

  • Accessible tools automatically create accessible content.

  • Automated testing tools can reliably determine accessibility.

None of these assumptions, however, is correct. Developers can create non-accessible content using HTML. A tool that can produce accessible content might not do so by default, or might allow a developer to select options that turn off the accessible features within existing accessible content. Automated testing tools do not always interact with content the same way end that users do. As a result, they can erroneously report accessible elements as non-accessible. Therefore, accessibility is ultimately the responsibility of the content designer. When creating content, designers must be aware of certain common practices to ensure the content is accessible to all users.

Following Best Practice Recommendations

Dashboards will be most effective if you follow some basic guidelines.

When configuring or creating content for dashboard pages, consider the following best practice recommendations:

  • Refrain from using tickers, because they are not supported.

  • When saving dashboards, ensure that you save them in appropriate locations so that they are easily accessible to users. See Saving Dashboards by Other Names and in Other Locations.

  • Reduce the interactivity and the complexity of pages. For example, restrict the number of prompts and drop-down menus, do not use the drill-inline feature for sections, and configure tables to show as many rows as possible.

Following General Guidelines for Accessible Content

Always consider the fact that multiple disabilities exist and that multiple disabilities might manifest in the same individual.

You must also remember that there are varying degrees of certain disabilities (such as the various types of color vision deficiency). Your designs must take all these possibilities into account.

This section contains guidelines on the following general areas of design:

Font Selection

Choosing the most appropriate font for presentations helps users comprehend the information.

Users with low visual acuity often use screen magnification software to make the screen easier to read. The fonts that you use should be readable even when magnified by accessibility tools by as much as 20 times. Some fonts do not display well when magnified, while others do.

Oracle BI EE dashboards use style sheets to set standard display definitions. Ensure that these style sheets consistently use font selections that magnify well. That way, content creators automatically default to using fonts that are accessible.

Color Selection

Choose colors for your data output carefully to ensure those with deficient color vision can interpret the data properly.

Many different types of color vision deficiency exist, from an inability to see the difference between one common color pair such as red-green (the most common deficiency), all the way to full color blindness where a person can see only varying shades of gray and black. Using only color to convey critical information means that certain users are not fully aware of all the pertinent information about a subject. And, of course, a blind user needs any information conveyed by color to also be present in an alternate textual format.

As a developer, you must not create any content that provides key information by color alone. One example of a non-accessible design is to denote negative numbers solely by coloring the text red. Another example is a typical stoplight-style indicator where the only context information comes from its color — green for good and red for bad.

Using Color with Text

Color-coding text can help increase understanding of the presented data.

You can use color in designs if you also include another indication of the same information. For example, you can include a minus sign or parentheses to denote negative numbers in tables and pivots. For stoplight displays, you can add descriptive text or different shaped icons in addition to the color. You can include text such as Status: good. You can include green circles for good, yellow triangles for warning, and red octagons for bad.

Color Contrast

Because color vision deficiency can also manifest as an inability to distinguish between subtle shades of similar colors, overall color design of all screen elements must provide a large amount of contrast.

You should strive to achieve a minimum of a 4.5:1 color luminosity contrast ratio. For example, use black text on a white background instead of dark gray text on a light gray background.

You can check the following web sites for assistance:

Designing Dashboards that are Accessible

Dashboards are a primary format for conveying a lot of information, so it is important to design them for maximum comprehension.

Use the guidelines in the following sections for designing accessible dashboards:

Promoting a Consistent Structure

Using a consistent structure for dashboards ensures that users will see data presented in a familiar way.

Use the following guidelines to promote a consistent structure for dashboards:

  • If multiple dashboards contain similar functions or content, then keep those links or forms in the same place on all dashboards.

  • Use the same text and labels for buttons and links that have the same functions or destinations. When graphical elements are used to identify controls, status indicators, or other programmatic elements, ensure that the meaning assigned to each graphical element is consistent throughout the pages of the dashboard.

  • Associate the same text with icons and other graphics that are used for the same functions. Graphics cannot be read by assistive technologies, and low-vision users might be unable to discern the meaning of a graphic. Therefore, all graphics must have additional text to describe the functionality.

    Graphics must have ALT text, which is descriptive text associated with the graphic that adequately describes its purpose. This alternate text is specified using the ALT attribute for the element in HTML code. Even if a graphic is present for aesthetic purposes and has no functional value, then you must still specify null ALT text (alt="") for its element so that screen readers know that the text should be skipped.

    For other graphical elements that do not support creation of ALT text, you should include text fields at the top or side to denote functionality, such as Select a Display View Below.

Keeping Dashboard Pages Simple

Keeping dashboard pages simple helps ensure users will be able to understand them easily.

Try to keep dashboard pages simple. Do not try to include too many objects on one page. Include multiple pages that are easy to navigate rather than one page that is cluttered and difficult to navigate.

Enhancing On-Screen Content

Dashboards can be enhanced in a variety of ways.

Use the following guidelines to enhance on-screen content for dashboards:

  • As you do in graphs to promote a high color luminosity contrast ratio, do not use colored or patterned backgrounds for dashboard pages.

  • Use styles that support high contrast between the background and the text, both in the dashboard header area and in the tabs on multi-page dashboards.

  • Place the most important content at the top of the page so that users of screen readers can access that content without having to navigate the entire screen.

Providing Alternate Displays

Providing accessible data for users who use accessibility tools is an important way to ensure all users receive the same information.

For displays that are inherently visual, such as interactive GIS maps or audio-video feeds, no method might exist for making these elements directly accessible. When you deploy this kind of content, you must also provide a text-based equivalent display of the same information with similar interaction capabilities. Typically this means either creating an equivalent table or pivot table of the related data (if applicable), or providing a caption and text description for audio-visual content.

Including Descriptions for Analyses

Dashboard pages generate explanatory text for objects based on their description fields.

Ensure that each analysis that you create includes a short description of its functionality. You specify this description in the Description field of the Save dialog for the analysis.

Working with Styles for Dashboards

The set of customizable styles, skins, and themese that are available for the Oracle BI EE system controls the overall look and feel of any dashboard. You can work with styles and skins for accessibility:

Creating Custom Styles and Skins

You can create custom styles and skins to implement standard settings that support accessibility, such as default font selections, high-contrast color schemes, and so on.

You can start by copying and modifying the default styles. By modifying these files, you can select default colors, contrast, and fonts that can benefit users with certain disabilities.

Creating Custom Themes

You can create and apply custom themes to change the look and feel of the interface and analyses reports.

You can create and apply custom themes if your administrator enabled Manage Themes. Themes override skins and styles. You can select saved themes from the Styles list.
  1. In the Administration page, select Manage Themes from the Themes Management area.
  2. Select or name the theme.
    1. Select an existing theme from the Theme list.
    2. Type the name of a new theme in the Theme Name field.
  3. Customize the theme.
  4. Save or delete the theme.
    1. Select Active to apply the theme to the entire interface, and make it the default theme, when you save it.
    2. Click Apply to save the theme.
    3. Click Delete to delete the theme.
Applying a Style to a Dashboard

You can set a default style for all dashboards and you can also select a style to apply to an individual dashboard.

You might want to create a set of dashboards with content that is specifically optimized for users with accessibility needs. You might also want to apply a special accessibility style to one or more individual dashboards for those users who need it.

You specify a style on the Dashboard Properties dialog for a particular dashboard.

Avoiding Prohibited Features

Certain features should not be used at all, such as elements that blink with a frequency between 2Hz and 55Hz, or that use excessive animation (such as a stock ticker display widget).

Ensure that you are familiar with all legally mandated design prohibitions that apply in your locality and avoid including those elements on dashboard pages.

Using Objects to Enhance Accessibility

You can make data presentations more accessible by using objects.

This section contains the following topics that provide examples of using objects to enhance accessibility:

Switching Content with View Selectors

In some cases, you might want to create additional content that is specifically optimized for users with accessibility needs.

The view selector is a useful tool for providing the most feature-rich content for all user communities.

For example, suppose that you have a view called HR Pie Graph that uses color to show job categories in slices. This graph can be the default view for the dashboard page. You can include a view selector on the page that allows users to select either a table or a graph with cross-hatching instead of color for displaying the data. The graph can also add text elements that display the actual values that each slice represents, can simplify the background grid, and can include a descriptive title.

Using Static Text Objects for Custom HTML Markup

You can provide improved accessibility for users by altering the default HTML output.

Screen readers generally use standard HTML markup to provide information for navigating on a page. One of the most commonly used markup tags is the Header tag. The default title view on an Oracle BI EE dashboard includes a Title tag when Accessibility mode is turned on. However, you cannot add other tags to the design of a title view.

You can use the static text view to replace the title view and supply the necessary HTML tag at the same time. Select the Contains HTML Markup box in the Static Text editor of the Results tab and enter the appropriate HTML code. You can access the styles that are contained in the style sheets for your Oracle BI EE system to ensure consistency with the rest of your dashboards.

For example you can create a header for a dashboard that enables you to enter a title marked with the H3 tag and a horizontal rule line underneath. Enter the following HTML code for the static text view:

<H3>My HR Report</H3><HR WIDTH=650 ALIGN=LEFT>