Accessibility in Microsoft Planner

Microsoft Planner includes accessibility features that make it easier for people with disabilities to use the app. For example, people who are blind or have low vision can use screen readers to have information about the user interface (UI) read aloud to them. People who have limited mobility can use keyboard shortcuts or speech recognition tools instead of a mouse. This article covers accessibility features available in Planner for many types of disabilities.

Notes: 

In this topic

Understand the main components of Planner: Plans, boards, buckets, and tasks

With Planner, you can track your team’s progress on any project and stay on top of your own work—from anywhere, on any device. In Planner, you work with these main content components: plans, boards, buckets, and tasks. The following table provides a description and example of each component.

Main content components of Planner

Content component

Description

Example

Plans

Plans include one board, notebook, and calendar, along with charts, conversations, members, and files.

A plan could be named Build team website.

Boards

A board includes buckets of related tasks

Note: You can group information on a board by task buckets (default), assignments, or progress.

The Build team website plan includes one board.

Buckets

Buckets are groups of related tasks.

Note: In the Planner UI, a bucket looks like a rectangular card.

The board for the plan could include these task buckets: Code main pages, Create content, and Deploy site, among others.

Tasks

Tasks include information for an individual task, such as its due date, status, and who it’s assigned to.

The Create content task bucket could include these tasks: Create icons, Create images, Write text, and others.

Get oriented: Overview of the Planner user interface

Like other Office 365 apps, Planner is a web-based application that you use in a web browser, so its UI is contained within your web browser on a webpage.

If you’re a person who is blind or has low vision, or if you have limited mobility, you might move around the elements in a webpage UI solely by using the Tab key to move forward and Shift+Tab to go back. When you know landmarks in the UI, you can more easily build a mental model of it and this model can help you more quickly move around the UI.

You can use the main areas of the Planner UI (described in the following table), along with some of the common elements in the UI, as landmarks in your mental model.

Landmarks to use in your mental model of the Planner UI

Area of the UI

Common elements of the Planner UI

Top left: Office 365 navigational links

  • App Launcher link

  • Office 365 link

  • Planner link

Top right: Office 365 information

  • Notifications pane

  • Settings pane

  • Help pane, which also includes the Tell me what you want to do search box

  • Account pane

Left: Planner navigation pane

  • New plan button. Creates a plan and a new board for it, and adds the plan to the All Plans list.

  • Planner hub link. Includes overview cards for each of your favorite plans. These cards show the overall plan status and the number of tasks for the plan. The hub also includes a link to each of your plans, so you can see the big picture for your work.

  • My tasks link. Includes each of your individual tasks, grouped by progress or plan.

  • Favorite plans list. A collapsible list of your favorite plans.

  • All plans list. A collapsible list of all your plans.

  • Collapse/expand this menu button. Collapses or expands the navigation pane.

Right of the navigation pane (content area): Planner plans

UI elements in plans:

  • Board link. Links to the board for the plan that contains related task buckets and an Add new bucket button. (To learn more about the UI elements in task buckets, go to the next row of this table.)

  • Charts button. Automatically creates and updates charts that show information about the overall status of the plan and the progress of each person (member) working on tasks for the plan.

  • Notebook link. Links to the notebook for the plan in OneNote.

  • Conversations link. Links to conversations about the plan in Outlook.

  • Calendar link. Links to the calendar for the plan in Outlook.

  • Members link. Links to contact information for the members of the plan in Outlook.

Right of the navigation pane (content area): Planner task buckets

Most of the common UI elements in task buckets:

  • Bucket title

  • Each task in the bucket, including details, such as who the task is assigned to and the task’s due date

Select an individual task in a bucket and press Enter to open the task so you can do the following (each of which has a corresponding UI element):

  • Change the bucket to which the task belongs.

  • Update the task status.

  • Specify the task start date and due date.

  • Set labels for a task.

  • Add a task description or checklist.

  • Attach or link to a file.

  • Set a preview image for the task.

  • Post a comment or read other people’s comments.

  • Identify task assignments.

Use a screen reader to hear the Planner user interface

Screen readers are apps that enable people who are blind or have low vision to hear audible feedback for the elements of a UI. As with the UI in other Microsoft products, the UI elements for Planner include names that screen readers can understand (accessible names).

When you use a screen reader with Planner, the screen reader reads the accessible names aloud to you (along with any other relevant information), while the focus of the screen reader moves to each element of the UI that you’re using in Planner.

For example:

  • When you select the New plan button in Planner, the focus of the screen reader moves to that button and the screen reader reads the button’s tooltip, “Create a new plan.”

  • When you select the Board link for a plan in Planner, the focus of the screen reader moves to that link and the screen reader says, “Board.”

  • When you select a task bucket, the focus of the screen reader moves to the bucket and you hear the name of the task bucket. When you select an individual task in a bucket, you hear the name of the task.

Note: For more information about screen readers, go to American Foundation for the Blind: Screen readers, which lists many of them, including the popular JAWS (Job Access with Speech). Or, for information about Narrator, the screen reader that’s included with the Windows operating system, go to Hear text aloud with Narrator.

Navigate with keyboard shortcuts in Planner

Because Planner operates with your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts that work in your browser also work in Planner. However, if your browser does not support keyboard shortcuts, you can use the Tab key to move forward and Shift+Tab to move back.

The following table describes the keyboards shortcuts you can use to navigate the Planner UI—those which are included in most browsers, along with those which are specific to Planner.

Notes

  • When you use Planner, we recommend that you use the web browser, Internet Explorer. When you do, you have access to the keyboard shortcuts available in Internet Explorer.

  • The keyboard shortcuts in this table refer to the US keyboard layout. Keys on other keyboard layouts may not correspond exactly to the keys on a US keyboard.

  • If a shortcut requires pressing two or more keys at the same time, this table separates the keys with a plus sign (+).

Keyboard shortcuts for Planner

To do this

Press

Move forward to the next area or item

For example, go to the next plan in the left navigation pane, go from one task bucket to the next, or go from one UI element in a task bucket to the next.

The Tab key

Move back to the previous area or item

Shift+Tab

Activate an item

For example, when you select a plan, to navigate to the Board link, press the Tab key, and then, to open the plan’s board, press Enter. When you select the New plan button, to create a new plan, press Enter. Or, to collapse or open the Favorite plans list or the All plans list, press Enter.

Enter

Exit a menu, dialog box, or mode

For example, exit the New Plan dialog box or a task detail dialog box.

Esc

On a Board page, move to the next or previous task bucket

The arrow keys

On a Board page, move the selected task bucket up one position on the page

Ctrl+Up Arrow

On a Board page, move the selected task bucket down one position on the page

Ctrl+Down Arrow

On a Board page, when a column header is selected, move the selected column one position to the left on the page

Note: Applies when the items on the page are grouped by buckets.

Ctrl+Left Arrow

On a Board page, when a column header is selected, move the selected column one position to the right on the page

Note: Applies when the items on the page are grouped by buckets.

Ctrl+Right Arrow

When a scroll bar is shown in the left navigation pane, scroll down. Or, if a dialog box is too long for the screen, move down in the dialog box.

The Down Arrow key

When a scroll bar is shown in the left navigation pane, scroll up. Or, if a dialog box is too long for the screen, move up in the dialog box.

The Up Arrow key

Go back one page in the web browser

Alt+Left Arrow

Same as the Alt+Left Arrow keyboard shortcut

Backspace

Go forward one page in the web browser

Alt+Right Arrow

Operate Planner with speech recognition

Speech recognition tools are helpful for people who have limited mobility and who need to use voice commands (rather than the keyboard or mouse) to operate Microsoft products, including Planner.

You can use third-party speech recognition tools, or the functionality called Speech Recognition, which is included with the Windows operating system. To enable Speech Recognition on your computer, go to Use Speech Recognition.

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or have questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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