How to use BigBlueButton with JAWS

BigBlueButton will appear in Canvas a Collaboration, and in Sakai as meetings. After you've clicked on join meeting, follow the instructions below:

  1. The first thing you'll hear is "Join audio alert dialogue" . Click your tab key to select the Microphone or Listen only option.  Listen only, will enter you into the room with your microphone muted.
  2. Press Spacebar. You'll hear the words "connecting" afterward.


Common Keyboard commands

Alt + Shift + M    Mute / Unmute
Alt + Shift + O    Open Options
Alt + Shift + U    Toggle UserList
Alt + Shift + J    Join audio (if you selected listen only)
Alt + Shift + P    Toggle Public Chat (User list must be open)

Recommended Set up

Upon entry press Alt + Shift + P to collapse the public chat

Press Alt + Shift + O to open the options menu, Use your down arrow to select Settings.

The Setting dialogue will appear, use your Tab key until you hear Audio Alert for Chat. Click the space bar to turn it on.

Use your tab key to get to the save option, and click the space bar to save the settings.

Turning this on will give you an audio chime that a chat came in. Press Alt + Shift + P to open the chat region. It will take you to the 'Send a message to the public chat' box. Use your up arrow to read the chat from newest to oldest.


To exit the chat Press Alt + Shift + P to close the chat window when ready.


Observations from our testing:


  • You may experience issues with the Shared Notes section of this tool. Occasionally JAWS will read the notes that you have written but not those of others. In most cases, it did not read them at all.
  • If the professor chooses to use the breakout rooms, you will be able to hear the time remaining. It will also give you a one-minute warning. Once the time expires you will be automatically kicked out of the room and return to the main session.  JAWS does not alert you. When this happens you will be asked how you would like to join the audio again.




Resource Category
Student Accommodations
Assistive Technology
New Brunswick
Off Campus Locations