Using the Student Portal with JAWS

Blind Student's Guide to using the Student Portal

Upon arriving at the University of Melbourne, you are likely to notice that pretty much everything is online. In the raging tornado that is the beginning of Uni life, the student portal is an oasis which provides a fair amount of the information and resources you are likely to need. Whether or not you are internet literate, this guide will hopefully supply a handy tip or two.

What is the student portal and how do we get there?

  • The portal is the go to website for students as it provides links to emails, relevant notices, the library page, parts of the learning management system and news and events. It also has a personal admin page which provides personalized timetables, results and fee information.
  • The best and simplest way of getting to the portal is to type into an address bar. This will take you to a log in page and assuming that you have already have an account (you will have set this up when enrolling), you can enter your login details, press enter and you be swiftly escorted to the homepage. At the top you will see the words: home - my unimelb student portal.

Use the insert+F7 key command which will take you to a links list.

Quick ways to navigate the page

  • The student portal homepage is broken up into a series of headings and links.
  • Although you can use the H key to navigate headings, such as “home”, “My LMS” and “my library borrowings”, this will not enable you to see all of the important parts of the page.
  • The best way to get all necessary information is to use the insert+F7 key command which will take you to a links list (elements list if using NVDA) from which to choose.
  • I would also advise the use of the virtual find (control+F) command to locate precisely what you’re looking for. For example: if you were to type “new emails” in to the virtual find edit box and press enter, you will come across a link to your email folders.
  • Finally, if you regularly click on a link such as “New emails” or “new notices” it is likely that you will be able to find it again by pressing the V key which will enable you to view visited links.

Important parts of the admin section of the student portal are inaccessible to screen reader users.

Parts of the portal which are regularly used

You will find that the parts of the portal that you use on a daily basis are the links to your subjects within the learning management system and your emails.


  • Subjects will appear as subject codes, e.g. GR0006. If you know the code of your subject then you can find it easily using either the virtual find or links list.
  • After clicking on the subject link you will need to login again in order to access the LMS.


  • Upon clicking on the “new emails” link you are taken to a new window listing all of your University emails with the newest appearing first.
  • You can navigate between pages of emails in chronological order by clicking on the “older”, “newer” and “newest links” which are directly above the list of emails.
  • You can also use virtual find to locate the “compose” link, which allows you to write an email, as well as various email folders.
  • While the “new emails” link automatically takes you to your inbox there are a number of other folders you can click on, such as outbox, drafts, sent and spam.
  • Some students prefer to access their University email through a different mail client, such as Outlook, iOS, Android or a braille notetaker.


  • There are important parts of the admin section of the student portal which are inaccessible to screen reader users, such as the study plan, results page and fees. I always get a friend to assist me or I call the student centre on 136352.