Checking for ADA compliance?

A lot of my educational sites are being pushed for full ADA compliance. Does anyone have any recommendations for tools to check for compliance?

@Bioguy Who’s doing the “pushing”?

Overall I think checking for compliance is pretty easy. Even easier if you use markdown.

For text on a page it needs to be well-structured: H1, H2, H3 in the correct order. Apparently readers for the blind take full advantage of this structure to create user-friendly documents.

Images need to have alt-text completed.

The biggies, however, are audio and video. Essentially you need a PDF transcription (for audio) or subtitles for video. Depending on the details of what you do this could be the longest and most expensive part. By far.

I do have some tips for creating transcriptions or subtitles. If that’s relevant to you then let me know.

I don’t want to use this forum for boring school politics, but it is coming from the VP level, and I’m fairly certain they are just trying to force everyone to use their web creation tools so it is easier for them to manipulate. Conspiracy! :stuck_out_tongue:

I was thinking about auto-detection software, since I know that is what they are using to test the Canvas shells of instructional units (Canvas is an internal learning management system) and it flags items (headers, photos, files) etc. when there is an issue.

Big issues like pdfs and videos I think I’m already ok with, but I would be interested in the subtitle creation if you could point me the right way.

I tried a couple plugins like this for Chrome and it finds dozens of “violations”, but the vast majority are things I’m not sure I can fix anyway. Such as, many stacks seem to create id attribute values that are not unique. Not even sure what I could do about that anyway, right?

There’s a lot more to it than most folks think. ARIA values, contrast values, roles, navigation page structure, etc. some is outside of your control as it’s up to the theme or stacks developer.

Good luck with that even amazon has 7 errors and 81 alerts on just the homepage.
This is an excellent testing tool:

Thank you very much @teefers. That’s a nice tool.

And yeah… some of these things I wouldn’t even know how to fix. :confused:

Yes, there can be a lot to ADA but it’s always best to take care of the biggies first.

Subtitles is definitely a biggie! If you’re not using any audio-only then things are a bit simpler.

I use ScreenFlow for creating screencast videos. It’s a great app. But it doesn’t take care of the subtitle issue. Strangely enough an inexpensive app, Screencast-o-Matic, does a very good job. I use their “plus” plan (or whatever it is called these days) that costs $18 a year. I mainly got the app for a screencasting course I was teaching and needed something affordable for students, and that works on both Mac/PC. However, as a bonus, I found that Screencast-O-Matic does a very nice job handling subtitles. It, like other apps, uses Google Translate. Depending on your voice accent, and the quality of the recorded audio, Google Translate will get about 90% of the “stuff” correct. But the incorrect 10% can really confuse people.

Screencast-O-Matic offers a very nice editing area for your subtitles. Super easy to go through the Google Translated subtitles and to edit as needed. The resulting subtitles can then be attached to YouTube or Vimeo (depending on which you use).

Hopefully you don’t need to create your courses in Canvas. It’s also used at my university. Ugh. I use RW with Sitelok (for protection) for course websites.

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Excellent, thanks for the information about Screencast-o-Matic!

And yes, they want all course materials in Canvas. I’m not sure if they can legally force me to do that though, and I may be testing that out…

One of the very nice things about Screencast-O-Matic and subtitles/captions is that you need not have made your video in Screencast-O-Matic itself. You can bring in already created videos and run the subtitle functionality on it.

Ugh. I’d be much more worried about moving from RW+Sitelok to Canvas! ADA is a sensible way to meet the needs of all learners. Forcing everyone to use Canvas isn’t “sensible”. It would be a big switch on your part. Assuming you are using Sitelok (or something similar) then I’d avoid Canvas for as long as possible. Mainly administrators want faculty to use web-based systems for delivering courses, or part of courses. (Fair enough.) And they care about protection of student info. Also fair enough. But with the correct alternative tools you’d meet both of those standards easily.

Most websites are fine with simply having an accessibility statement noting any parts of the site that might not be accessible (autoplaying videos with no pause button, etc). This statement could be in the footer linked to a separate page with the statement (think: privacy policy).

Here’s a checklist you can work off of:

Level AA is a good level to shoot for, level AAA is impossible.

Btw, most government sites are barely Level A compliant :wink:

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Excellent resource, Aaron. Thank you for the reply. And yeah, I’m realizing the bar is a lot lower than I had been led to believe.

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