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VoiceThread

This product can introduce significant barriers for users with vision, hearing, or mobility challenges. Voice Thread, an interactive collaboration and sharing tool that allows users to add images, documents, and video and to which other users can add voice, audio file, or video comments is shown to considerably produce obstacles for users who have vision, hearing or mobility impairments.


Example of Issue

There are two students in an Art class that uses VoiceThread. One of the students has a hearing impairment and the other a vision impairment. Both students are unable to properly use the program due to the obstacles they face when trying to use the program. For example, when their classmates upload audio files, they don’t always include a text response or vice versa.

Standard

Section 508 Compliance: 1194.31 Functional performance criteria.

  • (a) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user vision shall be provided, or support for assistive technology used by people who are blind or visually impaired shall be provided.
  • (b) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require visual acuity greater than 20/70 shall be provided in audio and enlarged print output working together or independently, or support for assistive technology used by people who are visually impaired shall be provided.
  • (c) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user hearing shall be provided, or support for assistive technology used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing shall be provided.
  • (d) Where audio information is important for the use of a product, at least one mode of operation and information retrieval shall be provided in an enhanced auditory fashion, or support for assistive hearing devices shall be provided.
  • (e) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require user speech shall be provided, or support for assistive technology used by people with disabilities shall be provided.
  • (f) At least one mode of operation and information retrieval that does not require fine motor control or simultaneous actions and that is operable with limited reach and strength shall be provided.

Guideline 1.1 Text Alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language

Guideline 1.2: Provide alternatives for time-based media.
The purpose of this guideline is to provide access to time-based and synchronized media. This includes media that is:

  • audio-only
  • video-only
  • audio-video
  • audio and/or video combined with interaction

Example of Standard in Action

Example 1: Students with visual and motor impairments are able to access VoiceThread by using “VoiceThread Universal”, which is an HTML version of VoiceThread that is made for full screen readers. It’s easy to use interface and clear instructions make using it with screen readers a satisfying experience to visually impaired users.

VoiceThread Universal

Example 2: An instructor is using VoiceThread in a class where some of the students have hearing impairments and can sign language. When hearing impaired students upload a video to the course, they can use sign language for their response as well as text. Hearing impaired students enjoyed the fact that they could also see the emotion and individuality of the students and not just by texting a comment

VoiceThread Sign Language

Locating the Issue in Your Course

Check your course for any student use of VoiceThread and provide VoiceThread Universal as an accessible alternative.

Resources to Align With Standard

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