(last updated September 2020)
Accessibility in an A2J Guided Interview
A2J Author understands the importance of accessibility on the web and empowers you to make A2J Guided Interviews that are Section 508 and WCAG2 compliant. This page will help you to create accessible A2J Guided Interviews.
508 and WCAG Compliance
If you use the latest version of the A2J Viewer (https://github.com/CCALI/a2jviewer) and follow the accessible interview checklist below, your A2J Guided Interview will work for end users using a screen reader to complete it. This means you can use A2J Author to create accessible interviews that are compliant with Section 508 and WCAG2 standards.
Section 508 is a United States federal law that requires all electronic and information technology used by the federal government to be accessible to people with disabilities.
WCAG2 is a set of technical guidelines for making web content more accessible. It includes a set of criteria to test for success.
What is an accessible A2J Guided Interview?
An accessible A2J Guided Interview is designed so that people with varying hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive abilities can complete it.
- An accessible interview enables end users using screen magnifiers to successfully complete the interview.
- An accessible interview has the necessary text elements to enable an end user to successfully navigate and complete a survey using a screen reader with a text-to-speech (TTS) system.
- An accessible interview can be completed using voice recognition software.
- An accessible interview does not require a mouse or keyboard to complete.
Theme and Color Contrast
Our A2J Author interface includes the right amount of color contrast and brightness to ensure our interviews are accessible to most people, including people with colorblindness. Authors are not able to change the default theme for the interview interface.
Accessible A2J Guided Interviews Checklist
There are some parts of an A2J Guided Interview that can be made more accessible by the coding that into the software itself. However, there are also parts of the interview that require the author to do in order to ensure the most accessible A2J Guided Interview possible.
To ensure your A2J Guided Interviews is acessible, check all of the following:
- Button labels are consistent throughout the A2J Guided Interview. For example, if you use "Yes" and "No" buttons, pick if the "Yes" or the "No" is going to come first and which is going to come second. Be consistent throughout the interview with their placement. The buttons are located in the same spot in the code, but authors control the labels for the buttons. Longer label names may change the layout of the buttons on the screen for the end user.
- Ensure that you have a text alternative to an audio clip. You can add audio to a page's question text section or a Learn More section. Both have space for a text alternative.
- To learn more about the WCAG standard: https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/media-equiv-av-only-alt.html and https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/media-equiv-audio-desc.html
- Ensure you have a text transcript for any video that is added. You can add the text transcript to the "Text transcript" field under the video upload field in the Question Design Editor.
- To learn more about the WCAG standard: https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/media-equiv-captions.html
- Ensure you have a graphic alt-text tag for any images that are uploaded. Ideally they should be less than 100 characters and not include any special characters. Currently special characters will be stripped out of the label. The "graphic alt-text" field is located under the image upload field in the Question Design Editor.
- Consider adding sign language interpretation for any video that you upload.
- To learn more about the WCAG standard: https://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/media-equiv-sign.html
- If the media for a Learn More is supplementary, it should be labeled as such. There is a "Media Label" field where the author can type in "Supplementary" or "Alternative".
Features We've Added to Make A2J Guided Interviews More Accessible
Here are some examples of the accessibily enhancements we've added to make A2J Guided Interviews as accessible as possible.
- Added ability to allow authors to add transcripts to videos
- Added alt-graphic label for author input
- Added media label for author input
- Increased target size for any input fields and buttons
- Grouped steps in My Progress navigation bar
- Established relationships between steps and their numbering
- Ensuring UI components have a 'name' and a 'role'
- Added the 'lang' attribute to the document
- Included outlink icon for hyperlinks
- Add alt tags to describe images used in the interface
- Added aria labels throughout the interface
A2J Author is dedicated to helping authors make A2J Guided Interviews that are accessible. If you have feedback on how we can do better, please reach out to our A2J Author Project Manager, Jessica Frank, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also leave us feedback using the Feature Request form here. We may not be able to respond to your feedback directly, but we'll make sure your thoughts and suggestions reach the right team.