This article is an overview of Boom's accessibility options for differently-abled folks using the platform to play Boom decks, create them, or both. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Is Boom VPAT compliant?

Boom has filled out a VPAT evaluation form for your convenience. The report covers the degree of conformance for the following accessibility standard/guidelines:


VPAT Version 2.3 - December 2018


Standard / Guideline 
Included in Report
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.

http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/


Level A (Yes)

Level AA (Yes)

Level AAA (No)


Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1

https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/

Level A (No)

Level AA (No)

Level AAA (No) 



View this article for more information and to download our full VPAT Evaluation:

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) for Boom Cards




Creating Accessibility with Self-Made Decks

The Boom Deck Editor contains several options to create accessible cards for people with a variety of abilities and needs.


Colors for Backgrounds and Text

You can select a solid color or upload an image as a background for the selected card to create more contrast to improve visibility. Add these to the template card to apply the same background to all cards in a deck.


You can also change the color of text boxes, including the text itself or the background color behind the text.


Images

Images can be inserted onto a card for visual aids and can also be used as answer choices or draggable items. The image feature also supports GIFs up to 250KB in size; GIFs any larger will be compressed and displayed as a static image. 



Sounds

Creating cards with custom sounds is an important feature included with our Premium, Publisher, and School memberships. Sounds can be used to aid students with special needs, English as a second language, or those who need assistance with vocabulary development.


Images can be added to the sound to give it a different appearance than the default "speaker" image. Sounds cannot be clickable answers but can be made into draggable objects for a drag-and-drop answer format.


You can upload your custom sounds by clicking on the Studio tab and then clicking "Sounds" under Asset Managers.



You can also see all of our Creating with Sound FAQ articles by clicking here.


On-Screen Keyboards

For special symbols or language-specific characters, you can add an on-screen keyboard for students to use. This makes fill-in-the-blank answers much easier for students who need to use mathematical symbols or other characters not traditionally found on an English keyboard. Here is an example using the Spanish on-screen keyboard:





Accessibility within the Boom Card Player

Students can use their keyboard to move through cards in a deck and to select fill-in-the-blank answers. We currently do not support screen-reader or switch control technology, but we hope to develop it in the future! For now, students are able to utilize their arrow keys and the tab key.


Arrow Key Navigation

Instead of relying on a mouse or trackpad, students playing Boom Decks can navigate between cards using the arrow keys:  left for "Previous" and right for "Next/Skip".


Note: This function does not currently work on Flow Magic decks since the cards are formatted to be in a certain order depending on a student's answer.


Tab Key Navigation

The Tab key can be used to scroll through answers on a card. You'll still need to use a touch screen or a mouse to interact with drag and drop elements.

Highlighting each answer on a card using the tab key


When you reach a fill-in-the-blank text box, the cursor will automatically appear in the box and will allow students to type their answers. They can submit the answer by pressing the Enter key.


If there are multiple fill-in-the-blank text boxes on one card, pressing the Tab key will move through them based on their z-order. This is important to note for creators. If the fill-in-the-blank boxes are placed around the card in a random order, tab navigation may not be as clear.





Alt Text (Alternative Text) / Accessibility Text

ALT text, also known as alternative text, or ALT attributes, are snippets of text that describe the content of an image or a sound. You should add ALT text to each image and sound in your deck to help with accessibility.


Your ALT text should offer a descriptive explanation of an image or sound. It will be read by accessibility programs or screen readers, so it should accurately describe the image or sound to a person with impaired vision or hearing. If content that is necessary to understand the card is present in an image or a sound, it must be in the alt text. 


Screen readers will read the ALT text of the image, allowing the student to understand the image's content or its context in the card. Without descriptive text, the program may skip the image altogether or offer a notice to the user that no description is offered.

For sounds, the ALT text will display on the screen for people with auditory issues or in an environments where they cannot listen to sounds.


You can add alt text to your images or sounds using the image/sound properties panel click on "Accessibility Text."



NOTE: if you DO NOT WANT the screen reader or sound interpreter to read or display a text representation of your image or sound (b/c it is a background or decorative image/sound) that is NOT constructive to the learning content of the card, then enter "none" in the "Accessibility Text" field. 


It is imperative that you do NOT leave the alt text blank. If you leave it blank, your deck will NOT be considered accessible, it will NOT be found in accessible-filtered searches, and it will NOT score as high in our search algorithms. We will guess and try to invent alt text if you leave it blank. If you do not want us to provide a text equivalent for a sound/image, enter "none" in the "Accessibility Text" field.


Here is an example of alt text entered into the Accessibility Text modal:


Image of text in the modal window for accessibility text. It says: "A green circle in the center of the card."


Here is another example with a more complex image with content that is necessary to understand the card:



Our Player allows student to enable Sound to text, when this is turned on the text will display the ALT text of the sound, allowing the student to understand the sound's content or its context in the card. Without descriptive text, the program may skip the sound altogether or offer a notice to the user that no description is offered.


You can add alt text to your sounds using the image properties panel click on "Accessibility Text."





We at Boom are constantly working to make our platform accessible to more people. Please stay tuned for announcements as we develop more accessibility features.