IN THIS ARTICLE
Yellowdig's Commitment to Accessibility
Current State of the Platform
  Motor/Dexterity Accessibility
  Visual Accessibility
  Auditory Accessibility
  Cognitive Accessibility
Our Journey in Accessibility

Yellowdig's Commitment to Accessibility

We are deeply committed to ensuring the accessibility of our platform for all learners. For us, accessibility is far more than a box to check; it is a condition of genuine and inclusive community-building. Since community-building is part and parcel of Yellowdig's mission, so is accessibility. We want folks with accessibility challenges to have a positive and enjoyable experience in Yellowdig.

Our aim is to achieve WCAG 2.1 AA compliance with as few exceptions as possible, and strive to surpass them whenever feasible. This is a bold goal, and companies with far greater resources than Yellowdig have failed to meet far more basic standards. But we believe it’s essential to maintain high standards for accessibility.

Accessibility is always a work in progress, and we understand that there may be issues. If you spot a problem with accessibility for yourself or someone you know, please reach out to us at support@yellowdig.com and let us know about it. 

To see our most recent VPAT, contact us at clientsuccess@yellowdig.com


Current Platform Status

Our platform has made significant strides in various domains of accessibility, including motor/dexterity, visual, auditory, and cognitive accessibility. We continuously strive to improve and adapt to the evolving needs of our users.

While we've made significant progress, there are areas we're actively working on, such as navigation improvements, and enhanced color contrast standards.

Motor/Dexterity Accessibility

  • Essential platform elements—including forms, tooltips, modal windows, toggles, and filters—are navigable by keyboard alone.

  • Essential student-facing functions—including posting, commenting, and formatting text—can be performed by voice alone. (Some operations may require custom commands.)

  • Focused elements are highlighted throughout.

  • Skip links and collapsible side-navigation facilitate more efficient tabbed navigation.

  • Hover text is provided for icons and buttons with non-obvious functionality.

Video: Navigating Yellowdig with Keyboard Alone

Visual Accessibility

If you or one of your students have a visual disability and plan to use screen reader technology, we recommend reaching out directly to Yellowdig Support Team at support@yellowdig.com and so we can help ensure that such students are set up properly before they start using Yellowdig. Our recommended screen readers are JAWS (PC) and Voiceover (Mac).

  • Students can perform essential functions with screen-readers and keyboard navigation alone. We do not guarantee compatibility with every browser or screen-reader.

  • Form controls and headers facilitate faster VoiceOver-assisted rotor navigation.

  • Text searches and filters are available throughout the platform.

  • Platform adapts to 400% zoom.

  • Color does not single-handedly convey essential information.

  • Color contrasts generally conform to WCAG 2.1 AA standards.

Video: Interacting with Feed via Apple VoiceOver

Video: Interacting with Navigation Elements via Apple VoiceOver

Video Auto-Captions in Yellowdig

  • We've introduced a Video Auto-Captions feature that automatically generates captions for videos on our platform, making content more accessible to a broader audience. This article goes through the steps to enable and utilize this feature.

Auditory Accessibility

  • Users can add alt-text to videos recorded inside the platform, to uploaded videos, and to other uploaded files.

  • Audio does not play automatically when users scroll through their feeds.

Cognitive Accessibility

  • In-platform copy is simple and contains limited jargon.

  • Menus and submenus are reasonably uncluttered and have few children.

  • Comment threading increases tractability of conversations.

  • Users can simplify their feeds by filtering and collapsing posts.

Known Issues and Exceptions

  • A few navigation elements that tabbing "skips over" were recently identified. (Go to time 0:20 in "Interacting with navigation...".)

  • Some non-verbal symbols lack hover text. (Go to time 0:50 in "Navigating Yellowdig via keyboard...".)

  • Some navigation elements are insufficiently highlighted. (Go to time 0:20 in "Interacting with navigation...".)

  • At-mentions currently violate WCAG 2.1 AA color contrast standards.

  • Inserting certain emojis violates WCAG 2.1 AA color contrast standards.

  • At least some date pickers struggle with VoiceOver (e.g., reading the wrong dates).

  • Reduced animation and dark modes would improve accessibility, though we are currently working on implementing reduced motion settings.

Feedback and Collaboration

Your feedback is invaluable to us. If you encounter any accessibility-related issues or have suggestions, please reach out to us at support@yellowdig.com. 


Our Journey in Accessibility

We take pride in our efforts to make Yellowdig an accessible platform, but we also acknowledge areas that need improvement. We aim to be transparent about our processes, our achievements, and areas where we seek to grow.

Yellowdig's Accessibility Timeline:

  • February 2018: Research began for the next generation of Yellowdig, Yellowdig Engage.
  • April 2018: An accessibility specialist joined the Yellowdig development team..
  • May 2018: Development of Yellowdig Engage commenced, with accessibility as a primary focus.
  • August 2018: Collaborative accessibility testing with a university partner began.
  • April 30, 2019: On the heels of a 2018 VPAT, we completed our most recent VPAT (available upon request) for Yellowdig Engage. Our results relied on manual software probes (i.e., human scans) and computerized scans. At the time, we claimed WCAG 2.1 Level A conformance (with partial exceptions for predictability on input) and WCAG 2.1 Level AA conformance (with partial exceptions for identifying input purpose, resizing text, reflow, and focus visibility).
  • October 2020: A teammate with expertise in design accessibility joined Yellowdig. This addition brought a renewed focus on integrating accessibility principles directly into our design processes, ensuring that visual elements, user interfaces, and interactive components were crafted with inclusivity in mind, catering to a diverse range of user needs and abilities.
  • Between April 30, 2019 and present: This has been a period of rapid development and with that came the possibility of regression. To minimize this, we conducted computerized scans using WAVE and aXe , as well as performed manual spot checks, and identified the need to have more holistic testing.
  • December 2020: A revamped UI was launched, introducing major cognitive accessibility improvements.
  • April 2023: We initiated several high-impact accessibility projects to enhance vision, motor/dexterity, and auditory accessibility. An engineer specializing in building and maintaining accessible web software joined the team to help. This has included developing new features, refining existing functions to be more accessible, identifying and addressing areas for improvement, and training our QA team with the skills and knowledge to most effectively test for accessibility in our products.
  • Nov 2023 Over 25 software updates specifically aimed at enhancing Yellowdig’s screen reader and keyboard usability.

    Some of the improvements implemented:

    • Improved compatibility of interactive elements with keyboard control and screen readers.
      • Provide feedback when user types into a post text area.
      • Better interaction for topic selection during post creation.
    • Added more descriptive names to text areas and buttons to make them identifiable and more clear to screen reader users.
    • Enhanced focus management across the platform, including user posts, comments, replies, adding media, and more.
    • Updated ARIA attributes.
    • Refined the functionality of the read button and related dropdowns to work better with keyboard navigation.
    • Corrected heading levels in posts to help users understand page structure.
    • Team training sessions and QA processes for screenreader accessibility testing.

 

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