This article is an overview of Boom Learning's accessibility options for differently-abled folks using the platform to play Boom decks, create them, or both.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Is Boom Learning VPAT compliant?
- Creating Accessibility with Self-Made Decks
- Accessibility within the Boom Card Player
Is Boom Learning VPAT compliant?
View this article for more information and to download our full VPAT Evaluation:
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 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. Alt-text is not currently available but is in development for future use.
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.
Here are a couple of video tutorials explaining how to create and upload custom sounds for use in creating Boom Cards:
You can also see all of our Creating with Sound FAQ articles by clicking here.
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.
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, also known as alternative text, or ALT attributes, are snippets of text that describe the content of an image. You should add ALT text to each image in your deck to help with accessibility.
Your ALT text should offer a descriptive explanation of an image. It will be read by accessibility programs or screen readers, so it should accurately describe the image to a person with impaired vision. If content that is necessary to understand the card is present in an image, it should 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.
You can add alt text to your images using the image properties panel click on "Accessibility Text."
Here is an example of alt text entered into the Accessibility Text modal:
Here is another example with a more complex image with content that is necessary to understand the card:
We at Boom Learning are constantly working to make our platform accessible to more people. Please stay tuned for announcements as we develop more accessibility features.