VoiceThread - Accessibility | Office of Information Technology

VoiceThread - Accessibility

Last Updated: 03/22/2017

What is Accessibility?

‘Accessible’ means a person with a disability is afforded the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as a person without a disability in an equally effective and equally inclusive manner, with substantially equivalent ease of use.

Accessibility Considerations

Users can access VoiceThread from the VoiceThread website, from within Desire2Learn, from the VoiceThread App for iOS mobile devices, and from VoiceThread Universal.

VoiceThread Website and VoiceThreads Embedded in Desire2Learn

The VoiceThread website and player (used to listen to, view, or record comments) are not accessible by screen readers. Because VoiceThreads embedded in Desire2Learn rely on the VoiceThread player, they are also not accessible by screen readers.

VoiceThread App for Mobile Devices

The VoiceThread App can be used to create, edit, and comment on VoiceThreads from within an iOS and Android Mobile Device. VoiceThread has indicated that there are a few places where buttons need to be given clearer labels and that this gap is not prohibitive. The labels will be improved in a future update to the app.

VoiceThread Universal

VoiceThread Universal is an HTML version of VoiceThread that is made for full screen readers. Before using VoiceThread Universal, note that:

  • Users cannot share Voice Threads from within VoiceThread Universal. 
  • Users are unable to adjust colors or contrast settings or skip repetitive navigation links. 
  • Closed caption, alt text, and alt attributes are not automatically available. Creators must add them to the media. 
  • Creators should add a description field to describe the central media
  • Web pages do not contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period

Alternatives and/or Workarounds

Depending on how VoiceThread is being used in a course, VoiceThread Universal may serve as an alternative. We recommend its use when asking course participants to comment using text based responses. It should be avoided if contributors are required to create, edit, share VoiceThreads, or comment via video or audio. 

To access VoiceThread Universal:

  1. Log in to CU Boulder’s instance of VoiceThread.
  2. After logging in, go to VoiceThread Universal.

To set VoiceThread Universal as your default view of VoiceThread:

  1. Log-in to CU Boulder’s instance of VoiceThread.
  2. Click on your email address on the upper right hand corner of the page.
  3. Select Display Preferences.
  4. Open the dropdown menu under Accessibility and choose VoiceThread Universal. Your preference will automatically be saved.
  5. Refresh your browser to be automatically redirected to the VoiceThread Universal site.

Information for Content Creators

To make the VoiceThreads you create accessible to screen readers:

Service Road Map and Additional Information

VoiceThread has committed to addressing accessibility gaps that surfaced during accessibility testing. The VoiceThread Accessibility Whitepaper includes VoiceThread’s VPAT, which explains VoiceThread’s 508 compliancy. For more information about the accessibility of VoiceThread, visit the VoiceThread accessibility website. We will update the information on this page, when improvements are made to the systems.

Get Help or Provide Feedback

OIT has partnered with Disability Services to provide assistance for accessibility issues related to OIT supported services and we want to hear from you about this service. If you need assistance using this service or you have more information about the accessibility of this service that we should share with others, please contact the IT Service Center at help@colorado.edu or at 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from an on-campus phone).