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Accessibility

docassemble has a number of features that facilitate accessibility for persons with disabilities, including:

  • A built-in screen reader.
  • Use of text elements that are hidden in the normal web browser view but that are seen by screen readers.
  • Use of ARIA attributes to give hints to assistive technologies about the purpose of HTML elements.
  • Use of label tags, title attributes, and other HTML features that facilitate the use of assistive technologies.
  • Use of CSS and JavaScript to facilitate use of the keyboard in place of the mouse, so that users can navigate using Tab and shift-Tab.
  • Use of alt text in images and features for interview developers to include alt text in images that they insert into interviews, such as the alt_text attribute of DAFile, the alt_text keyword parameter to the show() method, the set_alt_text() and get_alt_text() methods, and the variant of the FILE tag that includes alt text. The Markdown syntax for including images supports alt text.

The docassemble user interface is built on Bootstrap 4.0, which has accessibility features and limitations. The default Bootstrap color scheme does not have sufficient contrast to meet the WCAG guidelines. You may want to create your own Bootstrap theme with increased color contrast.

Here are some tips on creating accessible interviews:

  • Always set alt text on any images. Set the alt text to empty text ('') when appropriate, but never omit the alt text altogether.
  • Use plain language. Use the “Source” tab to review the reading level of the text of your questions. If you set a 6th grade reading level as your target, all of your users will benefit, even if they are educated professionals.
  • When customizing, design for all devices, not for a particular device or devices. If the HTML and CSS are device-agnostic and adhere to standards, it is more likely that users of assistive technology will be able to understand the page.
  • Refrain from unnecessary user interface customization. Plain vanilla docassemble has pretty good accessibility. If your customizations make the interface more accessible, or you design your customizations with accessibility in mind, that’s fine, but if you are not an expert web developer, it is more likely that your customizations will reduce accessibility. If you customize for purposes of eye candy or marginal interface improvements, you may force users with disabilities to pay a big price for a small benefit to other users.
  • Use the WAVE Toolbar to see if there are any accessibility errors or warnings in your interview that you can address. Note that since docassemble is a single page application, you may need to refresh the screen before using the toolbar.

Even with a Bootstrap theme that has sufficient color contrast, there may be some accessibility limitations in docassemble. If you identify any, create a GitHub issue.