WCAG AA and Articulate Rise

We recently fielded a question from a colleague related to accessibility in Articulate Rise.

Their question was: “In practice, how does Articulate Rise conform to WCAG AA?”

The tl;dr answer:

Articulate has a report for how Rise conforms to WCAG criteria for A and AA. It provides good information, if you read the notes. Specifically, some criteria classified as “support” depend on design choices made by the user and some criteria classified as “partially support” depend on yet-to-be-implemented tool features.

The longer answer:

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, which are accessibility standards. Each guideline has testable success criteria at three levels: A, AA, and AAA. Level A is the minimal level of conformance and AAA is the highest level of conformance. Articulate periodically tests their software against the criteria at levels A and AA and includes the results in a published report. For each criterion at levels A & AA, the report indicates the level of support as “supports,” “partially supports,” “does not support,” or “n/a.”

However, the notes include key information that certain criteria are not supported to the level indicated in the rating table.

For example, let’s consider Criteria 1.4.1: Use of Color. Articulate’s report indicates this criterion is fully supported. However, when you adjust the ‘accent color’ in settings, Rise offers six color options, but only half of them provide adequate contrast to pass level A. So in reality, some of the default options are not accessible and choosing an accessible color combination depends on the designer making the right decisions.*

Three default colors in Articulate Rise: blue, orange, and green, are not accessible

*Brian Dusablon wrote an article and developed an informational video about this issue, so check it out for the suggested workaround.

Another curious decision was to list certain criteria as “partially support” if the accessibility improvements are included in the development roadmap, but not currently functional. For practical purposes, these criteria are “not supported” until those features are successfully implemented. Again, you have to read the notes to see the clarification that improvements are not part of the current product release. Perhaps there should be a new classification called “working on it.”

Provided you have foundational knowledge about accessibility and know which content blocks are accessible, Articulate Rise is still a great tool for creating accessible content. We definitely recommend testing in addition to research to understand how well a given tool produces accessible content.

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Going to be at DevLearn? Catch our Thursday AM Morning Buzz “Designing with Accessibility in Mind”

Related news:

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New Accessibility Basics Resource available from the eLearning Guild

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