We have made significant strides in a long-term effort to update and improve accessibility-related features in Amplify Science, including but not limited to screen readability, keyboard navigation, and assessments.
Screen readability: We've made the majority of content screen-readable in the digital student experience for grades 6–8 and in digital Student Books for grades K–5. This means users who employ text-to-speech tools and screen readers like VoiceOver, NVDA, and ChromeVox are able to hear the text they see. This meets a critical need for students and teachers with visual impairments, and is also sought out as a support among learners who benefit from audio as a reading comprehension aid.
Keyboard navigation: We've added keyboard navigational support across the majority of the digital teacher and student experience. This means that users who rely on the keyboard in lieu of mouse or trackpad to navigate through and access content will be able to do so. This meets a critical need for students and teachers with physical impairments and/or manual dexterity issues, where keyboarding is the easiest (and sometimes only) way to access digital content.
Skip to main content: A best practice for web accessibility is to provide users an easy way to skip over common navigational elements, such as navigational menus. We've implemented this “Skip to main content” feature for screen reading software across the digital Teacher’s Guide, eReader, digital student experience for grades 6–8, and digital Student Books for grades K–5. This allows users who rely on screen reading and keyboard navigation to access the heart of the content in a more efficient way.
Read-aloud for assessments: In an effort to better support all learners, we've added a read-aloud function to digital unit assessments. This feature allows any student in grades 6–8 to turn on an automated reading of individual question items, as well as speed up or slow down the rate of reading and pause the audio at any point. Audio is available for multiple choice questions and writing prompts. Words will be highlighted as students read, making it easier for them to follow along.