Accessibility and assistive technologies
The Assessment Tool has been developed to take into account as many accessibility issues as possible.
Accessibility issues that have been addressed
- Techniques such as high contrast navigation, ensuring colour coding takes into account colour blindness, allowing for magnification of fonts, and testing the site's performance using assistive technology such as screen readers.
- Having simple and well structured page layouts, logically organized tab ordering, and shortcut keys for commonly used functionality (see the section on Shortcuts).
- Testing to work with a range of technologies available for client machines, e.g. screen readers on PCs.
- Taking care to ensure that the Assessment Tool conforms wherever possible with the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative.
However within the scope of Assessment generally, there are certain functions that have not been considered as falling within the scope of the project.
Accessibility issues that have not been addressed at this juncture
- Allowing for specific Assessments to be created for visually or motor impaired users. At the moment, questions within the Assessment Tool have been flagged with metadata relating to their suitability for such a functionality, but the number of questions that have been prepared does not allow for producing Assessments of this sort.
- The provision of any "built in" assistive technologies such as the ability for the Assessment Tool to read out questions and stimuli.
- Tagging of large images (such as those used as stimuli in some Reading questions) with HTML "alt" tags. In the course of the development of the Assessment Tool, it was decided that the psychometric relevance of answering questions intended to assess reading through assistive technologies such as screen readers was minimal. Accordingly this option has not been included in the tool.