Accessibility Update


Release Date


Key Features

This is an accessibility release. Unizin partners with the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) to ensure that its applications meet or exceed federal requirements for accessibility. In January 2017, the federal government released the new Section 508 rules for accessibility compliance. Those rules essentially adopt the WCAG 2.0 guidelines and its level-AA criteria for compliance. As you likely know, vendors typically write and provide institutions with Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) testifying to their products compliance with 508 rules. Unizin chooses to have NCAM audit its products for compliance and write its product VPATs. We believe a national leader in the field of accessibility is an objective judge of our product accessibility. This release fixes a handful of small issues –many edge cases– that get us compliant with new federal statutes. The statutes go into effect on March 20, 2017 (but will only be enforced beginning January 2018). We will post our Engage VPATs from NCAM on unizin.org at the same time that we release this code to production.


  • Color contrast. Two UI controls failed color contrast ratio requirements – the tags in the All Notes view, the delete button in the "edit note" modal. In both cases, we darkened the font face and lightened the background.

  • All font sizes specified in pixels have been removed. This allows end users to resize font with native browser controls.

  • Heading structures. A few of our heading structure hierarchies were inconsistent. They jumped from H1 to H3. In some cases, our heading structures did not provide the best UX to screen readers. We followed NCAM's guidelines to both stay compliant (small changes) and provided a better user experience (we introduced some new headings).

  • Focus ring. We're using a custom focus ring now (the border that surrounds a focused element), enable consistency and a better visual experience across browsers.

  • Aural text. We improved the aural text for two controls – the course material menu buttons (in the Term view)

  • Keyboard accessibility. The help button in the user menu and search submit buttons were not keyboard accessible. A few control elements also did not receive focus in the tab order – that is now fixed.

  • Skip links. We've removed them from the app because new navigation controls make them obsolete.

  • ARIA landmark roles. Although not necessary if you use region elements, we added ARIA landmark roles in every instance (e.g., "nav").

  • Modal focus. The analytics modal was not properly returning focus to the UI menu control after being closed by the user. The solution was to pull the menu control out of the menu as a separate control below the course tile.

  • Empty searches. Engage no longer submits a search query if the key term search input is blank or full of spaces.

  • Tab titles. When embedded media are delivered (e.g., YouTube video), we now change the title of the browser tab to reflect the title of the content (e.g., the YouTube video title).

  • HTML validation. We encountered two minor HTML validation errors that are now fixed.

Known Issues


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