On January 18, 2017 (amended January 22, 2018), the United States Access Board (https://www.access-board.gov/) updated their Section 508 Standards (https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/communications-and-it/about-the-section-508-standards) as it applies to information and communications technology (https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/communications-and-it) used by or provided by government agencies, including public schools. To help all of us navigate the requirements, GrackleDocs, Inc. (https://www.grackledocs.com/) has a tool we can use to check accessibility for free, either as an add-on to our Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, or as a Chrome extension for other web content. Sounds great! How do I get it?
While logged into your district Google account, browse to the following link, then click the blue Add to Chrome button, and accept the terms:
When Grackle is active on a tab with editable G-Suite content, there will be an icon that looks like a bird in silhouette against a dark blue background near the right end of the URL bar. Click the icon to grade the accessibility of the current browser tab. If the current tab is not editable G-Suite content, the bird silhouette will appear against gray.
Docs, Sheets, and Slides
Within an open Doc, Sheet, or Slides file, click Add-ons → Get add-ons… in the menu. In the Add-ons search box, type grackle, then click the blue +FREE button, and accept the terms.
To use Grackle to analyze your file for accessibility, click Add-ons → Grackle [Docs / Sheets / Slides] → Launch. A window will appear on the right side of the screen that will contain, within moments, an accessibility analysis of your file. Welcome to the world of accessibility!
Note that with the free version of Grackle, the tagged PDF export feature from within the analysis window is limited to the first 30 days of use. However, you can still export PDF files from the menu using File → Download as → PDF Document (.pdf). Some features of the reports, such as suggestions for remediation, may also be limited in the free version.
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