About Accessibility in Learning Tools

Accessibility in Learning Tools Licensed by RTL

Creating and fostering an equitable learning experience for all Berkeley students and instructors by supporting accessible educational technology tools is a high priority for RTL.

Standards tools must meet:

As per University of California, Policy IMT-1300, tools and web content must meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG 2.0AA). This policy defines accessible as the concept that people with disabilities are able to access and use a product or system, including with the help of assistive technologies. 

UCOP electronic accessibility policy


Choosing vendors who prioritize accessibility

Vendors who are committed to accessibility:

  • Have staff/a team dedicated to accessibility.

  • Publish a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT).

  • Are transparent about their accessibility testing and processes.

  • Conduct regular testing during their development processes and prior to launching new features.

  • Are responsive to end-user needs.

Conducting our own accessibility audits

Before licensing, before new releases, and recurrently, RTL technical and service teams:

    • Conduct keyboard and automated testing, e.g., using Web Access’ DIY keyboard testing step-by-step guide, and Keyboard Only Testing.

    • Partner with bIT’s Web Access team to conduct an accessibility clinic where third-party platforms are navigated by a screen-reader user. 

    • Document and share issues with the vendor, and follow up to resolution.

      • This may entail creating support tickets with the vendor, or having the vendor create internal support tickets.

Engaging with vendors

RTL staff who support licensed tools:.

  • Have regular check-ins with vendors of each of our licensed tools to follow accessibility roadmaps and ask clarifying questions.

  • Read and understand VPATs.

  • Follow up with vendors for clarification on areas that aren’t fully accessible.

  • Identify accommodations until the vendor resolves outstanding issues.

Engaging with peer institutions

Berkeley engages with the higher education community by partnering with peer institutions to compare notes, identify emerging accessibility needs, and influence vendors' long-term accessibility roadmaps and priorities.

Supporting instructors

RTL service leads:

  • Host workshops each semester on accessibility tools like Ally to help them make their course content accessible.

  • Support video tools that include closed captions, and educate instructors on the importance of and legal requirements for captioning multimedia content. 

  • Work closely with the Disabled Students Program staff to enable them to carry out their accommodation work in our various tools, platforms, and environments.

How RTL staff support all users

  • Maintain Accessibility Basics for bCourses, a self-paced online course for instructors with practices for making bCourses’ content accessible to all learners.

  • Maintain Introduction to Course Accessibility, a self-paced online course accessibility course for faculty, staff, and instructional designers.

  • Maintain Accessible Course Content site with best practices and help for students. 

  • Refer instructors to DSP for help with accommodation requests.