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WCAG 2.1 Certification and VPAT

Hi Accessibility Community!

I wanted to cross-post a blog article that Instructure posted this morning about Accessibility:

It mentions a milestone that we’re proud of reaching: formal certification of WCAG 2.1 AA substantial conformance by our third party reviewers at WebAIM. For more information you can review the certification statement and an updated VPAT. Over 100 accessibility improvements have been made this year to support this work (not including dozens more that are part of other projects) by all of the engineering teams across Instructure.

Thank you for your engagement and support as we work together to meet the accessibility needs of our students and educators! We appreciate the feedback and energy you bring to help us identify improvements and design solutions.

1 Reply
Community Member

Congratulations @gbeckmann & colleagues on the favorable rating from WebAIM! I know that's been a goal for a while now so I'm sure it's nice to see some tangible reward for your efforts, beyond of course the benefits for Canvas users of providing an accessible interface.

Regarding the VPAT, I especially appreciate your transparency. At the University of Washington, we educate people who are making IT purchasing decisions to consider the VPAT a conversation starter. It won't give us a full understanding of whether and how particular user groups will be able to interact with the product, but it provides a starting point, helping us to know where to look as we evaluate products and what questions we should be asking the vendor.

If a product claims 100% accessibility (i.e., rated "Supports" on all success criteria) that's a red flag for us, and generally is an indication that the vendor is either not being transparent or they don't really understand the success criteria.

So I consider it a positive that your VPAT includes many success criteria that are rated "Partially supports", and the exceptions are documented (in general terms) in the Remarks and Explanations column. Acknowledging your shortcomings is a key first step in fixing them, and I trust that the exceptions have been logged and Instructure will be addressing those soon.

Again, congratulations! And thanks for your ongoing commitment to providing a product that everyone can use.