Engage - Accessibility & Usability Information

This document summarizes the accessibility and usability barriers identified during testing as well as how to get help.

The Engage PDF eText Reader is available for students to view eText as an alternative to physical textbooks. However, the Engage PDF eText Reader is not accessible for people with disabilities. The following information briefly describes barriers to people with disabilities and provides information on how to get assistance.

Accessibility & Usability Barriers for people with motor and visual disabilities

People with visual or motor disabilities may have difficulty using the Engage PDF eText Reader annotation and collaboration/engagement/social features. These features are used by instructors to allow students to take and share notes as well as comment and react to those notes together in the eText. 

Annotation and collaboration/engagement/social features are not accessible for people navigating via keyboard or using a screen reader in the Engage PDF eText Reader. This causes accessibility barriers for people with motor disabilities and with visual disabilities resulting in a need for accommodations.

Accommodation capability for Engage PDF eText Reader

There may be a limited means of providing accommodations for students with disabilities when an instructor is using Engage depending on what features of Engage the instructor has chosen to use. 

If a course involves reading a text in a way that allows for both physical and eText textbook use, then accommodation is possible through print accommodations. However, if the instructor is using the annotation and collaboration/engagement/social within the PDF eText Reader and that is a requirement for course participation or the student who can't use these features is not able to equally and meaningfully participate with the class, then accommodation can be difficult or in some cases impossible.

Using Engage as a Web-based eText reader only

When Engage is only used as an eText reader, the methods for providing accommodations for students are the same as the methods used for converting traditional print textbooks and materials into accessible formats. Accommodations in this case is easier to provide and supportive of student needs in order to participate in the course equitably and meaningfully.

Students

Students who use a keyboard only, use assistive technology or who have print-related disabilities (How to Become a Mcburney Client) may request an accessible copy of the eText that can be used with the keyboard only and other assistive technologies such as Kurzweil 3000 or JAWS by contacting the McBurney Center's Alternative Formats Service.

Faculty

Students who have difficulty using the Engage platform and who request an accessible copy through the McBurney Disability Resource Center may end up doing their course readings entirely outside of the Engage platform. 

Most commonly these students have Document Conversion approved as an accommodation on their McBurney Accommodation Plan. Therefore, they will not be included in usage statistics through Engage which may impact student monitoring for instructors. Please discuss with the student and the McBurney Disability Resource Center any other impacts of not using the Engage platform.

Faculty who use only a keyboard, use assistive technologies, or who have a print-related disability should contact the DoIT eText Team for an accessible copy of the eText.

Using Engage with Collaboration/Engagement Features

When faculty and/or students use the annotation and collaboration/engagement/social features of Engage, the methods for accommodating students may require substantial advance notice and may not always be possible. Changes to the course design may be necessary, such as the removal of the requirement for the student to participate using the social features in the course.

Students

Students who use a keyboard only or other assistive technologies and who are enrolled in a course that uses Engage with the annotation and collaboration/engagement/social features, should contact the McBurney Center’s Alternative Formats Service as soon as possible to discuss a plan for accommodations and using Engage.

Faculty

Faculty who plan to use the annotation and collaboration/engagement/social features in their courses should contact the DoIT E-text Team and the McBurney Center’s Alternative Formats Service as soon as possible to discuss a plan for accommodating students who use the keyboard only, use assistive technologies or who have print-related disabilities. Access Assistants may need to be hired or other plans put in place for the students to be able to read the questions/comments and for the students to respond or to post their own comments/questions back to the Engage platform.

Faculty who use only a keyboard, use assistive technologies, or who have a print-related disability should contact the DoIT E-text Team for more information.