Engage (RedShelf) Accessibility and Usability Information

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

Engage is a set of Digital Learning Tools and eTexts that are embedded in Canvas (our learning management system). The instructor selects an eText/DLT that is then automatically purchased for the student through their tuition unless they opt out.

This document reviews the accessibility of the eText eReader, RedShelf. RedShelf provides a document outlining the required and recommended hardware and software. Students can request accommodations through the McBurney Disability Resource Center, and instructors can review those requests via their McBurney Instructor Portal.

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Creating an accessible course while using Engage

Engage has features that can be helpful for some students. But remember that some students might be using alternative formats or might use a keyboard only with no mouse. To help ensure that your class is accessible:

  • Don’t require any use of features that depend upon selecting text through Engage, such as creating notes and flashcards, and using the citations feature. These features may be used by students, but should not be a requirement of the course.
  • Don’t use any collaboration features such as note sharing through the eText. We cannot create an equal accommodation for sharing notes through the eText, and that feature should not be used.

Accessibility and usability barriers

The following information is provided to help people with disabilities know what potential barriers exist. Students with disabilities may have difficulty using highlighting, citations, and collaborative features in Engage. Instructors are not encouraged to require highlighting, citations, and social engagement (such as sharing notes) as part of required activities in their courses since accessibility improvements for these features are still in progress.

Missing labels, alternative text, and status alerts create difficulties for screen reader users such as users who are blind or have low vision

Some elements, including missing button labels, missing header structure, and missing alt-text, create barriers that may make it difficult for some users to navigate the site when using a screen reader. 

Loss of functionality when navigating via keyboard creates difficulties for some users such as people with motor disabilities

The most disruptive keyboard navigation barrier is the loss of the ability to select text to highlight or take notes when navigating the application via the keyboard. Selecting text is a requirement to use the flashcards, citations, and copy text features, and so those dependent features are not accessible. There is also a barrier to using the expandable navigation menu in the application, as the menu does not collapse when the user navigates away from the menu and it blocks other elements on the screen.

Magnification and color contrast barriers create difficulties for some users, such as people who have low vision or color blindness

There are several instances where the visual indicator of focus on the screen is too low contrast compared to the background color. Also, when the screen is magnified at or above 400%, the top toolbar begins to cover the reading area on the screen.


  • If you have not opted out of an eText, students may purchase reduced-price loose-leaf paper copies of some eTexts at the University Book Store (if available, check the University Book Store website).
  • Students may print their eTexts with these instructions.
  • Instructors may contact the publisher for a “desk copy.”

See also

Keywordsunizin, accessible, accommodations, faculty, student, disabilities, features, assistive, technologies, keyboard, print, mcburney center, resources, alternative, formats, collaboration, engagement, assistants, features, barriers, disability, reading, assistance   Doc ID78006
OwnerAndrew M.GroupIT Accessibility and Usability
Created2017-11-06 15:11:17Updated2024-02-21 15:41:53
SitesDoIT Help Desk, IT Accessibility and Usability, Learn@UW-Madison
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