I was chatting to an academic the other day. We were talking about the new tool in Moodle for automatically checking the accessibility of documents and providing alternative formats on-the-fly. It’s called Blackboard Ally and it’ll even give you step-by-step guidance on how to fix any accessibility issues (hint: click the meter icon for advice and guidance).
But wait they said, that’s fine for documents, Powerpoints and PDFs but I use Google Docs all the time, how can I improve those?
Ah, I said, you’ll need to use a bit of Grackle on that. It’s not for grouting your bathroom, it’s for fixing your Google Docs, so everyone can read them more easily.
Grackle comes in two flavours Grackle for Google Docs and Grackle for Google Slides. You just add the extensions to your Google Chrome browser and then launch Grackle from the add-ons menu as you’re creating your Google Slides or Documents.
Grackle produces a checklist of common accessibility problems and highlights any of these issues in your documents. It’s usually very straight-forward to fix them.
The most common issues are images without alternative text (descriptive titles of the images), poor contrast between text and background colours and lack of document structure / headings. These are easily fixed and Grackle will show you exactly where these problems appear in your documents.
Take a look at this website to find out more about the handy features of Grackle.
Disclaimer: Parts of this conversation may have been embellished for entertainment value…