[Athen] Two accessible chat platforms

Deborah Armstrong armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu
Wed Jan 20 08:50:52 PST 2021

I was recently in several zoom conferences that used a third party chat platform for collaboration.

Google Jamboard: Interactive Business Whiteboard | Google Workspace<https://workspace.google.com/products/jamboard/>
And Padlet
Dashboard (padlet.com)<https://padlet.com/dashboard>
Were both accessible with JAWS and NVDA. That is, you could read others' posts and scroll to the bottom to make your own post.

However, in a large group, many folks are chatting, so it's important to realize that with any reading disability, it will be a slow process to get through all the messages in realtime.

The advantage of these whiteboards is that people can also draw, post videos, photos, graphs and pretty much anything else they want. That means they would be free to post inaccessible content. But it's nice to know the platforms themselves work great with screen reading technology.

One piece of advice, if you use such a whiteboard is to let your students with reading disabilities practice with it ahead of time. I had to focus on the webinar while simultaneously trying to figure out how to navigate the whiteboard interface. Luckily neither training was mandatory and I was attending for my own personal enrichment. But a student who is nervous about getting a passing grade would need extra time to explore a new interface before being expected to competently interact with it.


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