[Athen] Pear Deck accessibility

Deborah Armstrong armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu
Tue Mar 2 13:45:35 PST 2021

Well after I managed to enable screen reader support – I forgot it was enabled on my work PC but not on my employers’ laptop I’m using here at home, I could read the slides, but not the way google shows screen reader users doing it in their videos. You have to tab around a lot.

Screen reader support is under tools-accessibility for google slides and it’s hard to enable if you are using a screen reader, but it’s a one-time thing; once you do it, it is saved with your account but apparently doesn’t auto-enable if you switch to a different computer.

The other weird thing was that to read the questions the students would need to respond to I had to enable Braille support. Then with a lot of tabbing I could read most of what I needed. I’m not convinced this is fully accessible for a student participating in class but it was good enough for me as a volunteer assistant.

The other issue with Pear Deck is a problem for any print disability. You will need speech to read everything and then as a student you’re going to need to answer questions and respond interactively and possibly read others’ responses as well. If you are in a live classroom you’ll need to use headphones if you can’t read visually which means you won’t be hearing the instructor. If you are on a zoom meeting, same problem except you will need to stay on mute and can dispense with the headphones.

I think when we talk about accessibility we forget the problem of a student who uses audio who needs to work in realtime and listen to the class and listen to their computer reading to them as well. At least I have Braille, but if I didn’t, I think it would be much harder for me to be a full participant in a class realtime especially when I had to read while listening to the teacher or a live discussion.


From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Ann Newland
Sent: Monday, March 1, 2021 10:43 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Pear Deck accessibility

I looked at the Peardeck VPAT and the slides appear to be rendered as images of text instead of true text.

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Columbus State University

On Mon, Mar 1, 2021 at 1:36 PM Deborah Armstrong <armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu<mailto:armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu>> wrote:
So I was doing a volunteer job, not connected with my real job, helping a K12 classroom teacher.

She wants me to participate in this interactive google slide thing called a Pear Deck –
What are Pear Deck Slides?<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/help.peardeck.com/what-are-pear-deck-slides__;!!A-B3JKCz!VjBKv3x8ML7Pwx4RDKMsY_texvfOJD2cRDpwi4-6u5gn8g2UQl1Px7P7OCux8ulkcnshsw$>

It seems very inaccessible and confusing to me, yet her class is set up for struggling readers, so I’m either missing something or it’s just not screen reader friendly. Any thoughts?

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to simultaneously interact with my screen reader using this thing and interact with the class too. Is it keystroke accessible or am I wasting my time?


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