FileCloud and VPAT Compliance

Web Accessibility Series – Part 2. To read Part 1, click here

FileCloud is committed to ensuring that the platform, whether Online or Server, is accessible to all users by embracing industry standards and guidelines such as VPATTM (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) and WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).

VPAT Compliance and WCAG Guidelines

Since the 20.3 release (December 2020), FileCloud supports VPATTM 1.1, 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.2.5, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1.1, and 4.1.2.

“A Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is a document that explains how information and communication technology (ICT) products such as software, hardware, electronic content, and support documentation meet (conform to) the Revised 508 Standards for IT accessibility. VPAT helps Federal agency contracting officials and government buyers to assess ICT for accessibility when doing market research and evaluating proposals.”Section 508 official website.

FileCloud also follows WCAG 2.1, which enables users with limited accessibility to work with FileCloud.

“Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including accommodations for blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and combinations of these, and some accommodation for learning disabilities and cognitive limitations; but will not address every user need for people with these disabilities. These guidelines address accessibility of web content on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. Following these guidelines will also often make Web content more usable to users in general.” W3C definition.

By following these design guidelines, FileCloud is more user-friendly to all users. In this blog post, we’ll go over a few elements that demonstrate FileCloud’s VPATTM compliance.

FileCloud Enhancements for Accessibility

FileCloud has been designed with the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPATTM) in mind and offers a variety of options to improve usability:

  • High contrast mode
  • Color options
  • Visual cues
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Dark mode
  • Non-blocking operations for long-running tasks
  • Support for color customization and themes
  • Complete translation in multiple languages

High Contrast Mode

One of the recommendations from W3C is to provide a style switcher for a High Contrast mode.

This mode is available from the user UI and can be activated per user through the user settings:

High Contrast Mode

When you check the enable box, the UI will immediately change to the high contrast mode:

Keyboard Shortcuts

FileCloud supports VPAT Compliance by enabling navigation of the user interface using only the keyboard. These include tab navigation through the interface, no keyboard traps, and the ability to move between frames in the user UI.

W3C Keyboard accessibility guidelines say: “If all functionality can be achieved using the keyboard, it can be accomplished by keyboard users, by speech input (which creates keyboard input), by mouse (using on-screen keyboards), and by a wide variety of assistive technologies that create simulated keystrokes as their output.” – Keyboard accessibility guidelines 2.1.

To view the list of available shortcuts, the user can click on the “Show Shortcuts” section in the user menu. Then click on “Shortcut Keys” to bring up the full list:

For more information on how these shortcuts work, you can visit the first blog post in this accessibility series: VPAT and Keyboard Shortcuts in FileCloud.

Themes and Dark Mode

The W3C distinguishable guidelines recommend making it easier for users to see content by separating the foreground from the background. FileCloud has a theme option that enables users to switch between color schemes, including a Dark Mode. This can be accomplished through User Settings.

The two bars on the right side of the theme selector allow the user to choose the hyperlink text color and the background of the button color. Once a theme is selected, the UI switches immediately:

Language Options

This feature has been available for a long time in FileCloud for select languages. Recently though, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Chinese have been included as options for both users and admins, helping a broader user base leverage FileCloud in their day-to-day operations.

The user can update their display language from the user settings. Current language options include:

  • Arabic
  • Chinese Simplified
  • Chinese Traditional
  • Chinese
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

 

Here are some examples of the UI after the language is changed:

Conclusion

FileCloud continues to implement changes according to W3C guidelines and VPATTM to create a user-friendly interface for everyone. The last VPATTM assessment gave FileCloud a 75+ score, and all “A” scores were accomplished. FileCloud is working on achieving “AA” and “AAA” scores for maximum compatibility in the future.

 

Article written by Daniel Alarcon