Professor: Utilizing Top Hat with Accessibility

In general, Top Hat is fully accessible for students with disabilities. It is however possible for professors to create materials within Top Hat that are not accessible for students with disabilities. This guide outlines the most common ways in which professors add inaccessible content, and provides alternatives on meeting the same objectives in a more accessible way.

Note: This is intended as a general guide only, providing suggestions on where to start, and is not a legally binding document.

Adding Images
Top Hat provides the ability to attach an image to questions. Images are not accessible to students with visual impairments.

 Alternatives:

  • Do not use images
  • Provide information equivalent to image in question text
  • Create an alternative question, that is not based on an image, specifically for the student(s) with visual impairments. This alternative question can either be activated for the student(s) at the same time as the other question, or at a more convenient time. Responses from both variations of the question will need to be manually combined in the gradebook afterwards.

Math Equations
Top Hat provides the ability to include math equations. These are represented by images in the app, which are not accessible to students with visual impairments.

Alternatives:

  • Do not use math equations
  • Provide textual description alongside the equation
  • Create an alternative question, that is not based on an equation, specifically for the student(s) with visual impairments. This alternative question can either be activated for the student(s) at the same time as the other question, or at a more convenient time. Responses from both variations of the question will need to be manually combined in the gradebook afterwards.

Click on Target Questions
Top Hat has a question style called “Click on Target”. These types of questions ask students to click on a specific area of an image, which is not accessible to students with visual impairments. 

Alternatives:

  • Do not use click on target questions
  • Create an alternative question, that is not based on an image, specifically for the student(s) with visual impairments. This alternative question can either be activated for the student(s) at the same time as the other question, or at a more convenient time. Responses from both variations of the question will need to be manually combined in the gradebook afterwards.

Multimedia
Top Hat provides a number of ways for professors to share video and sound with students. This media may not be accessible to students with visual or hearing impairments.

 Alternatives:

  • Do not use media
  • Ensure media is fully accessible, for example with descriptive video and subtitles
     

Timed Questions
Top Hat questions can be configured by the professor to limit the amount of time students have to submit a response. Students with disabilities may require additional time to answer a question, and thus timed questions will not be an accessible option. 

Alternatives:

  • Do not use question timers
  • Provide enough time for all students to answer the question
  • Provide the impacted student(s) with extra time to answer the question at a more convenient time
     

Slides
Slide presentations can be uploaded and shared with Top Hat. When presenting a lecture this media is not currently accessible to students with visual impairments, but slides can be made accessible to students after the lecture.

Alternatives:

  • Do not use slides in Top Hat
  • Use the slides only as an optional, supplemental aid. Provide alternative materials (such as an audio recording of the lecture itself) as the primary materials.
  • Provide the slides to the student(s) before the class so they can use accessibility tools to access the content separately

Demos
Top Hat allows the integration of pieces of content called “Demos,” which are interactive demonstrations created by Top Hat, a professor, or a 3rd party on behalf of the professor. These demos can be made with a variety of technologies such as Adobe Flash™, which can be made accessible. However it is possible to create demos that are not accessible to students with visual, hearing, or physical impairments.

Alternatives:

  • Do not use demos in Top Hat
  • Only use content with has been tested to be accessible

Tournaments
Professors can create tournaments in Top Hat which allow students to compete in head-to-head competitions. Because timing is a factor in tournaments, and students with disabilities may be randomly paired with students without disabilities, the experience is not accessible.

Alternatives:

  • Do not use tournaments in Top Hat
  • Make tournament activities optional, and provide an alternative activity



Support
Should you require further assistance with Top Hat, our Support Team is here to help! You can contact us directly by way of email (support@tophat.com), the in app support button, the red Can’t find what you are looking for? Ask Support! banner at the bottom of this page, or calling us at 1-888-663-5491.

Comments