Is LockDown Browser accessible to those with disabilities?
Posted by Respondus Support
LockDown Browser meets all web content accessibility guidelines, as documented in our Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). LockDown Browser also works with many assistive technologies, with details listed below.
This is not an exhaustive list of screen readers that work with LockDown Browser, but are the ones we test and verify. LockDown Browser does not block screen readers, and conforms to WCAG 2.0, so screen readers not listed here will likely work too.
- Windows: The Windows version of LockDown Browser is tested and works with NVDA, JAWS, and MS-Windows Narrator. LockDown Browser's functions and security remain the same when these screen readers are used.
- Mac: The Mac and iPad versions of LockDown Browser are tested and work with VoiceOver (the standard screen reader that comes with the Mac OS). LockDown Browser's functions and security remain the same when VoiceOver is used. More about VoiceOver
- Chrome OS (Chromebooks): The LockDown Browser for Chromebook Extension is tested and works with ChromeVox. ChromeVox is built in to the Chrome OS and can be triggered by using the following key combination: Ctrl+Alt+Z
Text-to-Speech (also known as “read aloud” or “literacy” software)
- Texthelp Read&Write (Windows): LockDown Browser has a custom integration with Read&Write. When a student is using LockDown Browser, a “lockdown mode” setting will be applied to the Read&Write toolbar, preventing certain features from being used during an exam (e.g., web searches). The reader and Screen Masking functions remain available to students during the exam. More about Read&Write
- ReadSpeaker webReader for the LMS (Windows and Mac): When WebReader is embedded within a learning system, it will work seamlessly with LockDown Browser with some security limitations (e.g., copy/paste and MP3 downloads are disabled). The reading, masking, and text enlarging functions remain available to students during an exam.
- ReadSpeaker TextAid (Windows): The “bookmarklet” version of TextAid works with LockDown Browser on Windows computers.
- Speech (MacOS 10.15 or older): Speech works with LockDown Browser, however it does not read multiple choice or true/false answer choices correctly in all LMS integrations. This issue and a potential fix is being investigated by Respondus.
- Spoken Content (MacOS 11.0 or newer): Speak Selection will work with LockDown Browser and all LMS integrations, although it works differently than Speech. It requires the use of the hot key (Option + ESC) to read the text audibly. (Note: There is an issue with Canvas Classic Quizzes and Speak Selection during LockDown Browser exams, so we recommend using VoiceOver as an alternative for Classic Quizzes.)
- Others: Because many text to speech (TTS) applications include advanced functionality that would be considered exploits within LockDown Browser, portions of these programs cannot run on top of a LockDown Browser window. These programs are not blocked, however some functionality may be limited while using LockDown Browser (e.g., Natural Reader).
Speech-to-Text (also known as “Voice-to-Text,” or “dictation” software)
- Windows Speech Recognition: Works with LockDown Browser, with some limitations. More about Windows Speech Recognition
- Mac Voice Control: Works with LockDown Browser, with some limitations. More about Mac Voice Control
- Nuance Dragon: Dragon is not blocked by LockDown Browser during an exam, but some functionality may be limited. Users have reported that adjusting the settings to turn off the dictation box will allow Dragon to work with LockDown Browser.
- Zoom Text: Zoom Text works during a LockDown Browser exam.
- Windows Typing Suggestions: This built-in OS feature works within LockDown Browser during an exam. To enable it, go to Settings > Typing > Hardware keyboard and turn on the "Show text suggestions as I type" setting.