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Howspace Accessibility Statement (University of Oulu)

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This accessibility statement applies to the Howspace facilitation service. In Howspace, you can create group workspaces where you can use different widgets to engage your group.

This statement was prepared on June 5, 2023, and it is based on Howspace’s own accessibility statement. They say they commissioned an accessibility audit in 2022, which, according to Howspace, was conducted by an expert. In addition, this statement also based on our own assessment.

Howspace states in its own accessibility statement that it does not have to comply with the EU Web Accessibility Directive, which is true. However, because higher education institutions in the EU can purchase only services that meet the accessibility requirements, Howspace Oy must comply with the accessibility requirements to be able to sell its service, for example to us. Therefore, Howspace is committed to building tools for workspace users that are as accessible as possible, for diverse users in different usage situations and on different devices.

The building of workspaces is not accessible, as it requires the ability to see and the ability to use a mouse.

Views for workspace admins, i.e., workspace creation views, are not yet accessible. You cannot use the Build View with keyboard only. Howspace has designed the workspace build view user interface (UI) for sighted users who can use a mouse, as a large part of the functions are based on dragging. In this respect, the service does not meet accessibility requirements.

Howspace workspaces can be accessible. It requires workspace admins and content creators to follow guidelines.

According to Howspace, workspaces created in the tool can all critical accessibility requirements, as the user interface for the workspaces and default content in Howspace workspaces are accessible. The admins and content providers of each workspace are responsible for the accessibility of the content they create in the tool and for defining the properties of the workspace widgets so, that the end results meet the requirements. Follow the instructions on how to build accessible workspaces.

Potential accessibility issues in Howspace content:

Howspace’s own video player does not support captions.

Workspace admins should not use Howspace’s own video player, as it is not possible to add captions to the videos. However, it is possible to embed videos from e.g. YuJa, where video captions can be done.

The keyboard user cannot skip the main menu, and not all widgets support keyboard operation.

Keyboard users cannot skip the main menu. Workspace admins can make navigations easier for users by reducing the number of widgets displayed on a single page. The administrators should not add widgets that require the use of a mouse to workspaces. The widgets that do not work from the keyboard include timelines and four-fields, where the user must be able to click on an area with the mouse.

An element may obscure another element if there are three or more columns.

The administrators should not add more than two parallel columns in workspaces. If there are three or more columns, the content-rich widgets may be partially hidden under the adjacent column on some devices.

Custom color specifications may have contrast issues.

The default colors (text and background) for Howspace workspaces meet contrast requirements. If the workspace admin changes colors, there is a risk for insufficient contrast.

In Howspace, it is possible to add an alternative description for images, but it is quite easy to forget about it.

Howspace’s user interface does not force, or in any way instruct the content creator to give alternative descriptions to the images, but the users must remember to do it themselves.

Images, texts, and attachments published in Howspace may be inaccessible.

The content published in the service should be accessible, but it is technically possible that administrators and content creators publish inaccessible content in workspaces.

Information for screen reader users:

Howspace uses ARIA markup to indicate the purpose of widgets and functions. ARIA is a markup standard that complements HTML and improves the accessibility of dynamic web content for screen reader users. Still, it can be difficult to monitor the progress and change of real-time voting or mood meter estimates in real time with assistive technologies.

If you notice an accessibility problem in a workspace located in the University of Oulu’s Howspace:

If you notice inaccessible content in a workspace, you should first contact the workspace administrator, i.e., the teacher or event organizer. If you cannot reach them, or you are not satisfied with the answer, or if you notice that the accessibility problem concerns the technical solutions and widgets of Howspace workspaces in general, please contact ICT Services. Use this address: If necessary, we will forward the requests to Howspace, in case of a UI-level issue.

Supervisory authority

If you notice any accessibility issues on the website, please give us feedback first (see previous paragraph). It may take up to 14 days to receive a response. If you are not satisfied with the response you have received, or you do not receive a response at all within two weeks, you can file a complaint with the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland. The website of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland contains detailed instructions for contacting us.

Contact details of the supervisory authority

Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland
Accessibility Supervision Unit
Phone number: switchboard +358(0)295 016 000

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