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At FlatWorld, we believe that universal access to quality education is a right. Part of our commitment to universal access involves providing equal and inclusive learning opportunities to all individuals regardless of age, ability, or situation. We are constantly working to improve our platform to work seamlessly with Assistive Technology, including Voiceover, JAWS, and additional third-party screen readers.


We are focusing our accessibility efforts on complying with the Level AA success criteria set out by the W3C in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG). In 2017 and again in 2018 we retained The Carroll Center for the Blind, based in Newton, MA, as our auditors to insure that FlatWorld textbooks, software, and supplements comply with the complete set of WCAG guidelines. Like many of our peers in the publishing industry, the effort to fully support every success criteria in Level AA remains an ongoing effort. We developed an extensive roadmap and have made rapid progress against it. In 2019, we closed the final gaps in our catalog in terms of upgrading alt text/long descriptions for images and close captioning of video inside all our latest editions. We have also worked hard to find practical ways to ensure that items such as accounting tables and chemistry equations not only meet the letter of accessibility guidelines, but are truly as useable as possible. Similarly, our new Homework system was built from the ground up to be fully accessible.

FlatWorld also considers accessibility when choosing software libraries and services. The question engine for FlatWorld Homework offers strong accessibility support as does our online chat for customer service (more technical details).

Looking Forward

We continue to use commercial best efforts to insure that all our products comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG). Specifically, in all but a very few areas, we have fully achieved the full “Supports” level of compliance. The remaining roadmap list is short, but in those few remaining areas, we achieve “Partially Supports”, the second highest level, due to small functionality gaps. We are working hard to eliminate these gaps entirely. An example: streamlining the process for keyboard-only users to select multiple answers in our Homework system.

Most importantly, to the extent that you encounter any challenges in accessing our platform or content, please let our Customer Support team know and we will be very happy to work with you to resolve the situation.

Notes for Using the Online Reader

The FlatWorld online reader uses a standard web interface and includes an accessible table of contents for exploring your FlatWorld textbook. When the page loads, the first link will give you the option to skip to the main content (the text of the textbook itself).

The online reader has two modes: Read and Study. Read mode is focused on the text (and images) of the book and where you can make annotations. Read mode is the default and you can also access it through the “tablist” in the header. Study mode, where you can review key terms and your existing annotations, is also available through the “tablist” in the header.

There are two main ways to navigate your book. The “Table of Contents” is a navigation link menu that will allow you to select book chapters or sections. On the bottom of each content page there are “previous” and “next” link menu that will navigate you to the previous or next section of your book.

Each section of the book may contain flashcards or quizzes to help you study the material. You can access this content by the tablist navigation after the main content area.

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