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Qualtrics Accessibility Status
Information for Users with Disabilities
Information for Instructors and Survey Creators
Service Roadmap & Vendor Accessibility Documentation
Get Help or Provide Feedback
Qualtrics is a survey platform that can be used to create and take surveys.
Qualtrics utilizes a number of inaccessible question types that some respondents may not be able to complete with assistive technology such as screen readers. Most inaccessible question types have been disabled for use by CU Boulder survey creators to promote equal access for survey recipients. However, the question types available to CU Boulder survey creators still have a number of known accessibility and usability issues. OIT is working with Qualtrics to obtain commitments for remediating these issues.
Some question types available to CU Boulder survey creators have known accessibility and usability issues. Details about specific question types can be found below under the “Information for Assistive Technology Users” section.
The Qualtrics survey platform utilizes a number of inaccessible question types that some respondents may not be able to complete with assistive technology such as screen readers. Most inaccessible question types have been disabled for use by CU Boulder survey creators to promote equal access for survey recipients. However, the question types available to CU Boulder survey creators still have a number of known accessibility and usability issues. OIT is working with Qualtrics to obtain commitments for remediating these issues.
The Qualtrics survey creator interface is currently not accessible to screen reader users and may not be fully accessible to keyboard-only users or screen magnifier users. For the best experience using Qualtrics in your browser, we recommend using Safari or Chrome.
Statements on this page about the accessibility of Qualtrics’ survey software are based on accessibility testing done most recently in December 2018 and may no longer represent the current status of the software.
The Likert Matrix question type consists of a grid of radio buttons: Likert Matrix Example
Bipolar Matrix questions consist of a descriptive label followed by a row of unlabeled radio buttons which is followed by a second label. The purpose of this question is to allow users to answer a question within a range of options. Here's a Bipolar Matrix Example.
The Multi Select Box subtype of the Multiple Choice question type contains a list of items from which multiple options can be selected: Multi Select Box Example
The MaxDiff subtype of the Matrix question is meant for use when there are two contrasting opinions someone might have on various items. For example, typical column titles are “Like” and “Dislike”. Here's a MaxDiff Matrix Example
Are you seeing an issue not listed here? Report your problem to OIT.
The survey creator side of Qualtrics is currently inaccessible to screen reader users and may not be fully accessible to keyboard-only users or screen magnifier users.
If you are asked to create a Qualtrics survey as part of a course, please notify your instructor that the survey creator interface is not accessible. If you and your instructor would like assistance identifying an accessible survey creation tool for your coursework, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are using Qualtrics surveys in your course, make sure you follow the guidelines below under “Information for Survey Creators”. If you are requiring your students use the Qualtrics platform to create surveys, be aware that the survey creator interface is not accessible to some users with disabilities. Additionally, we recommend including information about the best practices for creating accessible surveys in your course.
When creating a Qualtrics survey, run the Qualtrics Accessibility Checker. This will highlight any inaccessible question types as well as survey configuration settings that should be modified for better accessibility. For guidance on how to resolve the configuration setting recommendations, please consult the Common Survey Accessibility Suggestions section of the Survey Configuration page.
There are a few question types currently enabled in the CU Boulder instance of Qualtrics that have inaccessible subtypes that cannot be turned off for campus without turning off the entire question type. Please follow the guidance below to ensure your survey is accessible.
If you embed a video in your Qualtrics form, please ensure that it has captions encoded or burned in. Please contact the captioning service for assistance with this.
If you use any images in your survey, they must have alt text provided for them. Alt text describes in words what the image displays if the image is relevant to the meaning of the form. If an image is purely decorative, you do not need to provide alt text. For more help with alt text, see the Qualtrics - Adding Alt-Text to a Graphic tutorial or Qualtrics’s Image Properties documentation.
To ensure that every survey created at CU Boulder is accessible to individuals using screen readers and other assistive technology, CU Boulder only enables question types in Qualtrics that are accessible to assistive technology users. Inaccessible question types include any question that requires the user to use drag and drop, has a slider, or requires interaction with graphics. Using accessible question types ensures that individuals with low vision, blindness, or other disabilities will be able to complete your survey, as well as ensuring you are acting in accordance with the university’s Accessibility of Information and Communication Technology Policy and Standards.
If you attempt to send a survey with inaccessible question types, you will receive an error message titled Activate Survey Failed. You will need to remove the inaccessible question types from your survey before continuing.
The inaccessible question types that have been disabled are listed below, along with examples of suggested workarounds using accessible question types (The list of question type accessibility is also available on Qualtrics’s site). All inaccessible question types will appear greyed-out in Qualtrics. If you need help adapting your survey to only utilize accessible question types, please contact the IT Service Center at email@example.com or at 303-735-4357 (5-HELP from an on-campus phone) to schedule a consultation.
|Accessible Question Types||Inaccessible Question Types|
Some of the following workarounds require the use of Display Logic. For assistance with this tool, please contact Qualtrics through the Qualtrics Support Center (login with “cuboulder” as the Organization ID), or call the Qualtrics Support Center at 1-800-340-9194.
|Non-Accessible Question Type||Accessible Question Type Alternative|
A Text Entry or Matrix (Constant Sum or Text Entry) question is the best accessible alternative. This allows respondents to type their choices into a text box rather than having to use a drag-and-drop or visual interface.
A Likert Matrix can be used in place of a Rank Order question. Each possible rank will be assigned its own column. You must enable Custom Validation for every column to restrict the user from selecting more than one answer per rank.
|Pick, Group, and Rank||
A series of Likert Matrix questions will substitute for a Pick, Group, and Rank question by allowing users to select a group for a series of statements and indicate a level of rank for each. However, this workaround will not allow you to require each rank be assigned to only one option unless you know how many options will be assigned to each group ahead of time.
Pick, Group, and Rank To Likert Matrix Workaround Example (when there are a set number of items in each group)
Pick, Group, and Rank To Likert Matrix and Text Entry Workaround Example (when there are variable items in each group)
It is recommended to simply use a Likert Matrix question (of type Dropdown).
Recommended subtype: Choices.
Subtypes Bars, Sliders, and Constant Sum are not fully accessible to all users.
It is recommended to use a Multiple Choice question instead with answer choices that correspond to the appropriate graphic options.
|Heat Map; Hot Spot||
Both heat map and hotspot questions do not have an accessible alternative because they are based on the respondent viewing an image and selecting regions or points on an image, which is an inherently visual task.
Exceptions may be granted if you have a business or research need to send a survey that is inaccessible and/or that contains inaccessible question types. If an exception is needed for multiple students in a course, the request must be submitted by the instructor on behalf of the students.
To request an exception, please fill out the Qualtrics Accessibility Exception Request form. The Digital Accessibility Program will review your request and determine if an exception can be made in this case. In the meantime, please consider the Accessible Workarounds for Inaccessible Questions in the previous section.
OIT has worked with the CU Accessibility and Usability Lab to test Qualtrics' new interface. We will be working with the vendor to resolve issues that have surfaced, and will update this page as additional information becomes available.
If you would like to receive a copy of the Qualtrics VPAT, please contact the Qualtrics Support Center (select login with SSO and log in with “cuboulder” as the Organization ID), or call the Qualtrics Support Center at 1-800-340-9194.
OIT has partnered with Disability Services to provide assistance for accessibility issues related to OIT supported services. If you need assistance, please contact the IT Service Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 303-735-4357.
We want to hear from you about this service. If you’re having problems using this service or you have more information about the accessibility of this service that we should share with others on this webpage, please let us know by contacting the IT Service Center at email@example.com or at 303-735-4357.
You can also give Qualtrics feedback regarding accessibility of their applications and services through the Qualtrics Support Center (select login with SSO and log in with “cuboulder” as the Organization ID), or call the Qualtrics Support Center at 1-800-340-9194.