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Evaluating accessibility features of tutorial creation software

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Purpose ‐ This paper seeks to compare the accessibility features and ease of use of three tutorial creation products ‐ Camtasia® 6 (by TechSmith®), Captivate® 4 (by Adobe®), and VoiceThread® ‐ to determine which product creates the most accessible tutorials. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper tested the accessibility of the tutorials created using Camtasia, Captivate, and VoiceThread against the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template® (VPAT®) criteria. The tests were completed using JAWS®, a screen-reading software application. Results were compared to determine which product(s) created the most accessible tutorials. The products' ease of use and user manuals were also evaluated. Findings ‐ Camtasia and Captivate exceed VoiceThread in terms of accessibility compliance. In testing the products, the paper concluded that the VPATs were accurate, with minor exceptions. All products provide user manuals and help guides; Camtasia and Captivate have steeper learning curves than VoiceThread. Research limitations/implications ‐ This study compares only three of the available tutorial creation products. Accessibility features may change with new versions. Practical implications ‐ The results of the evaluation will enable other librarians to make more informed decisions when purchasing and using tutorial creation products. Social implications ‐ Ensuring accessibility of online resources is everyone's responsibility. This paper will help readers to meet that goal. Originality/value ‐ While there are comparison studies of the features of Camtasia, Captivate, and VoiceThread, accessibility features are largely uncovered. This study adds this dimension to the literature, enabling librarians to make more informed decisions when selecting and using these products to create accessible tutorials.
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Keywords: Librarians; Libraries; Tutorials

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 8, 2011

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