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Make Google Docs Accessible to All with Grackle


About Grackle

We’ve recently implemented Grackle, a new tool available in G Suite (Google Apps) at Boise State to help you make Google Docs, Slides and Sheets accessible.

University Policies 1075 (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability), 2080 (Equal Access to Students with Disabilities), and 8140 (Information Technology Accessibility) – along with Federal law – help Boise State ensure all students, faculty and staff can access electronic information regardless of ability.

Grackle will scan Google documents (automatically if you choose) and identify potential accessibility issues with images, headings, tables, landmarks and content.

You can resolve these issues within the Grackle interface, or follow the on-screen instructions to address problems within the document.

Using Grackle

Launch Grackle by opening or creating a Google Doc, Slide or Sheet and selecting Add-ons > Grackle Docs from the top menu:

launch the grackle application

The first time you launch the app you’ll be asked to authorize Grackle to connect to your G Suite account:

Google Authorization screenshot

(After authorization you’ll also receive a “Security Alert” email notifying you the authorization occurred.)

If you have any experience making Microsoft Office or PDF documents accessible, you’ll understand Grackle document accessibility criteria.

Grackle checks your document title and headings, images, and content and warns you of actual or potential accessibility errors. Information on how to fix these issues is provided within the interface:

grackle document accessibility screenshot

In addition, the structure of your document is analyzed to help ensure the reading order of the content makes sense for people using assistive technology to read your document:

grackle document structure screenshot

You can also create a PDF of your document from the Grackle interface. If you have ensured the document is accessible and correctly structured, the resulting PDF should be accessible.

Resources for Learning Grackle

Resources for learning how to use Grackle are available on Grackle’s website:

Grackle Learning Resources

The Office of Information Technology also offers a regular class, “Create Accessible Documents for the Web,” that includes information relevant to how Grackle works. Class information and registration is available through OIT’s training site:

Web Accessibility Classes at Boise State

Publishing Electronic Documents

Learn more about creating accessible documents at Boise State, including the challenges faced when publishing inaccessible documents, on Webguide.

Need Assistance?

For questions about Grackle or document accessibility at Boise State, contact the Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or