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Make Google Documents Accessible with Grackle Suite

IT Accessibility

What’s Grackle?

Grackle works with 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.

Grackle provides accessibility resolution at the point of creation by:

  • Catching accessibility mistakes
  • Providing guidance for fixing accessibility errors
  • Constantly updating according to changes in tools and accessibility-related laws

Access Grackle

All Boise State staff, faculty, and students can use 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.)

How to Use Grackle

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 Grackle reports your document is accessible and correctly structured, the resulting PDF should be accessible.

About Software Accessibility Checkers

Accessibility checkers cannot find all accessibility issues, similar to how Siri and Alexa don’t know how to answer all of your questions. Accessibility checkers and your critical thinking skills must work in tandem to create an accessible document.

The Office of Information Technology offers a regular class, “Create Accessible Documents for the Web,” that includes information about the foundations of web accessibility and how to apply those concepts to accessibility checkers like Grackle. Class information and registration is available through our website:

Web Accessibility Classes at Boise State

Resources for Learning Grackle

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

Grackle Learning Resources

Creating Accessible Electronic Documents

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

Need Assistance?

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