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Accessibility in Adobe Experience Manager Assets as a Cloud Service

Adobe Experience Manager allows content creators and publishers to serve amazing experiences on the web. Adobe strives to include the creators with disabilities by improving the accessibility of Experience Manager. The software is continuously enhanced to meet the needs of all types of users and adhere to the worldwide standards that include individuals with visual, auditory, mobility, or other impairments.
Experience Manager publishes conformance information that describes the standards it adheres to, outlines the accessibility features in the product, and describes the level of compliance. These accessibility conformance reports help Experience Manager users understand the extent of the adherence. The enhancements done in Assets lets all users use the interfaces easily via keyboard, screen reader, magnifiers, and other assistive technology.
Experience Manager provides varying levels of support for the following standards:
To access the report detailing the levels of compliance, see Accessibility conformance reports (ACR) page for all Adobe solutions.

Assistive technologies

Users with disabilities frequently rely on hardware and software to access web content. These tools are known as assistive technologies. Experience Manager Assets can work with the following types of assistive technologies (AT) when using the software's core functionalities:
  • Screen readers and screen magnifier.
  • Speech recognition software.
  • Keyboard usage – navigation and shortcuts.
  • Assistive hardware, including switch controls, refreshable Braille displays, and other computer input devices.
  • UI magnifying tools.

Experience Manager Assets use cases that are accessible

In Experience Manager, the accessibility features address two key requirements of Experience Manager users and their customers.
For content designers and creators, there are features to create and publish accessible content that is used in turn by their customers and website visitors. The content can be used by individuals with disabilities with the help of assistive technologies. For details, see web accessibility guidelines .
Also, Experience Manager lets its users and administrators with disabilities access user interface and controls to create and manage content. The individual with disabilities can use assistive technologies to navigate, use, and manage the Assets capability.
The core features in Assets are more accessible than before and are regularly updated to improve compliance with global standards. The CRUD operations in Assets have some degree of accessibility built into those. DAM workflows like adding, managing, searching, and distributing assets are accessible with the help of keyboard shortcuts, screen reader text, color contrast, and so on.

Support for use of keyboard

Many user interface elements that are clickable or actionable with a pointer can also be engaged with using keyboard. Using a keyboard, users can focus upon UI elements and take an appropriate action. Users can directly use keyboard shortcuts to trigger a command or an action without having to focus on UI elements and trigger it using keyboard. For example, users can open the timeline of an asset in the left side by browsing to the UI control using a keyboard and pressing Return and by pressing Alt + 2 keyboard shortcut.

Keyboard shortcuts in Assets

The following actions in Assets work with the listed keyboard shortcuts. Most keyboard shortcuts that apply to Experience Manager Consoles also apply to Assets. See keyboard shortcuts for Consoles . See how to enable or disable the keyboard shortcuts .
User interface or scenario
Keyboard shortcut
Column view in Assets user interface
Up and Down arrow keys
Navigate to files and folders within the same hierarchy.
Column view in Assets user interface
Left and Right arrow keys
Navigate to files and folders above or below the current folder.
Browsing folders in Assets
Invoke search by opening Omnisearch box.
Assets Console
Toggle side rails
Assets Console
Alt + 1
Open the content tree.
Assets Console
Alt + 2
Open Navigation left rail.
Assets Console
Alt + 3
Display Timeline of a selected asset.
Assets Console
Alt + 4
Open Live Copy references of the selected asset.
Assets Console
Alt + 5
Invoke search and search within the selected folder.
Asset or folder is selected
Delete the selected asset or folder.
Asset or folder is selected
Open Properties page of the selected asset.
Asset or folder is selected
Edit the selected asset.
Asset or folder is selected
Move the selected asset.
Asset or folder is selected
Ctrl + c
Copy the selected asset.
Asset or folder is selected
Deselect the selection.
Dialog box opens and is in the focus
Close dialog box.
Inside a folder in DAM
Ctrl + v
Paste the copied asset.
Assets Console
Ctrl + A
Select all assets.
Asset property pages
Ctrl + S
Save changes.
Assets Console
See a list of keyboard shortcuts.

Sign in and navigate Assets user interface

Users can use keyboard to navigate to and fill in the sign in field to log in. The error messages due to incorrect username and password combinations on login page are announced by screen readers each time the error occurs.
After logging in, DAM users can navigate within Assets user interface using keyboard. The user interface elements, like left rail, menus, user profile, search bar, files and folders, and administration and configuration settings are navigable using keyboard. The keyboard navigation order is left-to-right and top-to-bottom. When navigating using a keyboard, an actionable option when focused is highlighted with better color contrast and is narrated by a screen reader. Where appropriate, the state -- for example, expanded, collapsed, and mixed-state -- of the focused options in the menu is announced by a screen reader. Also, the purpose of the actionable option is announced by a screen reader, instead of, say the appearance or UI placement.
If a user expands the help or user profile option from the menu, the appropriate option or status are announced by screen reader. If a user expands the user profile option, the available options can be selected using a keyboard. For example, an administrator can impersonate a different user. If a user searches for a string from the Help option, a narrator announces 'Searching Help' to indicate that a search is in progress.

Browse existing assets and view related information

In the Assets user interface, users can use keyboard to browse through the list of existing digital assets in DAM repository, preview or download an asset, see generated renditions, switch views, see the generated renditions, see timeline and version history, see comments and references, and view and manage metadata.
When browsing the assets repository, the following functionality improves accessibility:
  • Screen reader announces text alternatives that depict the purpose or functionality of the icons instead of their names.
  • Users can access and focus the interactive user interface options in References list of assets using keyboard keys.
  • The elements in each row in list view are announced as the elements of the same row by screen readers.
  • User focus when navigating using Tab key can move to the close option in version preview.
  • When using keyboard to browse, the highlighted actionable user interface options have more prominent visual focus with enhanced contrast. It makes the focused area more identifiable to the user.
  • Use of the Esc key to remove the quick action icons from thumbnail view does not remove the keyboard focus from the last focused item.
  • With an asset selected, pressing Alt + 4 keyboard shortcut opens the References list in the left rail. Using Tab key, users can navigate through the non-zero reference entries. Browsing through only the non-zero reference entries saves effort and keystrokes as well.
  • Comments on an asset are available in the asset timeline. It is accessible if left rail is accessed using a keyboard or a keyboard shortcut.
  • View Settings in Experience Manager are accessible using a keyboard. Users can navigate through the available card sizes using the arrow keys and select and tab through to navigate through and set other elements in the existing View Settings view.

Manage digital assets

Many asset management tasks such as CRUD operations, downloading an asset, adding metadata are accessible to various degree. Assets lets you accomplish the tasks using various assistive technologies, specially a screen reader and a keyboard.
See a video demonstration of how to use a keyboard to browse the repository and download an asset .
For metadata operations that are typically done by roles such as marketers and administrators the following features improve accessibility:
  • Save & Close option on asset Properties page can now be accessed using the keyboard.
  • Screen readers announce the options to delete the selected tags in Basic tab of asset Properties buttons to delete the selected tags.
  • Date picker popup dialog can be used using a keyboard. Datepicker user interface element is used to set on-times and off-times.
  • The drag functionality using keyboard correctly functions in Metadata Schema Editor in browse mode of screen reader.
  • A user can move the focus using keyboard to the Add User or Group field under Closed User Group in the Permissions tab of folder Properties.

Search digital assets

A quick and seamless asset search experience boosts content velocity. The content velocity use cases are part of core Assets functionality. To start a search from the Omnisearch bar, users can use keyboard shortcut / or use Tab along with screen readers to quickly locate the search option. The screen reader narrates the name of the option as Search Button when focus is on search option . Users can press Return to open the Omnisearch box. The screen reader not only narrates the keyword typed in search box but also narrates the suggestions offered by Experience Manager Assets. Users can use a combination of arrow keys, Return , and Tab to access the various options to trigger a search.
Search functionality is made further accessible by the following functionality:
  • Page title, as available to a screen reader, helps to identify the page as assets' search page.
  • Users search for assets from within the Omnisearch bar. Use either the keyboard keys or the keyboard shortcut / to access Omnisearch bar.
  • Start typing the search keyword and use keyboard to select the auto-suggestions. Press the Return key to accept an auto-suggested string and search assets for it.
  • Screen readers can identify and announce the mixed state checkboxes (in which unless you select all the nested predicates the first-level checkboxes are not selected and are stricken through) in Filters panel when filtering search results.
  • User focus moves to the search options after Omnisearch box is closed.
When filtering search results:
  • Search result page has an informative title for better understanding of screen reader users.
  • A screen reader announces the options in search filter as expandable accordions.
  • Predicates that have mixed-state buttons are announced by screen readers.

Share assets

When sharing assets, the following functionalities improve the accessibility:
  • A user can move the focus using keyboard within Search and Add Email Address field in the link sharing dialog.
  • In the link sharing dialog, when navigating in browse mode, the screen readers,
    • Do not narrate the table information as soon as the dialog is loaded.
    • Can navigate to all the listed suggestions.
    • Narrate the displayed suggestions for Add Email Address and Search fields.

Accessible documentation

Experience Manager provides accessible documentation that can be consumed by people with disabilities. The following helps make the content offering accessible for now, while Adobe continues to improve the template and the content:
  • Screen readers can read the text.
  • Images and illustrations have alt text available.
  • Keyboard navigation is possible.
  • Contrast ratios help highlight some parts of the documentation website.