The short answer is no. Kahoot!, a game-based learning platform for web and mobile, has become popular in nearly all educational settings. However, before creating a Kahoot!, please be aware that these games pose many challenges for students with disabilities. For example, time limits, drag and drop question types, and a scoring system that rewards quick responses are just a few features that can disadvantage students with disabilities or block participation entirely.
While the guidance that follows can help create a more accessible Kahoot!, know that implementation of these guidelines will not guarantee full and equal access for all students with disabilities. Faculty and staff should proceed carefully when deciding whether to create a Kahoot! for their course or event.
Due to the numerous accessibility barriers in a live Kahoot! that can disadvantage students with reading, learning, vision, hearing, and mobility impairments, the following two practices must be followed:
- Participation in a live Kahoot! must be optional for all courses and events.
- Student performance on a live Kahoot! should never be factored into a student’s grade, including a class participation grade.
A simple live Kahoot! that uses the game’s default settings will be inaccessible to many students with disabilities. Through our testing and research, the Digital Accessibility Services Team (DAS) identified the top 6 most significant accessibility barriers in a live Kahoot!:
- Time Limits: Generally, the default time limits on questions do not provide players with reading or learning disabilities or players who use assistive technology enough time to navigate the screen, locate content, and answer questions.
- Screen Reader Incompatibility: Players who are blind or visually impaired are unable to respond to questions using a screen reader unless “Show questions and choices” is enabled. Even then, many question types are not compatible with screen reader technology. (Refer to the section on accessibility of question types for more details).
- Screenshare Content Not Accessible: Players who are blind or visually impaired cannot access any content presented through screenshare including leaderboard, points awarded to other players, poll responses, podium finishers, and so on.
- Keyboard Operability is Challenging: Players who navigate using only the keyboard are significantly challenged by low contrast of the focus indicator. Furthermore, responding to drag and drop question types using a keyboard is not always practical.
- More Points for Quicker Responses: By default, response time is a factor in the number of points a player receives when answering a question correctly. This feature disadvantages nearly all players with disabilities who require more time to perceive, read, and process information, as well as users of assistive technology.
- Distracting Music: Background music can be distracting to many players, impedes focus, and may interfere with assistive technology.
Creating a More Accessible Live Kahoot!
While not all access barriers can be mitigated, here are the top 10 steps you can take to create a more accessible live Kahoot! game:
- Set Time Limit to 4 minutes for each question. (If autoplay is enabled, the game will continue automatically once all players have responded or you can manually advance to the next question once all players have responded).
- Use accessible question types. (Refer to the next section).
- Turn on “Show questions and choices” in Settings before live play.
- Read the pin code aloud to students in addition to displaying it on screen.
- Mute/turn off background music during the game.
- If images are used, provide meaningful alternative text for each image.
- If audio questions are used, be sure the question text on screen matches what is spoken aloud.
- If videos are used, be sure all video content has accurate captions.
- Consider turning points scoring off so that students who need more time to respond are not disadvantaged.
- Consider reaching out to students in advance to inquire about access needs and if there are other strategies you can implement that can support their participation.
Additionally, avoid the following:
- Do not create questions that rely on perception of images or GIFs.
- Do not create questions that require the perception of text within images.
- Do not create questions that rely on perception of sound.
- Do not create questions that require the player to drag and drop, reorder, or move content.
- Do not create questions that rely on perception of capitalization and punctuation.
Accessibility of Question Types
The following table indicates if a player can respond to a particular question type using screen reader technology or just a keyboard. Testing was conducted on Chrome, Safari, and the Kahoot! mobile app for iOS. Note that even though a player may be able to respond to a particular question type, other features related to the question may be inaccessible.
Screen Reader Technology
No. The state of a choice as selected is not conveyed to screen reader technology. The player does not know which choices are selected or unselected.
Ture or False
Quiz + Audio
Yes, but cannot replay audio after it plays the first time on iOS.
Yes, but cannot access poll results for all players presented via screenshare.
Yes, but cannot access word cloud created with other player responses.
Yes, but second question to “highlight” word is confusing. Selected word is not conveyed to screen reader technology.
Note: Reactions and Brainstorm question types were not tested. Additional testing of math equations and other symbols is needed.
To learn what Kahoot! is doing to improve the accessibility of its products, visit Does Kahoot! meet accessibility standards? To make Kahoot! aware of an accessibility barrier, email email@example.com.
To contribute towards this content, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.