Back to blog

Making GetThru’s Tools more Accessible

Allowing people with a wider range of abilities to use P2P texting for organizing and outreach.

Adam White

Senior Product Manager

One of GetThru’s core values is to Make Space for Everyone. Part of how we define that value is that we strive to ensure that our tools are accessible to any client whose work is consistent with our mission.

Tool accessibility can mean a lot of things, including making sure our pricing, training, and support meet the needs of small clients as well as large ones. It also means making sure that people of varied abilities can access our software. In the past year, we’ve made a concerted effort in that area, and while there’s still a long way to go, we’re excited to share what we’ve done! 

One of the core tenets of software accessibility is that online tools should be usable by people with different levels of sightedness. That means designs should respect the functions required by screen readers such as alternative text with images, proper hierarchy of contents, and meaningful context in interactions. Likewise, colors should always be properly contrasted.  And every interaction should be accomplishable with a simple set of keyboard interactions. 

While these principles are easy to understand, they can be hard to live by, and during the 7+ years of our existence, GetThru did not always ensure our code was written with visual accessibility in mind. So in the last quarter, we conducted an audit and invested in a number of improvements, including the following: 

  1. Ensuring that the most high-touch feature - the ThruText Messenger - was fully compliant with the aforementioned principles. 
  2. Ensuring that the second most used feature - the ThruText Conversations Manager - also followed those principles. 
  3. Correcting various navigational shortcomings in the left side features navigation bar and the top of the page system navigation, which exist as a frame around all pages.    

As we worked through those high-value areas, we applied the same principles to the many “component” pieces used in those features - which means that anywhere else those same “components” are used, we will see the same improvement.  We focused especially on keyboard interactions, and have tested broadly across the application for those interactions with a result that many less commonly used features now properly function with the tab key, enter key, space bar, and up/down keyboard arrows in line with navigation fundamentals. 

We are proud of these improvements because we believe they will allow more people to use P2P texting for organizing and outreach. We also know there is more that we can do. For example, we know that there are places where we have tables of data displayed - and these will require specific attention to be sure that the intent of the table can be adequately represented through screen reader functions. Unifying our date/time expressions and the interactions with selecting dates and times will also require additional effort.

We’ve learned during this process that improving accessibility is a bit like growing a garden.  We should always plan thoroughly.  We should carefully nurture each little new accessibility bud we grow.  And yes, inevitably there will be some weeds to pluck out – but we have our gardening gloves on now and we are committed to continue feeding and watering the soil to make sure as many people can use GetThru tools as possible!   


Adam White

Adam is all about accessible technology and quality assurance for GetThru users as he works on our Product team. Away from his computer, he enjoys volunteering with local campaigns in his city of Memphis, TN and taking his cat Noodles on long walks to sniff bushes.

Product Demo

Let's Talk

The best way to learn about our products is to see them in action. Schedule a live demo with a member of our team to learn more.

Ready to sign up?

If you're already familiar with our tools, skip the demo and sign up for an account today.

Sign Up

Schedule a Demo

Thank you for scheduling a demo! We're looking forward to chatting soon.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.