At Turnitin, we believe that learning technologies should not limit, but enhance learning for everyone. Our accessibility program aims to incorporate accessibility into the entire product development life cycle to ensure that our website and applications are accessible and usable.

We aim to conform to WCAG 2.0 AA standards of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. But, we believe that accessibility standards are more than checklists, and are working to make our learning technologies easy to use and accessible by everyone regardless of disability or circumstance.

Using a screen reader to view a similarity report

Navigation in the Turnitin Similarity viewer uses two primary navigation methods. Navigating via headers and navigating via landmark regions. Source matches are collapsed buttons on the page.

Source Matches - Using Buttons

As you navigate through similarity report you’ll find source matches. A source match is when part of the document you are reading has been found to match against a part of our database. You’ll be informed of a match by the announcement of ‘Begin Similarity Match’. Additionally, if a match has multiple segments, such as when there are multiple highlights, then you may hear ‘Pause Similarity Match’ and ‘Resume Similarity Match’.

The next element is a button labelled ‘Source # details’. Activating this button will give you further details about the match. For example:


source 1. internet. 36%

The next element is the body of the matched text. Once complete you’ll be informed you’ve reached ‘End Similarity Match’.

Navigating using Headers

H1 Headers - Document Information

There is only one H1 header on the page. Found in the H1 header is the title of the document and the author.

Image showing a screen reader looking at web content

H2 Headers - Document and Matched Sources

There are two H2 headers on the page. The first H2 header brings you to the start of the document. The second H2 header brings you to the start of the Matched Sources. The source overview shows the overall similarity match percentage and each of the matched sources.

Image showing a screenreader looking at matched content

H3 Headers - Pages

There is an H3 header at the start of every page. There are as many H3 headers as there are pages in the submitted file. Navigating to an H3 header will put you at the start of a page.

Image showing screenreader navigating via heading levels

Navigating using Landmark Regions

There are three landmark regions within the Turnitin Similarity viewer, each with a different type of content.

Banner - Contains basic information about the submission, including the submission title and author’s name.

Document main - The main body of the document’s content.

Expanded complementary - The source overview which contains details about where matches have come from.

Keyboard Navigation

Users are able to navigate through all of Turnitin Similarity’s interactive elements through basic keyboard input including Tab, Shift+Tab, Arrows, Space bar and Enter keys.

What does this mean?

Users with fine motor control problems or those who use a screen reader may find using a keyboard easier to use while navigating Turnitin Similarity. Turnitin Similarity has been designed to make this possible.

Submitting a File

Turnitin Similarity uses groups, lists, and headings for content. When submitting a file you can follow a few easy steps:

  1. Navigate to the H2 heading My Files.

  2. The next element is a list with two items, Upload and Add Folder.

    1. Upload will load the page where you can send a file to Turnitin for Similarity checking.

    2. Add Folder will create a new folder where files can be stored. You are unable to edit or delete a folder.

  3. If you are at the folder level you would like to use, select the Upload button.

    1. You can navigate to a different folder by going to the next element after the list. Here there will be a table with four sortable columns. The columns are:

      Title - The name of the file or folder.

      Author - The creator of the file, for folders this will read as a dash ‘-’.

      Similarity - The similarity score a file has returned with. For folders, this will read as empty.

      Date Added - The date the file or folder were created.

      When you have found the folder you would like to submit the file to in the Title column select it. It will read as a group with two items. Navigate to this group and select the first element. This will take you to your chosen folder.

  4. On the page, you’ll find a drag and drop group, with three items. You can use this group to select the file you would like to send to Turnitin. Find the element 'Select Files'.

    Select Files - This is a link. It will load your operating system’s default file selector to choose a file to upload.

  5. The page will update on selecting a file with three optional text boxes, a button, and a checkbox.

    1. These input boxes are titled:

      Title - The title for the document.

      Author First Name - The first name of the author of the document.

      Author Last Name - The last name of the author of the document.

    2. If you need to choose a file the element Archive, button will reset the resubmission process

    3. Add File(s) to account’s private repository check box - A private repository is a private database that belongs only to the primary account you are attached to. Check the check box to confirm you would like your file to be added to the private repository.

  6. Finally, find the Confirm button. Selecting this button will start uploading the file to Turnitin.

  7. Once the upload is complete, you’ll be alerted ‘Upload Complete’.

Source Overview

The source overview has two main elements. The overall similarity percentage and a list. The list contains as many items as there are different matches. Each match in the list shows the numbered source. The source URL or primary account. What content was matched against and the percentage of the file that matched against that source. For example:

Source 1. Internet. 36%. 1 of 3.

Matched Sources

The source overview has two main elements. The overall similarity percentage and a list. The list contains as many items as there are different matches. Each match in the list shows the numbered source. The source URL or institution. What content was matched against and the percentage of the file that matched against that source. For example:

Source 1. Internet. 36%. 1 of 3.

Color Contrast

The colors we use in Originality Check conform to the WCAG 2.0 AA standard. The lowest contrast ratio is 3.37:1 used only in our large text headers. General text in Turnitin Originality Check has a contrast ratio of 21:1 The ratio used in the navigation sidebar is 6.7:1

What does this mean?

Having good color contrast helps everyone who accesses the application by making text easy and less tiring to read. Users with visual impairments should find the contrast ratio helps them to use Originality Check Beta easily in high contrast mode.

Assistive Technologies

Aria Labels

All elements have Aria attributes associated with them.

What does this mean?

Assistive technologies, particularly screen readers, will use aria attributes to determine the type of content they are looking at, (such as an article, slider, or alert) and use this to help the user navigate the page. Additional Aria attributes can provide useful information back to the user such as the current value of a progress bar.


Users can navigate through the interface quickly through the use of headings. In the Originality Check, we use headings to convey the relationships between different sections of the interface. Heading 1 is used for the title of each page, Heading 2 for major sections, and Heading 3 for subsections.

Table Navigation

Data tables are used in the interface to organize data in a logical way. Data tables are used in the Originality Check inbox, which is available to all users, and in the user management screen, which is available to administrators. Screen reader users can navigate through the content in the data table through the use of row and column headers. Forms


All form elements have relevant label text. All form labels are associated with their form controls.

What does this mean?

When a screen reader is navigating through a form it will use form labels to inform the user of the correct content that needs input. By using the correct labels associated with their form controls, users of assistive technologies will be able to input values into the proper form controls such as text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons, and drop-down menus and ensure they have filled out forms correctly.


Focus on selected elements is clear and obvious. Look out for the blue border that appears on the page, this is where the keyboard’s focus currently is.

What does this mean?

When using the keyboard to navigate it would be easy to get lost if it wasn’t possible to know where the keyboard is currently focused. Originality Check uses an easy to see a blue box around the element that currently has focus.

Alternative Text

Any images or other elements used in Originality Check have alternative text.

What does this mean?

When a screen reader comes across an image, the alternative text describes the contents of the image. For example, a picture of a yellow duck might have the alternative text of ‘Image of a yellow duck’.

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