Accessibility of 3D Content on the Web


Presented at 9:15am in Mattie Silks on Wednesday, November 8, 2023.



  • Hilarie Sit, eCornell
  • Ashley Crelin, , eCornell

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


Interactive 3D content on the web is generally not accessible to screen reader users, posing a significant challenge for people with low to no vision. Several methods for improving accessibility of this content include implementing keyboard navigation to hover and select 3D objects, creating a focus ring around the active 3D object, providing screen reader accessible descriptions for user interactivity events, etc. To address these issues, we introduce an open source Node Package Manager (npm) library called a3model.


Interactive 3D content on the web is rendered in a HTML5 canvas element, and contents within the canvas, in its native state, are not accessible to screen readers. This issue raises a major accessibility concern, preventing users with low to no vision from interacting with the 3D content.

In this session, we will discuss the current standards, state, and limitations of accessibility of interactive 3D content on the web. We will walk through several solutions to this challenge, and provide an overview of our open source npm library solution called a3model.


  1. Interactive 3D content on the web is generally not accessible in its native state.
  2. Adding keyboard navigation of 3D objects and screen reader descriptions can improve accessibility.
  3. a3model is an open source npm library for improving accessibility of 3D content on the web.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning

Speaker Bio(s)

Hilarie Sit

Hilarie is a full stack developer at eCornell with prior experience in instructional design. She received her PhD in Remote Sensing from Cornell University. She is passionate about accessibility and in her spare time, she works on building open source technologies to help improve accessibility on the web.

Ashley Crelin

Ashley is a STEM instructional design associate at Cornell University. Previously they worked as a mathematics curriculum developer for a large charter school network. Their background is in pure mathematics and cognitive neuroscience. Their motivation for accessible STEM education is derived from their desire for every person to have the opportunity to love mathematics as much as they do. Ashley is currently studying for their CPACC, WAS and 508 Trusted Tester certifications.