Everything you need to know about why accessible eLearning is winning big right now

Accessibility in the eLearning space means making your website, content, and platforms usable to people of all abilities. Who is your eLearning content currently accessible to, and are all learners able to access your courses without barriers?


Whether it is a lack of regulatory understanding, internal expertise, funds, or all of the above, making your eLearning accessible is not only the right thing to do, it is required by law. We often think of accessibility as the changes we make to our platforms that ease use for people with a range of abilities, including visual, auditory, physical, speech-related, cognitive, learning, or neurological. But accessibility in the eLearning space goes beyond that. What about our folks that have older versions of computer hardware, those with a slow internet connection, or our ageing population navigating new technology?


Making changes to your eLearning programs is critical, but where to begin?


Let’s start with your learning management system, or LMS. Perform a quick audit to ensure these features are built-in, or that you are manually checking for them:

  • The option to assign a learner a screen reader, or the ability for learners to self-select.

  • ‘Alt tag’ text descriptions are required for all images.

  • Keyboard navigation is available for users with mobility limitations.

  • The ability for learners to increase the size of the content for better readability.

While your LMS will help with software-related options to increase accessibility, the trainer must incorporate some key areas to improve learning content. Keep some of these tips in mind as you begin creating:

  • Ensure all videos have captions describing the audio track.

  • All audio (i.e. your voiceover PPTs) should have a text transcript.

  • When using forms, provide text for all labels.

  • Pair your visual multimedia (i.e. infographics and animations) with a text description.

  • Use your LMS content editor’s formatting tools to create a better experience for screen-reader users (i.e. use built-in bullet and number lists, don’t highlight text- use bold or italic for emphasis)

  • Check your color contrast to ensure contrast is high, either by using very different tones or colors.

  • Increase your text size to improve readability; use simple, bold fonts.

  • Evaluate the need for interactive activities (i.e. drag and drop) as some are not fully accessible to all learners and exclude those using keyboard navigation.

  • Avoid drop-down lists where possible, since screen readers do not usually pick these up.

  • Use specific navigational words (i.e. instead of “click here” use “click next”).

  • Embed charts and tables vs. inserting them as images.

  • Include ample white space to keep text sections distinct from each other.

  • Create longer hyperlinks (i.e. at least two full words) to help learners with fine motor skill challenges to easily click on links.

  • Make sure all learners can ask for help by offering multiple ways to contact technical support and trainers (i.e. phone number, email address, and instant messaging options)

Looking for ways to start? Help your learning team ensure content accessibility by creating an internal protocol and checklist for each piece of content you create and publish.


As you continue your journey of inclusion for all learners, please help yourself to these online resources dedicated to accessibility:


W3C: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Overview

The goal of this page is to provide a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.


WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

WAVE is a suite of evaluation tools that helps authors make their web content more accessible.


W3C: Evaluation Tools Overview

Includes information on more than 100 tools to evaluate accessibility.


W3C: Web Accessibility Initiative

This page helps you start to assess the accessibility of a web page.


Vischeck

Simulates a way of showing what things look like to someone who is colorblind.


WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

WAVE is a suite of evaluation tools that helps authors make their web content more accessible.


508 Compliance

An amendment to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that requires all federal information available electronically be provided in a variety of methods to address people of all abilities. There are 16 provisions for course development.


6 Best Practices for Designing Accessible E-Learning

A free downloadable guide to help you design courses that meet common accessibility standards.

 

Feeling inspired? Reserve time with our learning solutions team to explore your existing content, discuss new ideas, and gather insights for supporting learners of all abilities.


Contact us today! E: beccastickney@you-elevated.com T: +1 (952) 377-8806

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