To expand the reach of digital training, it is critical to make course content accessible to the broadest possible audience, including people with disabilities. If your eLearning courses do not include accessibility, people with disabilities are likely to be excluded from your training programme. This can lead to poor learning outcomes, decreased productivity, a negative brand reputation, missed opportunities for innovation, and, in some cases, legal liabilities.
According to WHO
, approximately 16% of the global population is disabled, and this figure is rising due to population aging and an increase in the prevalence of noncommunicable diseases. Almost everyone is experiencing disability, either temporarily or permanently, at some point in their lives. As a result, it is critical to promote accessible eLearning so that it can be delivered to all types of audiences for better customer services, increasing productivity and overall employee satisfaction at work.
What is Accessible E-Learning?
Accessible e-learning refers to the design and delivery of digital content and materials that can be accessed and used by everyone, including people with disabilities. It involves creating inclusive and barrier-free digital learning environments, ensuring that all learners, regardless of ability, can access, understand, and engage with the content.
Designing an accessible content involves the use of accessible technology and design principles, such as providing text alternatives for non-text content, using clear and simple language, allowing for keyboard navigation, and ensuring compatibility with assistive technologies like screen readers and voice recognition software.
It promotes equal learning opportunities and ensures that people with disabilities are not excluded from online learning environments. Organizations can create an environment where everyone can learn and thrive, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, by making e-learning accessible.
How to implement Accessibility in an eLearning course?
In order to implement Accessibility in your course you need to follow certain recognized standards and guidelines. Here are some of the most widely recognized accessibility standards:
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
is a set of guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that provide recommendations for making web content more accessible to people with disabilities. It provides guidelines for making web content accessible to people with various disabilities, such as visual, auditory, cognitive, and physical disabilities.
: Section 508
is a US federal law that requires federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 standards provide guidelines for making technology accessible to people with disabilities, including those who use assistive technology.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
is a US federal law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, and government services. The ADA Standards for Accessible Design provide guidelines for making facilities and digital content accessible to people with disabilities.
Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA)
is a set of attributes that can be added to HTML, SVG, and other web content to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. ARIA provides additional information to assistive technologies, making it easier for people with disabilities to navigate web content.
After reviewing these standards, we have identified several essential measures to be taken when incorporating accessibility into eLearning courses.
Use high contrast and clear fonts
Use high contrast between text and background and choose fonts that are easy to read. This helps people with visual impairments to read the content.
Provide text alternatives for all non-text content
Ensure that all images, videos, and audio have a text alternative that describes the content. This enables people who use screen readers or who have visual impairments to understand the content.
Ensure that your course is keyboard accessible
Make sure that your course can be navigated using a keyboard. This is important for people who cannot use a mouse, such as those with motor disabilities.
Provide closed captions and transcripts for videos
Provide closed captions for videos and transcripts for audio files. This helps people who are deaf or hard of hearing to understand the content.
Ensure that your course is compatible with assistive technologies
Test your course with different assistive technologies such as screen readers like JAWS and NVDA, magnifiers, and voice recognition software to ensure that it is compatible.
Provide alternative formats
Provide alternative formats such as PDFs, Word documents, or plain text files. This enables people who use assistive technologies to access the content.
Use clear and concise language
Make sure that language use in the course is simple, concise and easy to understand. Avoid using complex jargon or technical terms and provide explanations where necessary.
How will Zilliobit help in creating Accessible elearning?
At Zilliobit, we pride ourselves on being accessibility experts. Our team is skilled at identifying barriers to accessibility and making recommendations that ensure all users have access to content. We take care to ensure that the tools we use to create accessible content are themselves accessible. We scrutinize these tools to ensure that they provide text alternatives for non-text content, can be navigated using keyboard-only inputs, and have the ability to choose high contrast colors for users with visual impairments.
To ensure that all learners can access eLearning content, we design courses that adhere to accessibility standards such as WCAG
, Section 508
, and ADA
. But we don’t stop there. We also rigorously test our content to ensure that it meets the needs of all users. Our testing process involves using assistive technologies like screen readers and voice recognition software to ensure that the content is perceivable, navigable, and understandable. We also solicit feedback from users with disabilities to identify any barriers they may encounter while accessing the content. This feedback is used to improve the content, making it accessible and inclusive for everyone.
At Zilliobit, we are committed to making accessible content creation easy and efficient. That’s why we are proud to offer our in-house authoring tool, Zelto, which provides accessibility right out of the box. Zelto is a rapid eLearning authoring tool that produces high-quality training at an unmatched speed. With Zelto, accessibility is built-in from the start, ensuring that your content is accessible to all users.