In the US alone, 1 in every 4 adults is living with a disability. So, how can you ensure that all your teams can access and understand your digital corporate training materials? That’s where e-learning accessibility comes in.
Whether you’re an SME creating your first e-learning course or you’re a seasoned L&D manager with years of experience developing online learning materials, you might not be sure how to respond when someone asks you if your e-learning content is accessible. What exactly does that mean?
To put it simply, accessibility in e-learning means that your content is designed with all learners in mind – including those with visual, auditory, physical, or learning disabilities. Let’s consider a standard e-learning experience: a learner logs onto your LMS, clicks on the e-learning course they want to take, watches the video you’ve embedded in your course, and uses their mouse to click through the screens and submit their answer to the hotspot question at the end.
But what if this learner had hearing loss issues? Would they be able to understand the content of the video you embedded in your course? Or, what if they were visually impaired? Would they be able to navigate your course with their keyboard and a screen reader? These are some examples of what you need to consider when designing accessible e-learning.
There are a few reasons why you should consider accessibility when creating your next e-learning course:
Although accessibility is often related to disability, the truth is that all learners can benefit from more accessible training content. When online trainings meet e-learning accessibility standards, all users are able to more easily understand, navigate, and interact with your e-learning content. This means your training and compliance programs will be more effective and better equip your team with the skills and information they need to perform at work.
According to the CDC, 1 in 4 US adults live with a disability. And disability can come in many forms – it can be visual, auditory, physical, speech-related, learning, or cognitive. Additionally, employees dealing with a physical injury or experiencing the effects of aging may also deal with additional challenges that affect how they’re able to access your organization’s e-learning content. It’s important to keep these diverse needs in mind as you develop your internal L&D strategies.
Since the introduction of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), companies have made significant strides to set up needed accommodations for people with disabilities in the workplace (such as larger bathroom stalls, wheelchair ramps, etc.). However, many organizations have yet to realize that the digital space is also covered by these laws. The ADA has been interpreted to include web accessibility, and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act clearly outlines standards that all organizations must follow to make their information and communications technologies (ICT) accessible to all users.
Before you start creating accessible e-learning content, there are a few best practices and guidelines to keep in mind. Since accessibility is protected by law, there are clear guidelines that all e-learning content creators can follow to ensure their content is accessible for learners with disabilities. Following these guidelines will also ensure your organization’s compliance with Section 508.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) are a set of international standards of accessibility designed by the W3C. These standards are based on 4 core principles for web accessibility that state that all digital content must be:
Now you know more about web accessibility best practices and guidelines. But what does this mean for accessible e-learning design? If you’re ready to start creating accessible e-learning content, here are some things you can do to take the first steps:
At Easygenerator, we want to empower our learners with an accessible, seamless, and enjoyable e-learning experience. That’s why we’ve developed our e-learning authoring tool to support WCAG 2.0 and Section 508 accessibility standards.
So, when you’re creating your e-learning courses and resources with our tool you can count on built-in accessibility features to ensure all your learners can access and understand your training content: