In our fast-paced and tech-savvy world, technology is becoming increasingly accessible to everyone.
For example, more people than ever before are using mobile devices to access the internet. They're sending emails without worrying about whether a desktop computer will work or not (not to mention how much easier it is today than it was even ten years ago!), and even online gaming has taken off in popularity because of the convenience offered by playing from anywhere with an internet connection.
Technology has also led to online courses and digital learning experiences. Student learning often takes place at least partially online.
Yet despite all these advances, there's still one group whose needs haven't been met: those suffering from various disabilities who might not be able to access eLearning comfortably.
eLearning is only becoming more popular, yet much course content does not align or keep up with disabled people’s needs, resulting in inequality and missed opportunities for those with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act has detailed web accessibility guidelines called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has also outlined its own guidelines for web accessibility. Adhering to these accessibility standards is key for every learning course.
In this guide, we will go over several of the best ways to make eLearning more accessible for the disabled and follow the guidelines.
Color is a powerful tool for designers. It can set the mood and draw attention to important information, but color isn't always reliable in eLearning. Therefore, it is important for designers to think twice about what they know about color while creating accessible content.
Colorblind people don't see color the way you do, so using it to convey information can be confusing or even impossible for them. If you're designing an eLearning course that relies on color coding, choose an accessible color palette and consider using other visual cues. For example:
One of the most important things you can do for your eLearning is to make sure it's accessible for people with all types of disabilities. This means that everyone can use it, regardless of their abilities.
When creating content, you should focus on combining visual content with text. Visual elements include images, videos, and graphics—anything that isn't text. This includes audio as well. If a video plays automatically when someone opens your course, they'll be able to access it even if they cannot read the words on the screen. You can add a text transcription to make it easier for those with screen readers to enjoy your content.
Animation is also a great addition to any course. Animated videos also require little reading and allow users who are visually impaired or blind to enjoy interactive experiences like clicking on buttons or playing games within eLearning courses without having any trouble following along with what's going on in each lesson.
Alt text is an image's description. It is for screen readers and other assistive technologies, not for the user to read. Alt text should be descriptive and concise, but it should not include the file name of the image or a caption or title. This makes it easier for assistive technology to process the information and read it clearly to the user.
Alt text is used by screen readers to describe images on a page. This can help blind users understand what they're looking at, even if they don't see it in person—and if you're designing a course that includes images, the alt text should be an essential part of your design process! Alt text is also handy for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, as they can read the content rather than listen to the audio.
It’s important for eLearning courses to be accessible across all devices, including mobile devices and those using assistive technology like screen readers. Screen readers are software used by individuals with visual impairments to use computers. They read information aloud in a synthesized voice, making them ideal for users who struggle to read text on the screen. Since these tools have an audio component, it is critical that your course be designed in such a way that it can be understood by everyone.
Here are some ways to ensure that your eLearning course is accessible:
If you're looking to make your eLearning content more accessible, adding transcripts is a great place to start. Transcripts are text versions of videos and audio files that provide a way for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, visually impaired, or learning English as a second language (ESL) to access the information on those files. They can also be helpful for those with other disabilities like speech impediments or those who can't read standard print at all.
Maestra’s video-to-text converter is the best way to transcribe videos. It automatically generates accurate transcriptions within minutes. All you need to do is upload your video file and click to begin the transcription. You can then review it and make any adjustments before exporting it.
In addition to transcripts, you can also add subtitles directly to videos with Maestra’s auto subtitle generator. Generate subtitles in over 80 languages to help those who are hard of hearing better understand video content.
When you’re creating an accessibility-designed eLearning course or online training course, it can be hard to know where to start. There are so many options and features that it can feel like a daunting task. However, there are plenty of resources and tips for designing eLearning courses available to help you create an accessible eLearning course.
One of the best things about these tools is that they're free and easy to use, which makes them great for beginners who are just getting started with increasing eLearning accessibility in web content.
But don't worry if you're not exactly an expert—there's no need to reinvent the wheel when designing accessible eLearning courses. Use Maestra Suite to help you provide transcriptions and alt text for all of the content in your course, making it far more accessible for people with disabilities.