How to Create eLearning Content with Accessibility in Mind
As the world shifts to virtual work and online learning environments, some struggle more than others. How can you ensure nothing stands in the way of a learner’s experience being as enjoyable and accessible as possible?
Work with instructional designers who understand accessibility
Organizations that support and promote a diverse and inclusive workforce need to take this into serious consideration. Partnering with service providers that uphold the same standards, such as our team of experts here at Leah Chang Learning, is an excellent step towards designing learning experiences with accessibility in mind.
Our clients have broad audiences and the projects we work on have high standards. They have requirements to make learning as inclusive as possible and the experience as effective as possible. This inspires us to keep up-to-date with industry standards, to keep learning about efficient ways to build in accessible design into our projects, and to make the necessary accommodations part of our “new normal” when it comes to designing high quality online learning.
eLearning content considerations for accessibility
We used a few branding samples to test some mock-up design templates that our team created in Articulate Storyline and Articulate Rise. To our surprise, only 30% had an adequate colour contrast ratio. This is an easy fix! You can find many websites that will show you the colour contrast ratio, but we really liked using this online checker.
It’s important to note that not everyone who benefits from accessible design has a long-term disability. Temporary accessibility issues can also be accommodated by a few thoughtful design approaches.
“I recently experienced a really painful wrist inflammation likely due to working long hours of my mouse and a too-tiny desk. I would cringe when I had to use my mouse, especially when completing “mouse-intensive” repetitive clicks. I would have loved more assistive technology aids such as keyboard controls instead of clicks in some of the software I was using. I get it now—our learners need to have options to make their learning experience a better one. Accessible design isn’t just about high contrasting colours or big fonts, and nor is it for people with long-term disabilities. All of us can benefit from more accessibility and inclusion in how we use digital tools.”
-Instructional Design freelancer who transitioned to working from home full time pre-COVID
Part of our process here at Leah Chang Learning was to create a template with our branding and start testing it for accessibility.
Tools for instructional designers to create eLearning content that is inclusive and accessible
Here are some reputable resources we use and highly recommend to other instructional designers, learning technologists and anyone getting started with accessible design:
We're excited to put accessible design to use in a current project with accessible employers of BC, The Presidents Group, in their upcoming online learning about accessible employment. Do you need help with an accessible learning project? Contact us today!
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Leah Chang is a learning consultant with 17+ years of experience designing online and classroom learning. In her spare time she goes on self-propelled travel adventures and tries to grow vegetables.