How to develop a curriculum for training for all learners using accessibility guidelines
Microassist has developed accessible training for many agencies and companies and we want to work with you
Training that is accessible to those with disabilities is training that is a highly usable custom elearning program.
Digital accessibility is about creating digital content that is usable by those with disabilities. When elearning is designed for accessibility, it becomes elearning that can reach all of your learners—whether they are students, employees, or the general public; whether they use reading glasses, or have a broken arm; whether they have a are hard of hearing, or are completely blind. It is elearning that also satisfies the federal, state, and municipal laws and standards that require digital content to be accessible.
How do you know whether elearning is usable by everyone, including those with disabilities? A good guide is to ensure that custom elearning follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) which are incorporated by reference into laws and standards.
Broadly speaking, the guidelines state that digital content should be:
- Perceivable – There must be alternate ways to view, read, and hear content, so that any learner can use online training. Images, for example, should have alternative text descriptions. Auditory content should be captioned for people with hearing disabilities.
- Operable – Users must be able to operate the elearning course. Users need to be able to click the next button and submit the answers to quiz questions. They need to be able to navigate around the page and make it through the course. And they need to be able to do this without relying on a mouse or trackpad.
- Understandable – The content has to be designed so that users can comprehend it. Using plain language is helpful, as is explaining words that are likely to be unfamiliar to the audience. Avoid unnecessary jargon. Define acronyms.
- Robust – The course should be usable when the learner is relying on assistive technologies (such as programs that read screen content to blind users). Assistive technology needs to interact with the course appropriately. Buttons should act like buttons; links should act like links.
Training designed with accessibility in mind creates opportunities for learners
When training is designed to be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust, it helps ensure that people with disabilities receive training in a manner equivalent to those without disabilities. It means that training reaches everyone who needs it.
Does designing custom elearning and training programs mean that elearning must be simple and boring? Not at all.
When considering how to develop a curriculum for training that is accessible to those with disabilities, consider that accessible elearning, as any custom elearning, needs to be designed for how people learn. It needs to be interactive, meaningful, and structured so that the learner can achieve their training goals.
Our Accessible Elearning Services
Designing accessible custom elearning requires a unique set of skills. It needs to leverage the features make training effective, such as user-driven scenarios, practice testing, and feedback. It needs to meet the requirements demanded by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, such as captions, alternative text, keyboard access, and robust programming.
Microassist is among the few elearning companies that possess the complete knowledge related to how to develop a curriculum for training that optimizes both effective learning techniques and accessibility in the same learning environment, creating a synergy that enables learning for all.
Microassist elearning designers are well-versed in developing effective learning environments, having successfully developed courses and curriculum for government, corporate, and non-profit clients. Microassist elearning developers have implemented solutions in major elearning development tools. The Microassist Learning Development team has written extensively and delivered presentations at national, regional, and local conferences.
In addition, Microassist designers and developers are well-versed in accessibility, and how to adopt guidelines written for web accessibility to the somewhat more esoteric field of learning design. Microassist developers hold certifications in accessibility from industry-recognized certifying organizations and have successfully competed in accessibility-related design competitions. Microassist employees have also contributed to national publications like Mealey’s Litigation Report, Association of Talent Development’s TD Magazine, and blogs and newsletters on the subjects of both web accessibility and accessible elearning.
Contact Us about Creating Accessible Elearning for Your Organization
Accessible elearning is learning that is available to all. Contact Microassist today to find out more about how your training might be designed to both satisfy legal obligations to be accessible and, at the same time, reach the greatest number of learners.