It happens every day...

Imagine:

  • Being asked to "click here to continue" - but you don't have a mouse.

  • Asked to watch a video - but your speakers do not work.

  • Taking an exam - but you are unable to select any of the answers

  • Having to click 20 times to proceed to the next page.

The above are examples on "inaccessible" eLearning.  Thousands of pages of eLearning are produced every day that frustrate people exactly like the above examples.  Many eLearning developers are completely unaware they are causing this frustration and many authoring tools make it all but impossible to remedy.

"Accessible eLearning" makes sure the above does not happen.  In this world:

  • The person who does not use a mouse can use a keyboard or their voice command software to "continue". 

  • The video will be closed-captioned, the complete transcript will be there to read and if needed, the video will be audio described.

  • The answers to the exam questions will be easy to select

  • The "next button" will  be accessible quickly and consistently. 

CourseAvenue is dedicated to enabling large-scale production of Accessible eLearning*


Want to learn more and/or see a truly WCAG 2.0 AA compliant eLearning course?  Click the Contact Us button below

 

* "Accessible eLearning" generally means self-paced eLearning modules that may include text, graphics, audio, video and a wide array of assessment questions and interactions that is, by default, WCAG 2.0 AA compliant.

 

Frequently asked questions

What is Section 508?


In laymans terms, Section 508 is the area of federal law that governs electronic and information technology as it is procured by the federal government. Just like in the physical world there needs to be accessible access to a building, there needs to be accessible access to "electronic" and IT-based items (e.g. web sites, documents, videos, and eLearning)




What is WCAG 2.0?


WCAG stands for "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines". 2.0 refers to the specific version of these stanards. WCAG has three levels of compliance - A, AA or AAA (AAA being the most accessible). As noted, WCAG is a global standard. In 2017, the federal government updated Section 508 such that Section 508 compliance is for all practical purposes WCAG 2.0 AA compliance.




Can you have Media in an Accessible eLearning course?


In courses built with CourseAvenue - Yes! We can't vouch for other vendors ;). "Media" can be a variety of different things. In CourseAvenue's world this means you can add graphics, audio, video, assessment questions (e.g. fill-in the blank, ordered list, matching, multiple choice) and a varity of other interactions (e.g. choose 'this' see 'that', learner driven navigation, etc.). Even a crossword puzzle!




My current authoring tool has a "make accessible" button so I am o.k. - right?


Ummm - not very likely. eLearning tool vendors started adding this little "make accessible" check box and very little was known as to what checking the box or un-checking it actually did. So what happens if you have 8 things on the page (e.g. links, graphics, buttons, etc.) and you check the "make accessible" box on all of them? Who knows. One thing we noticed was there was no "make compliant" button.




What makes CourseAvenue Studio different?


Many (all?) eLearning authoring tools make accessiblty "developer dependent" (check out their "VPAT"). This basically means if you are a developer, know all about WCAG 2.0 compliance and havre the time and expertise to hand code each and every element on every page - you theoretically could use the tool to create an accessible course. In contrast, CourseAvenue builds accesslibty into the technology. You don't have to be an expert in WCAG 2.0. We are. You focus on the course and leave the accessiblty to us!





Accessibility Compliance can be challenging:

Section 508/WCAG 2.0  compliance for e-Learning content can be:

  • Costly - Section 508 compliance is commonly avoided during the sales process and instead, it is an afterthought. The potential risks and costs of remediating courses that fail Section 508 testing can should not be overlooked when projects begin.  Estimates are that it cost 5x the original development cost to remediate a course that fails accessibility.
     

  • Challenging - All too often, interpretation of Section 508 requirements is left to individual developers on a course by course basis. Limitations are imposed to creativity and design when the intricacies of programming the technology for use with assistive technology is required by those unfamiliar with this ever-changing technology.
     

  • Complicated - The complex interactions between web browsers, the e-Learning content, and an LMS (Learning Management System) make e-Learning development complicated. The sheer number of technology layers that must work together is significant. An assistive technology layer (screen readers, for example) adds an entirely new dimension to an already complex landscape.

Do you want to learn how to avoid all of these issues? 

If so, click the Contact Us button and lets chat!

 
 

Want to learn more?

If you're new to accessible e-Learning, you may be confused about what this means. It may help to understand a few of the common terms you'll see as you are researching this topic.

  1. Accessibility: generally describes the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible. When referring to accessibility of online content, such as e-Learning, accessibility refers to the degree to which all people, especially those with disabilities, can access the content.
     

  2. Assistive (or Adaptive) Technology: Assistive or Adaptive Technology commonly refers to "...products, devices or equipment, whether acquired commercially, modified or customized, that are used to maintain, increase or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities...", according to the definition proposed in the Assistive Technology Act of 1998.
     

  3. Section 508: In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 794d) as amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (P.L. 105 - 220), August 7, 1998 to require Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology (EIT) accessible to people with disabilities. Specifically, Section 508 of that act requires that when Federal agencies develop, procure, maintain, or use EIT, Federal employees with disabilities have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access and use by Federal employees who are not individuals with disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on the agency.

    Read more at: https://www.section508.gov/manage/laws-and-policies

     

  4. WCAG 2.0:  WCAG stands for "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines".  2.0 refers to the specific version of these stanards.  WCAG has three levels of compliance - A, AA or AAA (AAA being the most accessible).  As noted, WCAG is a global standard.  In 2017, the federal government updated Section 508 such that Section 508 compliance is for all practical purposes WCAG 2.0 AA compliance. 

    Read more at: https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

Additional Resources:

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