We pride ourselves on providing 508 complaint eLearning. In this week’s blog, from our Instructional Designers, we share how we do so and six tips on how you can too.
In short, Section 508 of the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that the federal government’s website information be safe and accessible for people with disabilities. This law covers a range of issues related to assisting people with different kinds of disabilities and covers everything from Images, maps, videos, eLearning, and more.
Over the past 18 months, the Instructional Design team has been creating eLearning that is 508 Compliant. We are not a federal government, so why do we strive to be 508 Compliant?
While we may only receive a small number of requests for 508-compliant eLearning, primarily law schools, TutorPro believes it’s essential to be compliant for all simulated courses we create. For many of our clients, ADA/508 Compliance is handled outside eLearning, often through instructor-led support. This fed into our strategic thinking, and we decided that, as an organization, we wanted to go beyond simply serving the market’s current demand.
Team TutorPro is a diverse group of people in many different senses – we do everything we can to ensure the individual needs of all team members are met, whatever they might be. We believe in the spirit of the ADA. Whilst we understand that many firms handle accessibility outside eLearning, we want as many people as possible to have direct access to TutorPro learning, through audio, closed captioning like instructions, document-based job aids, and other features that makeup ADA/508 compliance.
We have over 1000 modules in our eLearning library, and each course we create has a consistent structure, branding, layout, and style. The design concept we use is clean and concise and remains uncluttered. We use a screen reader to test the content, ensuring that all elements on the screen appear in the proper order and can be read back to the learner.
When creating a design, be mindful of the colors you use. The majority of learners who are color blind can see clearly, but colors appear different from what you and I may see.
Pay attention to the font size in your design; don’t go too small! Many Instructional Designers add the option for learners to change the font size, so either add that feature or use a font size of 12pt or above.
eLearning navigation actions should be addressed by the design and style of the course, ensuring the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are clean and straightforward. In addition, it’s essential to address the navigational options for those with a disability. For some, it can be difficult to navigate with a mouse, so eLearning must be able to proceed using a keyboard only. In our courses, we ensure that the “Spacebar” or the “Tab” key can also be used to navigate.
Whilst Team TutorPro does not use video in our eLearning, we do use animation on occasions. It’s important to include Alt Text for images, and for videos, be sure to enable closed captioning. Doing so ensures that a screen reader can read information to the learner.
TutorPro’s eLearning uses audio to help support the learner. If you’re not confident adding voiceover to your content, be sure to include a text transcript to make the information accessible to all.