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Imagine your current workforce. Now, imagine a quarter of your team not getting the training they need to effectively do their jobs. When training is inaccessible to those with disabilities, it sends a message that their growth isn’t a priority. Besides giving everyone the same chances for learning and development, designing accessible eLearning is the law: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires organizations to make learning materials and courses available to all employees, regardless of ability.
Accessibility for all has always mattered, but it matters now more than ever. Accessibility compliance standards are challenging the digital design industry and in return, we are rising to the call. Designers are being encouraged, or in some cases, required by law, to follow the international Web Contact Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) put out by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). At ELM, the exciting challenge is always one of form meeting function in the most beautiful and accessible way possible. Compliance standards are ushering in a new era, not just for web designers, but for learning experience designers tasked with accessibility for a broad spectrum of learners.
Acknowledging the need for more accessibility is a great first step. Your next step is to look through a new lens to update your eLearning to close ability gaps, cultivate a culture of inclusivity, and ensure that training is a positive experience for all of your learners. We’ll work together to consider your workforce accessibility challenges with our first-hand experience in creating eLearning for all. Whether it’s allowing for text-only options for hard-of-hearing team members or offering a spectrum of navigation options, we use our tools to make sure all of your employees feel valued and respected.
Making your eLearning 508 compliant is one of the main goals of accessible training, but it isn’t the only one. A globally-minded, forward-thinking organization understands that each team member is worthy of growth and development. It’s a dilemma many instructional designers face: sacrifice interactivity or 508 compliance. It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation: We can build experiences that fulfill compliance standards while still offering an impactful experience for any learner.
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First and foremost, it’s integral for the same reason accessibility should be an overarching priority across your organization: fairness.
Second—and in the case of corporate training—accessibility means giving employees equal learning experiences. And that means providing content that allows all employees to reach their full potential regardless of any constraints.
Finally—and this is for you, the business owner or manager—accessibility means opening up product access to your entire target audience.