The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 26 percent of American adults have some type of disability. Of those, nearly six percent are deaf or hard of hearing, 4.6 percent are blind or experience significant vision impairment, and over 10 percent have a cognitive disability.
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 is sometimes confused with user experience (UX) or device compatibility. While it’s true that accessibility can result in better UX, UX doesn’t automatically result in more accessible training. Adults with disabilities in the workplace often employ tools to help them adapt, and eLearning should be designed with these tools in mind.
Speaking of tools, sometimes a change in perception is the most valuable tool for better eLearning. Even carefully-designed and executed eLearning modules can leave gaps when used by persons with disabilities. In some cases, minor tweaks can make content much more accessible without a complete overhaul.
Here are seven best practices and quick tips to help you create training that is accessible to all.
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 help close ability gaps, cultivate a culture of inclusivity, and ensure that training is a positive experience for all of your learners.