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eLearning Rockstars Stage - Making 508 Accessible to Developers_Blog Header

 

Chris Willis, eLearning Brothers Senior Product Manager, Customizable Courseware, presented two eLearning Rockstars Learning Stage sessions at DevLearn. Today we’re exploring her session on 508 and accessibility. Be sure to check out her session on blended learning as well.

 

In this session, Chris shared with attendees:

  • A process for defining their organization’s target level for accessibility compliance
  • High level design strategies to save developers time —and money!
  • Compliance checklists, tests, and authoring considerations for success

 

There are many benefits to developing accessible learning, including:

  • Improving the lives of those with disabilities
  • Reaching a wider audience/consumer base
  • Avoiding costly lawsuits or bad press

 

Chris went on to talk about WCAG, or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

 

Explanation of WCAG - a set of guidelines for making content accessible to all users

 

Start by assessing your needs. Are you just starting out with 508 compliance or has your organization been working with 508 for a while, with procedures set in place?

 

Next, perform an audience analysis to understand who your accessible learners are and the specific requirements they have. Are they hearing impaired or vision impaired, for example.

 

Then, create a compliance team. You don’t need to have a different person for each role, but you’ll want to make sure you’re covering all these functions:

  • Leadership/Strategy
  • Instructional Design
  • Visual/Graphic Design
  • Technical Development
  • Testers

 

Make sure you designate a team lead to keep everyone on track.

 

It’s important to get familiar with the WCAG standards. Chris talks through it in the video below, and you can take a look at this 508 Resources Guide, a compiliation of links and resources that Chris mentioned in her presentation.

 

Watch the video below to learn more about developing for 508 and WCAG compliance, including tips on building compliant templates, testing with screen readers, and graphic design tips for helping visually impaired learners.

 

 

View Chris’s presentation slides here.

Read more instructional design articles on the blog and sign up for a free Template Library account to practice your new skills!

 

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