There wouldn’t be a conversation about Learning Design without talking about Accessiblity. Accessibility goes well beyond thinking about physical disabilities and impairments. We need to head into our design process with accessibility well and truly front and centre.
Considerations around learning disabilities must be taken into account as well as accessibility in relation to cultural, environment and socio-economic factors. For example, schools needed to factor in children’s availability to technology as remote learning initiatives were being rolled out as a result of COVID.
Our considerations around all accessibility will be different depending on whether we are designing our solutions for internal employees compared to the general public. There should also be a certain amount of future-proofing. We may have any immediate requirement to make content accessible, however depending on employment and inclusivity policies within your organsiation,
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
We visited UDL in the previous module, so this may be a recap for some of you. We have included an extra learning activity here.
The Australian Government has put together a comprehensive guide about Accessibility and inclusivity which covers everything from culture through to language and accessibility.
Talking about accessibility wouldn’t be complete without talking about the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative. “The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. Led by Web inventor and Director Tim Berners-Lee and CEO Jeffrey Jaffe, W3C’s mission is to lead the Web to its full potential.”
The following checklists (downloadable as a PDF) are a handy set of tools to make sure your content follows a majority of accessibility principles and guidelines
We will look more at how colour and design can impact accessibility when we look at the Visual Design level.
Have you heard of screen readers before? People with visual impairments use screen readers to “read” computer based content both documents and online web content. Appreciating how a program like NVDA o JAWS works and fits in with the end user’s workflow will allow us to better prepare our content for user’s with this type of requirement.
In summary, responsive design is where content can be viewed both on a desktop monitor (landscape view) and a mobile device (portrait view). The main requirement is that the content needs to “adjust” between landscape and portrait without compromising experience.
Responsive design is included in accessibility as making our content responsive is about making it accessible across all devices.
Most learning platforms are mobile ready, so our content may need to be mobile ready as well. How does our design translate between Desktop, Tablet and Mobile?