Are you aware that 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability? Did you know that by making your content accessible, you can reach out to this population as well? Doing so will greatly broaden your audience reach.
Accessibility in eLearning means making your content available to learners with different abilities, it is about removing the barriers that might stand in their way, but this applies to everyone, as frequently, we all experience barriers.
Some learners might need different assistance because of permanent conditions such as blindness or low vision, hearing impairments, neurological or physical disability etc. Others may need temporary assistance because of issues such as a broken arm or leg, bad internet connection or even a headache.
Is Accessibility Only for People with Disabilities?
No, absolutely not.
It’s a common misconception that accessibility features are only for people with disabilities. However, the truth is that everyone can benefit from accessible eLearning content because we all experience barriers to content and much more frequently than we realise.
Making your eLearning content accessible can positively affect all learners, regardless of ability and this is why it is so important.
Accessibility is also important for:
- Learning styles – Some of your learners might prefer visual content, while others might prefer audio or text. By making your content accessible to all learners, you can cater to their different learning needs and capabilities that come naturally to them.
- Level of ability – Often learners are beginners, while others might be experts. By making your content accessible, you can ensure that all learners can understand and learn from it.
- Circumstance – Many learners are in a hurry, while others might have more time, by making your content accessible, you can ensure that all learners can access and use it.
- Devices – Your learners might be using desktop computers or mobile devices such as phone or smart pad, by making your content accessible, you can ensure that all learners can access and use it.
Why is Online Accessibility Important in eLearning?
Below are a few of the ways that accessible eLearning can benefit everyone:
1. Improved engagement and retention
I think this is something we can all agree we want. When eLearning content is designed with accessibility in mind, it can be more engaging and enjoyable for every learner. This is because accessible eLearning content is typically easy to navigate and use, with a clear structure that makes it easy to find the information you need.
This can help improve learner engagement and retention, as learners like to stick with easy-to-use and easy-to-navigate eLearning courses.
2. Improved accessibility
Of course, one of the main benefits of accessible eLearning is that it can help improve accessibility for all learners. By making your eLearning content accessible, you can make it available to a wider range of learners, including those with disabilities and from older generations.
This can help to break down barriers and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from your eLearning courses.
3. Improved compliance
Another big benefit of accessible eLearning is that it can help to improve your compliance with accessibility regulations. As you may or may not know public sector bodies in Ireland are required to be accessible.
Although in many places it is not required to make your eLearning content accessible, accessible eLearning can still help you to improve your compliance with other accessibility regulations, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). I do, however, imagine in the near future it will be a legal requirement for all, so then accessible eLearning can help you to meet these requirements when they do come into force.
4. Improved search engine optimization
Making your eLearning content accessible can also improve your search engine optimization (SEO). This is because accessible eLearning content is typically designed to be used by everyone, regardless of ability.
This means that your content will be easy to use for all learners, including those with disabilities. In addition, your content will be easy to find and navigate for search engines, which can help to improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
As you can see, there are many benefits to making your eLearning content accessible. By making your eLearning content accessible, you can improve engagement and retention, improve accessibility, improve compliance, and improve SEO. All these benefits can help improve the quality of your eLearning courses and make them more successful.
Watch the full version of the webinar here.