Discover approaches to the visual instruction that will create more accessibility such as text on a screen.
- When you're thinking about accessibility for all the members of your learning community, those with physical or hearing or visual impairments might come to mind immediately. But don't forget that cognitive differently-abled learners whose barriers are invisible, such as those with dyslexia like myself or ADHD. One resource to get to know is the American Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. Even if you're not based on America, this is a great resource to consider and comply with to create maximum reach. Here are some suggestions when considering all of your learners. To address visual access, first be deliberate when choosing color combinations. Combos like green and red, or blue and purple are not color-blind-friendly. Instead try blue and orange, or blue and brown. Next, use both colors and symbols to convey meaning. Don't use colors in a way that requires a user to discriminate between hues as the only means to interpret information. Use values, images, and patterns to separate the visual elements. Include a visual indicator to draw focus. You can do this by drawing a circle or a check mark next to the area on the screen that needs attention. Also non-text content images should have a text alternative like caption for videos and an image alt text, which is a word or phrase describing the content. An image without alt text, or a video without caption appears as a black hole for someone who is blind or has low vision. For auditory access, most importantly make sure that any speech and video content has closed captioning and transcriptions. You can also add voice-over to describe what's happening on the screen. For cognitive and physical access, first consider removing time-based restrictions in the course. Also allow for both key-stroke and mouse-enabled content such as drag-and-drop to allow for multiple ways for access. Include closed captioning to provide additional access. Another thing to think about is providing both audio and visual directions for all your learners. Here's a designer note. Add visuals to support differentiated learning. Icons, graphics, timelines can all help do this. For example, I like to associate icons with a common content theme. So if there are design tips or notes that I'm weaving throughout a course and I want to highlight, I might add a simple icon like a light bulb or a star to make that association. Or if there's a complex idea that is best explained by a graph or a Venn diagram, I make sure to include them. This may seem like a lot of steps. To get you started, take a look at other online courses and conduct your own accessibility assessment. Are there things that need improvement or are they setting the standard? Whatever you learn, apply these new approaches to your course to make sure those with any differences are not missing out.
- Designing for a global reach
- Addressing the digital divide
- Using inclusive language
- Designing for diverse cultures and multiple generations
- Creating content for various learning styles
- Building learning communities
- Accessibility for differently abled learners
- Using learning analytics to assess your goals