This post looks at the tools people use to make eLearning, and how easy it is to use them to make learning which is usable for people with disabilities. Although there are many reasons why making sure that eLearning that is suitable for everyone is a good thing, the companies who make eLearning tools do not always make it easy for people to do this.
What information would help?
In 2015 W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium) wrote a report which explained what help, people who make eLearning tools should give. Their suggestions are called the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG). Some of the most important things they suggested are:
- People should be able to use the tool to make eLearning which everyone can use.
- The company who supplies the tool should give instructions about how to do this.
- The company who supplies the tool should help their authors check and fix their eLearning so that everyone can use it.
What information do companies supply?
There is a lot of difference in the information which companies give about how to use their tool to make eLearning for everyone. Sometimes there is no information at all. This was true for 4 of the 14 companies which I looked at. Sometimes the information is very brief, sometimes there is more detail and sometimes the company gives a lot of help, for example with articles, webinars and forums.
Why is this important?
The law has changed in the US, the UK and Europe which now means it is even more important for anyone who is making eLearning in any organisation which gets money from the government to make their eLearning suitable for everyone. The important change is that now, everyone must meet the standards in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
What does this mean for people who make eLearning?
These changes in the law mean that any company who makes an eLearning tool, should be giving help to their authors so that they can meet the WCAG standards. One example from CourseArc showed the best way that this could be done. This company explained, and gave instructions for each of the 50 WCAG standards.
How can eLaHub.net help?
eLaHub gives examples of how to meet some of the standards using three different tools. Even if the tool you use doesn’t give you much information, you can look at eLaHub and understand some of the things you need to do to make sure that everyone can use your eLearning. If you have any examples using a different tool, you can share it so that the site will be more helpful for all eLearning authors.