508 compliance eLearning - Ways to Make eLearning Accessible

Here at Intellek we pride ourselves on providing 508 complaint eLearning. In this week’s blog, from our Instructional Designers, we share how we do so; and six tips on how you can ensure Section 508 Compliance eLearning in your content and online courses.

What is 508 Compliance in eLearning?

In short, Section 508 of the United States Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that the federal government’s website information be safe and accessible for people with disabilities.

This law covers a range of issues related to assisting people with different kinds of disabilities and covers everything from Images, maps, videos, eLearning and more.

Why do we need Section 508 Compliance?

Over the past 18 months, the Instructional Design team has been creating eLearning that is 508 Compliant. We are not a federal government, so why do we strive to be 508 Compliant?

A recent study shows a deficit of data about how educational technology can help learners with disabilities in low and middle-income countries.

While we may only receive a small number of requests for 508-compliant eLearning, primarily law schools, Intellek believes it’s essential to be compliant for all simulated courses we create.

Making eLearning More Accessible

For many of our clients, ADA / 508 Compliance is handled outside of their eLearning, often through instructor-led support. This fed into our strategic thinking and we decided that, as an organization, we wanted to go beyond simply serving the market’s current demand for accessible eLearning.

Team Intellek is a diverse group of people in many different senses – we do everything we can to ensure the individual needs of all team members are met, whatever they might be. We believe in the spirit of the ADA!

Whilst we understand that many firms handle accessibility outside of eLearning, we want as many people as possible to have direct access to our learning resources. Through audio, closed captioning (like instructions), document-based job aids and other features that make up ADA / 508 compliance eLearning.

How to Make 508 Compliant eLearning

Now we’re getting to the good stuff… Here are our six top tips for how you can ensure section 508 Compliance eLearning resources for your organization:

1. Create a Consistent Design Concept

We have over 1000 modules in our eLearning library and each course we create has a consistent structure, branding, layout and style. The best design concept to use is clean and concise and remains uncluttered. Some learners may struggle if there content they are viewing is ‘too busy’.

We use a screen reader to test the content, ensuring that all elements on the screen appear in the proper order and can be read back to the learner.

2. Choose the Right Colors (think Color-Blind)

When creating a design, be mindful of the colors you use. The majority of learners who are color blind can see clearly, but colors appear different from what you and I may see.

3. Be Mindful of Font Sizes for 508 Compliance eLearning

Pay attention to the font size in your design, don’t go too small! Many Instructional Designers add the option for learners to change the font size, so either add that feature or use a minimum font size of 12pt or above.

4. Provide Easy Navigation with Keystrokes

eLearning navigation actions should be addressed by the design and style of the course, ensuring the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are clean and straightforward.

In addition, it’s essential to address the navigational options for those with a physical disability.

For some, it can be difficult to navigate with a mouse, so eLearning must be able to proceed using a keyboard only. In our courses, we ensure that the “Spacebar” or the “Tab” key can also be used to navigate.

5. Use Animation and Video Closed Captions

Whilst Team Intellek does not use video in our eLearning, we do use animation on occasions. It’s important to include Alt Text for images and for videos, be sure to enable closed captioning (subtitles) in your video content too.

Doing so ensures that a screen reader can read information to learners that may be visually impaired.

6. Use Audio or Text Transcripts for 508 Compliance

Intellek’s eLearning uses audio to help support the learner. If you’re not confident adding voiceover to your content, be sure to include a text transcript to make the information accessible to those with hearing difficulties.

Section 508 Compliance eLearning with Intellek

We hope you find these tips on Section 508 Compliance eLearning helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to see a demo of how our content creation tool can be used to make 508 Compliant eLearning and online courses, please feel free to reach out to us or just book yourself a free live demo.