4 reasons why accessibility is important in e-learning
Sometimes when I talk about accessibility with people working in e-learning, I hear questions like: "Why do we talk so often about accessibility? How many learners are really affected by this? Why is this so important? It's not that they lack empathy, but rather that they are genuinely curious.
For those new to the concept of accessibility, let's start with a definition. An accessible e-learning module is a module that people with disabilities (whether their disability is intellectual, motor, visual or auditory) can follow like any other learner.
Let's look at four reasons why accessibility is important in e-learning.
1. Because it's the law
If you work for a public service or a private company making more than 250 million euros of turnover annually, there is a good chance that you are aware of the decree of July 25, 2019 . It is in fact the law that obliges large companies to make their online material, such as internet and intranet sites and e-learning modules, accessible to people with disabilities. To do this, these companies can rely on the RGAA, the General Accessibility Improvement Framework which itself is based on WCAG standards.. Since October 2019, in the event of failure to comply with the requirements, the companies concerned risk a fine set at 20,000 euros per year. While this is more of a 'stick' than a 'carrot', legal compliance is one of the main reasons accessibility should be important to you!
2. Because it's good for business
Did you know that 18% of French people live with one type of disability or another? This means that if you are selling online and your website is not fully accessible, almost one in five potential customers cannot navigate your site effectively. That's a lot of lost customers, right?
Now let's look at it from another perspective. In 2019, there were around 1 million disabled workers in activity.
Think about it from a training standpoint. Without accessible training, there could be a skills mismatch between employees with disabilities and others. And all of this comes at a cost to the business. How more efficient would your staff be if your training materials were fully accessible? Don't ignore part of your workforce: they may find a better place to work with your competition.
3. Because it is morally important
The moral argument is not always enough for those who manage the budget of the company, but it is necessary all the same to speak about the importance of the support of the less privileged. You may find that your employees appreciate the fact that their company cares enough about its employees to demand that training materials be accessible to everyone.
4. Because it benefits all learners
Many accessibility requirements end up benefiting all learners by improving the ergonomics of the module. For example, consistent and harmonized navigation not only makes navigation easier for those who use a screen reader, but also for all learners. Providing transcription or captions for audio and video portions not only benefits people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but also anyone who follows the course without headphones in a noisy or shared environment. Using a text color that contrasts with the background makes it easier to read e-learning content for people with a visual impairment but also for mobile learners who follow the module in a bright environment, such as outdoors, for example.as a whole .
Whether you are legally required to make your e-learning modules accessible or you just think it is the right thing to do, the application of accessibility standards can have a positive impact on the ergonomics of your modules. can improve learning for all your employees.
Keep in mind that this is only an incomplete list of reasons why accessibility is important in e-learning. We would love to hear what you have to tell us about this, so leave us a comment below.