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eLBX Online Day 26 - A Beginner’s Guide to 508 Compliance

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We are in the final week of eLBX Online! Today we kicked things off with a bang with guest Laura Silver, Chief Operating Officer at Trivantis. This session studied the goals and results of designing and developing eLearning for usability versus accessibility. Laura covered the basics of Accessibility, Section 508 compliance, and WCAG.

What Is Accessibility?

Accessibility means that people with disabilities can equally perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with websites and tools. It also means they can contribute equally without barriers.

WCAG

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines state that content should be:

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable
  • Robust

Section 508 Compliance

Section 508 is a US federal law that requires "information and communication technology" to be accessible to employees with disabilities. In January 2018 these rules were updated to more closely align with the aforementioned WCAG guidelines.

Usability

Usability is about designing products to be effective, efficient, and satisfactory to use. When we combine accessibility and usability, we arrive at the concept of universal design, which is the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Universal design is all about inclusion for everyone.

Laura shared 10 practical approaches to designing for accessibility and usability.
  1. Consistent Navigation
  2. Transcripts & Captions
  3. Keyboard Only Support
  4. Form Labels
  5. Color Contrast
  6. Straightforward Language
  7. Chunk Content with Markup
  8. Descriptive Links
  9. Focus States
  10. Color Isn't Used Alone

The best way to test accessibility in your eLearning is to unplug your mouse and see if you can navigate through your entire course with your keyboard only.

-Laura Silver

Here are some additional 508 compliance and accessibility resources:

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