3.10 A process for creating accessible materials
This is not an attempt to provide a single foolproof methodology. It is simply a suggestion for those who would like to produce accessible eLearning but who are not yet confident enough to know where to begin. There will undoubtedly be other considerations each individual educator needs to include, and there will be considerations listed here that are not appropriate in every case. Please use this list only as your starting point, as a handy guide, and do not let it constrain you in any way.
- What are your objectives in creating the eLearning material? What do you want to help your learners achieve? How will you record your decisions throughout the process, to ensure you can justify the accessibility measures you have or have not included? How will you ensure your accessible materials have not compromised academic standards or other requirements?
- Who will use the materials: a known, defined group or a wider ‘public’ group? If it is a defined group, what do you know about them that you could use to tailor your eLearning materials? How can you design your eLearning to anticipate the needs of learners who will use the materials in the future?
- How will learners interact with your materials? On which kinds of devices? On what quality of internet connections? Will they be using your materials in class, in self-directed study sessions, or in short bursts whilst at work?
- Which of the accessibility measures listed above are easily within your control? Which might need collaboration or approval from a senior staff member? How will you go about achieving those?
- Who can you contact for advice and support (and possibly funding) on the more complex elements? These may be accessibility specialists, technology specialists or disabled learners themselves.
- Where will you provide a single resource accessible to all, and where will you provide alternative versions? How will you mix and match modes of presentation to create an effective and accessible eLearning experience?
- How will you inform your students about what is available? It is not necessary to tell them about every accessibility measure you have taken, as most will simply be integral to the materials, but where alternative versions are available you need to consider how these will be signposted.
- And finally – how will you know when you’ve done a good job? How will you obtain feedback on your eLearning materials that will tell you whether your accessibility measures have been effective?