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2 Making your online materials accessible

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Figure 3 Making content available in different modalities increases its accessibility for learners.

There are many types of disability and many ways in which people with disabilities interact with learning materials. Therefore, generalising about all the considerations that need to be made for people with particular special needs or conditions is tricky. However, there are common aspects of achieving accessibility in educational materials. You should ensure that:

  • materials are clear, consistently organised and explained;
  • information contained in visual elements (e.g. images, video and text) can be accessed without needing vision, for example, all images in this course have an alt-text description;
  • information contained in auditory elements (e.g. video or audio) can be accessed without needing hearing, for example, all videos in this course have transcripts;
  • display elements can be modified to suit users’ needs (e.g. magnification, colour contrast);
  • tasks can be performed without needing rapid text-inputting skills, manual dexterity or visual acuity.

Meeting these requirements does not mean that you have to avoid using elements that some people cannot access (such as video), but rather that you should ensure that the information you are conveying can be accessed by everyone. This can be done by making it available in different ways or through different media.