Raising-the-bar on accessibility

We are excited to announce we are taking home an Initiative award for Accessibility at the 2021 NZATD Learning and Development Awards. The award acknowledges work that creates accessible learning and encourages best practice.

We are receiving this award for the online module Demystifying Procurement, which we developed and built in collaboration with MBIE.

The brief was to take an existing e-learning module that had some issues and update it with a fresh look and more engaging interactions. The materials needed to meet the audience learning needs in terms of content and accessibility.

With this project, we were trying to shift the bar for what we could achieve in terms of accessibility. The module was for a huge audience, so we knew from the very start that it needed to be written in plain language and to work for as many people as possible, while also keeping the development affordable and the activities engaging for the learners.

How did we make the learning accessible?

The module needed to work for colour-blind, blind, and partially sighted learners and for deaf learners.

We looked up the WCAG standards at the start of the design process, so we would have a framework to help us get something that would work.

Having that guidance from the beginning meant we designed for accessibility, rather than trying to add it onto an inaccessible design!

At the end of the project, we had two things:

  • a module with accessible colours and fonts which had been built and tested to work throughout with screen readers for all activities transcripts for all audio and alt-text for all images that needed them,
  • a template and asystem for developing more modules that meet the AA standard, so we can achieve this level of accessibility into the future.

In addition to the re-designed module that resulted in maximised learner autonomy and an accessible design, we also delivered:

  • a refreshed face-to-face workshop aligned with the look and feel of the updated online module.
  • a train-the-trainer package rolled out to government agencies
  •  a plan for the evaluation of the course.

We had excellent feedback on the workshop, all the trainers-to-be expressing confidence in their ability to run the workshop after the pilot session!

As online learning design continues to reach wider and wider audiences, we see having templates and design processes that make the learning accessible for all as being of huge importance.

We are very proud to be recipients of the 2021 NZATD Accessibility Initiative award, which recognises how we are succeeding in this area.

Contact us to find out how we can help you today.

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