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6 June 2023

WCAG Guidelines: Perception in the Accessibility Context

In the context of accessibility, perception refers to a person’s ability to perceive and understand presented information, specially in the case of people living with sensory limitations. It mainly affects the way in which information is communicated and made available to people experiencing visual, auditory, or sensory difficulties.

Here are a few key elements of perception in an accessibility context:

1. Visual accessibility:

For people living with a visual handicap, it is essential to present information in alternative or adapted ways to ensure it can be perceived. This can include the use of textual descriptions for images, increased contrast ratios to make reading easier, the use of subtitles with videos, or the use of large and easily readable fonts. Basically, it’s all about offering text-based alternatives to non-textual contents, such as icons, shapes, images, playback bars, etc.

2. Auditory accessibility:

For people living with an auditory handicap, perception can be improved by providing alternatives to audio-based information. This can be done by adding transcriptions or subtitles for audio contents, using visual signals to alert users to important audio cues, or making hearing loops available to people that use hearing aids.

3. Tactile accessibility:

For people that have a visual handicap or difficulty with visual perception, accessibility can be increased by providing tactile information. This can include using braille to communicate texts, using tactile mock-ups or embossed elements to present visual information, or even using vibration cues to transmit important information.

4. Cognitive accessibility:

Perception is also linked to the way in which information is presented. For people with cognitive impairments, or learning disabilities, information needs to be presented as clearly and understandably as possible. This can include the use of simple and concise vocabulary, the visual organization of information, the use of easy-to-understand icons and symbols, and limiting any visual or auditory distractions.

Accessibility in e-learning 

In summary, making e-learning solutions accessible, in terms of perception, means ensuring that presented information can be perceived by people with sensory impairments using alternatives, adaptations, and other forms of support to facilitate understanding of, and interactions with contents. This approach guaranties that everyone will have fair access to the training, regardless of their sensory limitations or neurodivergences.  It is critical to consider all the elements of accessibility listed above, before starting to design your e-learning solution, to ensure all your staff will fully benefit from the training. When it comes to meeting accessibility guidelines, e-learning solutions can easily surpass in-person ones with the right team of experienced instructional designers.

In our next blog post, well do more exploration on the principles behind the WCAG guidelines.


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