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31 May 2023

Why Accessibility?

Thinking of offering an e-learning training solution to your collaborators? Whether your training aims to develop competencies, update existing knowledge or compliance with health and safety procedures, here’s what you should know about the Accessible Canada Act:

Enacted on July 11th, 2019, this law seeks to make Canada an obstacle-free country for every one of us. This means that any element that can limit the participation of people living with a physical or intellectual disability must be eliminated.

What Does This Mean for You?

The disabilities included in this law can be of an intellectual, cognitive, mental, or sensory nature. The law also includes learning and communication disabilities, as well as permanent or temporary functional limitations. All put together, these elements of the law can make the development of e-learning more complex, but rest assured that following accessibility guidelines will improve the learning experience for all learners. o this end, the first step when kicking off a new project is to make sure the platform used by your vendor respects the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

You can now keep these guidelines in mind when developing training solutions to promote inclusivity within your team. The accessibility of e-learning solutions is gaining in popularity each year, but it’s equally important to consider the other key elements of an effective training solution: such as being stimulating, engaging, intuitive and being securely accessible at any time, and on multiple platforms.

Promoting Inclusion Within Your Team

Accessibility and inclusion in the workplace create working environments that are fair, respectful, and accessible to all employees. These are essential practices to welcome diversity and support the professional success of all. Accessibility in the workplace refers to the development of an environment that can easily be accessed by any staff member. This can include amenities designed for visually or hearing-impaired people, adapted tools and software, as well as any policy or procedure that enable every employee to fully participate in their professional activities. Inclusion can also mean implementing open communication channels and structures that allow all employees to contribute and express themselves.

Here are a few concrete actions that can encourage inclusion and accessibility in the workplace:

  • Inclusive communication: Encourage open and respectful communication between employees, using communication channels that are accessible to all employees. If needed, provide information in an alternative format while promoting respect for everyone’s opinions and ideas.
  • Training and awareness: Organize training and awareness sessions in which the importance of accessibility and inclusion is explained to employees with an emphasis on the advantages it can bring to the organization.
  • Accessible technology: Use accessible tools and technologies to enable employees to fully participate. For instance, you can provide screen-reading software to people with visual impairments or add subtitles to all videos produced by the organization.

WCAG Guidelines

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) present a wide array of recommendations aimed at making web contents more accessible. The four principles of the WCAG (Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust) are presented in following articles to help you make your e-learning training solutions fully accessible.

As of March 2023, the law now stipulates that a National Accessibility Week will be held each year, starting on the last Sunday of May!


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