Section 508 Compliance in LMS
To eliminate barriers in information technology
for people with disabilities
Section 508 compliance in eLearning requires the course content to be built in a way that it becomes easily readable to those with reading disabilities. It ensures that the eLearning content follows the minimum acceptable standards while using multimedia in courses, such as “the use of text descriptions for graphics etc”. The main purpose of Section 508 is to eliminate barriers in information technology. It enables availability of new opportunities to people with disabilities, while using technology to help such people achieve their goals.
Section 508 started as a law for the federal agencies and their contractors where it was passed as a mandate to make their electronic and information technology accessible to those with disabilities. It was only after June 2001, that it was made compulsory for all the content made using federal money to be 508 compliant. Slowly, it got converted into Industry best practice that even those not receiving federal funds or affiliated with a federal agency, can ensure their online training to be 508 compliant.
508 compliance helps make eLearning easy for those people who carry certain types of disabilities. Such people are smart enough to understand the content, but the traditional format of the content is such that it becomes difficult for them to comprehend, especially those with hearing and vision related disability face a lot of problem. Considering the statistics given below, it is high time for the need of such a compliance –
Our eLearning authoring tool, is built to help you easily create engaging and interactive 508 compliant ‘easy-accessible’ eLearning courses. When we speak of “accessibility”, it is about making the eLearning content easy to use for everyone. Be it someone with poor vision or hearing disability to a person with any other physical disability. So, Paradiso LMS is 508 compliant! After all, there’s no harm in creating content that is made using well thought out colors and clear language. Everyone benefits from it!
One feature in our eLearning authoring software that helps us create 508 compliant courses is the check tool. This tool generates a list of issues that need to be taken care if you want the elearning course to comply with 508 requirements.
Whenever animation or video is used in eLearning courses, the text equivalent for it should be provided.
Anything not “Initially Visible” when the page loads would not get read by a screen reader.
Appropriate font sizing for those who may need to see text at a larger size.
Mindful color contrast should be used considering those who are colorblind or have trouble determining different colors.
Use of ‘alternate text’ attribute to describe every image.
Provide descriptive subtitles, captioning and transcripts of audio and videos.
The explanations of links should make sense when read out of context. For example, avoiding writing “click here” as link text.
Proper structuring of course content.
Summarizing of graphs and charts whenever used.
Provide alternate content for case scripts, applets and plug-ins that are inaccessible or unsupported.
Drop down menus should be easily ‘accessible’.
Build a practice of testing the courses frequently—it’ll help avoid the last minute headaches of discovering that your courses are not accessible.