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Introducing Accessibility, Section 508, and the Web Accessibility Initiative

Introducing Accessibility, Section 508, and the Web Accessibility Initiative

In recent years, accessibility has gained momentum as an issue that can—and must—be addressed. Accessibility is a broad concept, but in eLearning, it refers to the availability of learning assets, including interfaces, images, sounds, multimedia elements, and all other forms of information, to be used by anyone, regardless of disability.

Images, for instance, might have descriptive text associated with them, so that their content is available to people who cannot see the image. Likewise, captioning might be made available to go alongside spoken sound, for those with hearing disabilities. Avoiding JavaScript rollovers that require clicking on the screen would make graphical interfaces more accessible to users who cannot use input devices, such as a mouse. Often, there is more than one way to make content accessible; for example, a description of an image could be encoded in text read aloud by a screen reader, or the same text could be rendered in Braille. Either way would make the image's content accessible to a user who is visually impaired.


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