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The holy grail of accessible eLearning

One of the biggest challenges that L&D teams face in 2024? The ability to provide opportunities for everyone in their organisation to skill up and progress in their career.

It’s crucially important for any organisation to be compliant and to make sure all colleagues are working safely.

But how do you make real progress in these areas? How do you ensure wide access to learning, great engagement and great retention levels that ensure behaviour change?

You need compelling, exciting, and varied content that encourages learners to interact. You need real-life scenarios to test and embed behaviour change. You need to tell a story with the learning to get the learner invested.

What you need is inclusive content that offers real representation so learners can envisage themselves in the situations.

But none of that is helpful if the learner can’t access it properly in the first place. For your deskless workers who use mobile devices. For your people who may be visually impaired or need provision in other ways. For your people who are neurodivergent and find barriers to learning that are targeted solely at neurotypical learners. All should have the opportunity to learn.

To overcome these barriers and genuinely achieve learning for all, you need content and course controls that are fully accessible. And that’s not all. You’ll want to combine that with truly interactive, engaging content that also offers translation and editability. It’s a lot, and that’s a challenge to which not many players in the industry can rise. Unless you’re partnered with Kallidus.

We built a wide range of great accessibility features into our off-the-shelf library content from the word go. We offer closed captions for people who need help with hearing audio; you can speed the course up or slow it down. For those who don’t have English as a first language or don’t speak it at all, discover our machine-learning translation feature at the touch of a button in-app. You can use it on a smartphone if you flip it horizontally. Our features within Learn LMS also allow you to take the modules in any order and pace yourself over time.


How can we continually improve?

We could rave about our features; however, at Kallidus, our priority is making sure our customers have the best user experience, which means continually improving accessibility. Our customer and industry research had shown us that although our content was highly rated, there was a more powerful opportunity to improve usability on mobile and make our content and interactions fully accessible.

The decision was made to invest in a completely new player for our content rather than force features onto the existing code base. We realised that this was important if we were to build a truly robust and accessible player from the ground up.

Our courses needed to be mobile responsive, so we researched and tested player and content designs that would be easy to use on whatever device the learner was using while still giving them the same features – such as refreshers, review mode, and completion tracking – as our existing content.

Our product designers, content designers, content developers and technical developers worked together to focus on courseware that supported the widest possible range of access needs:

  • Less text on a screen and simpler text
  • Short, micro-learning courses as alternatives to the longer courses
  • Readable fonts
  • Minimal background movement
  • Subtitles – plus the ability to change colour and background colour
  • Ability to change speed
  • Pause and playback
  • Fully usable with keyboard and screen readers such as JAWS
  • Accessible colour combinations
  • Image labelling and alt tags
  • Alternative eBook format also usable with JAWS
  • Ease of use on multiple devices
  • Usable with our offline app if internet access is not available

It was crucial that the final build was up to standard for our customers. Guide Dogs for the Blind offered to test the new player in its final build and were really impressed with the accessibility.

We then asked the Digital Accessibility Centre to test it thoroughly against WCAG AA standards and worked with them to achieve certified AA accessibility, which we’re so proud to have gained in December 2023.

Last year, customers also told us that accessible content was even more in demand than mobile responsive content, which means thanks to our hard work, we’re able to meet a top customer need. We’ve had a great response from learners and customers so far.


The mission for accessibility never stops

We’re always working through all our content to make sure it’s up to the right standards. At the time of writing, more than 30% of our UK and North American courses are in the new player, and we’re upgrading the library as fast as we can, with all new content being released in the new format.

We’re even starting to offer customers the option of bespoke content in the player, either to match their Kallidus off-the-shelf library content or just because it’s a damned good player.

In all our upcoming developments, whether new content or player features, we’re thinking hard about accessibility and making as sure as we can that our content can be used by anyone, whatever their access need, to learn and succeed at work.

Discover our range of off-the-shelf courses today to find out how you can bring accessible learning to your learners.

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Written by Claire Moloney

Claire is an enthusiastic and meticulous content writer whose passion is to support growth and continual learning for everyone.


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