Ever since I attended a diversity training experience held through the University of Colorado in the summer of 2017, I have been inspired to find ways of adding more accessibility into my eLearning traning materials, using free or low cost software and exploring the programs I use everyday.
As an Instructional Designer, I am spending a lot of my development time using Microsoft PowerPoint and Articulate Storyline and like me, those programs have been adding more and more accessibility features every day.
What do I mean by Accessibility? In the context of eLearning, Accessibility means the ability for everyone to have full access to the learning modules regardless of special needs or disabilities. Someone shouldn’t miss important information just because they can’t see or hear it.
As part of an assignment towards my UC Denver eLearning Masters degree, I worked with a group to develop a webinar on ways all instructional designers could incorporate accessibility features like alt-text and closed captions into their learning materials.
After participating in the webinar, attendees would be able to:
Check learning materials for accessibility
Transform a PowerPoint into other formats for greater learning accessibility
Include accessibility features in learning materials
We developed a realistic scenario: You are the head of training for a retail chain that takes pride in hiring a diverse workforce, including those with auditory or visual disabilities. Your task: create training for a new product, considering various learning styles knowing accessibly needs must be addressed.
We provided materials: A nearly-finished PowerPoint deck, still with development needed in ways to make the deck colorblindness friendly, or an animation and recording away from a video, and in no way supported with closed captions.
Our purpose was to go through an equal number of examples (there were four presenters total), spreading awareness and providing step by step examples on how to make a PowerPoint presentation more accessible.
We provided a handout to allow our participants to follow along with our examples and for future reference towards eLearning development on projects.
After correcting the PowerPoint for missing Alt-Text and contrast issues for the colorblind, the next part of the demo focused on animating the example PowerPoint deck to create a video, which was then uploaded to YouTube to be auto-transcribed and provided with closed captions.
The webinar concluded with a demonstration how to import an accessibility-friendly PowerPoint into Storyline 360, and how to add closed captions within the eLearning program. Our webinar was recorded and provided below. I would like to thank Shyna Gill, Lindsay Lorens, and Kari Bereczky for their hard work with this project.