Online Course Accessibility: Making Learning Inclusive for All

May 11, 2023

1. Create an accessible, clear layout

A simple, clean layout with large fonts and short paragraphs is easier for everyone to read. Make sure you use headings and subheadings to make content easier to scan, as well as headings within paragraphs (such as "Introduction" or "Conclusion"). Avoid using tables for layout purposes; they can be difficult for people who are blind or have low vision to navigate through easily.

2. Use text that can be read by screen readers

Use simple language. Keep your sentences short and clear, and avoid jargon or technical terms that might be unfamiliar to your audience.

Use a simple, clear layout. Set up your pages so that it's easy for users to navigate them with their screen reader software, for example, by providing text descriptions for all images on the page (and avoiding JavaScript). This way, people who rely on assistive technology can read these descriptions before deciding whether or not they want to click on an image; if they do click on one, it will show up as an object in their browser window instead of taking over the whole screen like a pop-up ad would do!

Make sure font sizes are readable by everyone: not just those with good eyesight but also those who may have vision problems due to age or other factors such as color blindness (which affects around 8% of males). And make sure there's enough contrast between text colours so that even someone with severe colour blindness can still read them easily without getting confused about what they're seeing.*

3. Design with colour contrast in mind

Use colours that are easy to read. Colours that are too similar or too dark can be difficult for people with visual impairments to distinguish, so use light-coloured text on a dark background and vice versa.

Use colours that are easy to distinguish from each other. If you're using multiple shades of the same colour, make sure there's enough contrast between them so users can tell them apart easily without losing their place in the content or having difficulty reading it at all.

Use colours that are easy to distinguish from the background, and don't rely on just one hue! Backgrounds vary greatly depending on where you're viewing your course: some may be white; others might be black; still others might have patterns or gradients applied (or no pattern at all).

4. Use captions and subtitles for videos, images and audio files

Captions are the text version of what is being said in a video (or in some cases an image or audio file). Subtitles are the text version of what is written in a video (or sometimes an image or audio file). Both are important because they allow you to learn at your own pace while also providing access to content that may be difficult to understand due to poor quality audio/video recording or speaking style. Make sure you have a clear and easy-to-read font that's also easy on the eyes so it doesn't strain your eyesight! A good rule of thumb is: don't use Comic Sans if possible!

5. Create a style guide to help ensure accessibility across your course materials from start to finish

A style guide is a document that contains the rules and guidelines for the use of visual and textual elements in your course, including fonts, colours, images and captions. Style guides help you avoid violating copyright laws by making sure that you are using properly licensed materials whenever possible. A well-maintained style guide will also give you confidence as an instructor that everything on your website or blog is up-to-date with current best practices for accessibility.*

As you create a course, keep these accessibility guidelines in mind.

Keep the user's needs in mind. Your goal is to make learning accessible for everyone, so make sure that you're considering every type of learner when creating your online course. Think about whether or not there are different ways people could access your content (such as using assistive technology) and how this might affect how they learn from it. If some learners can't see or hear what's on the screen, how will they be able to understand it? Consider all these things when building out an online course so that no one gets left behind!

Use a screen reader test tool like VoiceOver or JAWS to test your site before publishing it live on the web (see below). This will help catch some basic issues such as missing alt text on images, which means those images won't be available via assistive technologies like screen readers, or incorrectly labelled buttons/links that prevent users from navigating around easily within their browser window(s). You may also want to consider using tools like WebAIM's WAVE website tester; WAVE checks websites against WCAG 2.1 guidelines but doesn't provide feedback about specific issues found during testing (like missing alt text).

FAQs on Online Course Accessibility

Creating accessible online courses ensures that learning is inclusive for all students, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Our FAQ section provides insights, tips, and strategies for making your online course accessible to a diverse range of learners. Find answers to common questions and learn how to implement accessibility features effectively to foster an inclusive learning environment.

What is accessibility in online courses?

Accessibility is about making your course as usable as possible. It's about making sure that all students can access the content of your online courses, even if they have disabilities or other challenges that make learning difficult for them.

A good way to think of accessibility is in terms of "inclusion." Inclusive education means that all students are welcome in a classroom and given an equal opportunity to learn from the same resources and teachers, not just those who don't have any special needs or who aren't disabled by some other factor like poverty or language barriers.

Why is it important to create an inclusive learning environment?

In an increasingly diverse and interconnected world, it's important to create an inclusive learning environment for all students. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it also benefits your business in several ways:

  • It helps students succeed in school and beyond by increasing their confidence and self-esteem.
  • It makes your company more attractive to potential employees who want to work somewhere where they can feel comfortable being themselves.
  • You'll be able to attract customers from various backgrounds by offering them products or services that suit their needs better than competitors' offerings do, and those customers will return again when they have other needs.

How do you create an inclusive learning environment for students?

  • Use images, videos and captions

Use images as a way of expressing ideas more clearly and helping your students understand the content you're trying to convey. Make sure that any video you include has captions or subtitles so that deaf or hard-of-hearing students can access it easily.

  • Keep things simple

Your design should be accessible for everyone, not just those who have physical disabilities but also people with learning difficulties or those who simply don't like reading long chunks of text on screen. You can achieve this by using simple layouts with clear navigation menus and clear language throughout your course materials. It's also important not to overwhelm users with too much information at once; instead break things down into smaller chunks so that learners don't get overwhelmed by all the material they have access too in one go!

  • Make sure everything is easy-to-read

What are other ways I can improve retention for my online courses?

Using a variety of media is one way to improve retention. The more you can do this, the better! For example, if your course uses only written text and static images or videos, it will be less effective than if you use audio recordings as well.

The best way to maximise your use of different types of media is by creating an engaging experience for students by using as many formats as possible: text-based (textbooks), visual (graphs/charts), auditory (audio clips), interactive (games), and experiential (videos).

There are lots of ways that instructors can incorporate these elements into their teaching styles; here are some examples: -Animated characters could walk through step-by-step instructions while narrating them aloud; -An instructor could record himself giving voiceover instructions while demonstrating how they work in real time; -Students could listen to prerecorded lectures on their commute home from school each day instead of watching TV shows after dinner every night


If you want to create an inclusive learning environment for your students, then the most important thing is to make sure that your course is accessible. To do this, keep in mind these five tips: create an accessible, clear layout; use text that can be read by screen readers; design with colour contrast in mind; use captions and subtitles for videos, images and audio files; create a style guide for all of your course materials from start to finish. By following these steps, you can ensure that anyone, including those with disabilities, can participate fully in your online courses!

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