Knowledge is quite important to our generation. We have been created with the desire to seek more and more knowledge. With human beings, it’s a never-ending quest for knowledge. A world where all kinds of knowledge are accessible is good and it’s profitable for those who are sharing it.
But should knowledge be shared at a cost only because most people can’t afford to pay for it?
For example, accessible e-learning content should be created for all.
But sometimes, those who are speech impaired can’t interact in a video conference. Hence, they should use emails to express opinions or be on discussion forums.
Distance learning is such a form of education that some of the learners may not be able to learn from it, for example, those who have hearing issues. But this problem can be solved with closed captions/subtitles which can be read.
Universal Design is about the creation of content that is accessible to all those who have different abilities regardless of sensory capacities. This kind of design makes sure that the relevant information is communicated to the learners. So, the changes may be made in the mode of delivery for this kind of content to be accessible like in the electronic system used for imparting it or the environment where it is delivered.
The content designed by applying universal design principles ensures that all kinds of users can comprehend it. Universal access is allowed by such content in terms of age, language, race, gender, and ethnicity. There are interactive video tutorials like webinars where speech impaired people can’t speak and ask questions. However, there should be sign language interpreters for them and the trainers so both can communicate. There should also be lip reading for learners who can’t listen at all so that they can understand. The trainers should ensure that they speak loudly and coherently and are facing the learner which eases the lipreading process.
Also, it’s important for the trainer to verbally describe the content during the webinar for those who can’t see it.
Furthermore, it’s better, that the entire webinar conversation is emailed to the visually impaired learners so they can understand it better through a screen reader. Sometimes, learners have disabilities due to which they might not understand quickly what is taught in a webinar; hence, they also need recordings of webinar speeches and questions. Captions are also necessary for those who can’t understand the language of the trainer and need subtitles.
Those students who can’t hear can also participate in such meetings through the TRS (Telecommunications Relay Service). This service makes sure that an operator is assisting the speaker throughout the teleconference. And the operator types the entire speech of a speaker word-by-word on the TTY (Text Telephone) so that the student can see it on the display panel of his text telephone. Such students can so join web discussions in a chat.
When the student wants to ask some questions he can type the information on his TTY and it will reach the TTY at the other end. Sometimes, people also don’t want to view graphics on the screen because it increases the loading speed, hence it’s better to provide alt text to images so that they can be read instead of pics.
Hence this is how eLearning content can be made accessible to all.