In our digital lives, we witness the constant evolution of UX (user experience) and interactivity, as designers attempt to make our screen-related experience more engaging and pleasant. These benefits, unfortunately, cannot be enjoyed by everyone. About 15% of the world’s population, according to the World Health Organization, endure some form of physical disability, making simple tasks extremely difficult to perform, if not downright impossible.
In the spirit of promoting awareness about accessibility in the EdTech design and development practice, E-Learn Magazine shares an interactive infographic of the subject. It provides clear information that educates on accessibility, how EdTech can address some of the existing disabilities, and the importance of supporting efforts to promote equal opportunities to “understand, perceive, browse, interact, and contribute“, particularly on the web.
Even though accessibility should be mandatory training for designers and developers, reality confronts those presenting an impairment with pitfalls at every turn. Audio content without proper closed-captioning. Voice detection software that assumes we all talk with smooth, perfect pitch. Images with insufficient contrast. Limited functionality that often relies on only one form of input. All too common errors that a little education early on a designers’ career could easily make a thing of the past.
Other types of problems arise in limited budgets and time constraints, deeming accessibility an afterthought, forever scheduled to another day. This despite the efforts to enable easier ways to apply accessibility standards, by supporting organizations. A push for the WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative-Accessible Rich Internet Applications) set of guidelines, by the World Wide Web Consortium, is underway, supported be large commercial and Open Source organizations, including Mozilla, with varying degrees of success in its adoption.
In sum, more education and advocacy towards standards and empowerment, on the part of designers and developers, should be the EdTech mantra about accessibility. The Moodleverse has played an active role in the accessibility conversation, with frequent talks and panels on the subject throughout the MoodleMoots held around the world, local and regional work and discussion groups, and constant contributions by developers and partners, Moodlerooms in particular.