Despite the availability of increased e-learning opportunities, accessibility is still an issue with many LMS systems. YesLMS seeks to eliminate these barriers.
YesLMS is a learning management system (LMS) provider for small businesses, government organizations, and nonprofit organizations. The LMS solutions provider ensures educational and training opportunities are accessible to all learners.
From accessible technology to content that meets universally accepted standards of web accessibility, YesLMS takes a proactive approach to ensure all aspects of the platform are usable and comprehensible for everyone. The primary aim of LMS accessibility is to enable learners to reach their full potential and improve their educational outcomes.
What is Digital Accessibility?
Digital accessibility, a subset of universal design, refers to design and development of digital products and services, such as websites, mobile applications, and e-learning platforms that ensures accessibility to people with physical or cognitive disabilities. In the context of e-learning, digital accessibility ensures online learning materials, courses, and assessments are accessible by all learners, regardless of age, ability, or circumstance.
The benefits of digital accessibility include the following:
- Helping learners to complete courses and assessments by overcoming the barriers that would otherwise limit their abilities.
- Promoting inclusivity and diversity by providing equal access to educational information and opportunities to learners of all abilities.
- Boosting the reputation of e-learning providers by effectively expanding their reach to attract a wider audience of diverse-needs learners.
Digital accessibility in e-learning is guided by a set of guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to promote digital accessibility, referred to as POUR. The four principles of web accessibility include:
All learners should be able to understand e-learning content, regardless of their sensory and physical abilities. This includes using alt tags to describe images, transcripts for audio content, and ensuring high contrast between text and background to make it easier to read.
The principle dictates that websites be designed to facilitate access to e-learning materials using a range of input methods, such as keyboards, touch screens, or assistive technologies. Examples include:
- Using keyboard shortcuts to navigate a course.
- Allowing learners to adjust the pace of audio or video content.
- Providing clear instructions for completing tasks.
Virtual academic material needs to be presented in a way that is clear and easy to comprehend. Using simple language, avoiding jargon, providing clear instructions for completing tasks, providing definitions for technical terms, and breaking content into smaller, more manageable sections enhances understandability.
Robustness ensures that e-learning materials can be accessed via a range of assistive technologies and devices. This includes designing e-learning materials using web standards that support assistive tech,like screen readers, braille displays, and voice recognition software.
The goal of digital accessibility in e-learning is to make sure that coursework is both accessible through assistive technology and universally designed to be usable by everyone.
YesLMS's Approach to Accessibility
When it comes to the accessibility of e-learning platforms, certain best practices need to be respected for the product to be fully usable for everyone, no matter their background or physical ability.
YesLMS is committed to accessibility in the following ways:
Robust Supporting Platform
Our development team has built YesLMS from the ground up to be fully responsive and accessible. Because our platform is fundamentally designed with accessibility in mind, it provides a strong foundation for creating accessible e-learning materials.
WCAG 2.1 AA Compliant
YesLMS was intentionally developed to respect WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines and best practices. This means the website is designed to be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust for all users, including those with disabilities.
Built-in accessibility features like keyboard navigation, alt text for images, and closed captioning for videos are available with YesLMS. These features make it easier for web designers and virtual educators to create online learning resources for learners with disabilities.
At YesLMS we employ quality control testers and regularly check whether our platform is accessible and easy to use. This involves recruiting users with a wide range of disabilities to confirm the platform meets their needs and is fully accessible.
We are committed to the ongoing improvement of our accessibility features and practices. Our development team, content creators, and testers regularly review and update the platform to ensure it remains accessible to all learners and adheres to the latest accessibility standards.
The platform provides resources and guidelines for content creators to help them create accessible e-learning materials. It is continually updated with new features and improvements to optimize usability and accessibility for all users.
Who Are YesLMS's Accessibility Partners?
YesLMS partners with AccesiBe, a leader in web accessibility solutions for ADA & WCAG compliance. AccesiBe is a trusted provider, proactively working alongside consumers and organizations like the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to combat the stigma that overlays (alternative content for images or other web elements) face. AccesiBe's partnership with YesLMS provides more than a quick fix. This collaboration enables us to actively monitor and update our web services to ensure that content created on the platform is safe and secure and offers a truly accessible learning experience.
There is growing emphasis on finding the most effective solutions in the digital accessibility community to promote equal access to digital content for all individuals. While some have suggested using third-party overlays to add accessibility features on their platforms, concerns have been raised regarding the underlying accessibility issues overlays cause on websites. The YesLMS community and its partners have worked closely with AccesiBe to address specific concerns in the past, and continue improve our product in order to minimize barriers for website administrators looking to offer accessible solutions. These discussions have helped to highlight the importance of addressing underlying accessibility issues on websites, rather than a reliance on temporary fixes. Accessibility is ever-evolving, and YesLMS welcomes these conversations. We are committed to discussions about how accessibility can continually be improved.
What Accessibility Features Are Built Into YesLMS?
YesLMS takes accessibility seriously, which is demonstrated by the system's 50+ native features. Take animation, for example. Giving students control of how animations on the platform can be paused, stopped, or hidden to prevent sensory overload makes the learner experience customizable and more enjoyable.
Let's go over a few other YesLMS features:
- Appearance: Using clear and consistent fonts, colors, and layouts to make content easy to read and navigate. YesLMS enables students to customize the interface to something comfortable for them.
- Code structure: YesLMS employs semantic coding, meaning it displays what each section is meant to do and how it's structured. This ensures screen readers and other assistive technologies can accurately interpret the code logically and meaningfully.
- Color: The powerful color palette helps users distinguish between content, controls, and other elements.
- Content: Our content is presented in a way that makes it easier for users with visual impairments to access and understand. Content is also written in clear, concise language that is easy to understand and free of jargon and complex terminology.
- Controls: YesLMS solutions give students more control over their learning experience by providing multiple ways to control their user interface, such as different input methods.
- Forms: Forms allow users to easily input information and feedback into the LMS at any point in their learning journey. Educators are assured that all forms on their e-learning platform are easy to navigate and complete, with clear labels and instructions.
- Headings: YesLMS uses descriptive and meaningful headings throughout the page structure, which enhances the understandability of page content and hierarchy. This makes it easier for blind or low-vision learners to navigate around the system without difficulty
- Images: All images adhere to accessibility standards to ensure that everyone can understand what they represent regardless of their ability level or disability type. For instance, we provide alternative text for all images so that users with visual impairments can interpret the content.
- Interactions: The interactions used in YesLMS are designed with accessibility in mind, allowing adequate time for complex actions & providing clear labels for buttons. Interactions on the platform can be completed using a keyboard or other assistive technology for people who cannot use a mouse.
- Keyboard shortcuts: We provide clear and intuitive keyboard shortcuts to allow users to navigate and interact with the platform more efficiently.
Foundation For Future Growth
Staying on top of the ever-evolving process of accessibility is no small task, but YesLMS is up to the challenge. As an accessible LMS, we understand that digital accessibility is always changing and evolving, and we prioritize ongoing integration of technological advancements and new best-practices. We believe that this optimizes accessibility, even as the context, tools, and needs of online learning shift over time.
In addition to technological advancements, the needs of the community also continue to change. This is why YesLMS welcomes feedback from users to improve and adapt theplatform to serve all learners better. We value open communication with users about accessibility concerns, which supports continual improvement.
We at YesLMS are dedicated to providing accessible and high-quality e-learning solutions for all learners, both now and in the future. Contact us today to book a demo.