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708 Is Your eLearning Ableist? Accessibility Matters: Leave No Learner Behind

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Thursday, April 13

Tracks: Instructional Design

Diversity. Inclusion. Unconscious bias. Privilege. When people hear these words, they often think first of race, gender, and socio-economic status. But what about ability? Talent development professionals who want to be more inclusive need to consider assumptions and decisions that have an impact on individuals with disabilities.

Inclusive design is more than just adding closed captions or ensuring your courses are Section 508 or WCAG compliant. In this session, you will learn about changes designers and developers can make to be more inclusive. The session will focus on four main areas.

  • Consider your content: If you are teaching content that has a physical or sense-based component, how can someone without that ability perform the task? For example, if you are teaching CPR and a teaching point is to listen for abnormal breathing sounds, how can you include content that would let a deaf or hard-of-hearing person perform the task?
  • Consider your activities: If you are teaching information security and have an activity where the learner has to “look around” an office and spot the violations, how can you adjust that activity for someone who can’t see?
  • Consider your language: Ableist language can seep into our writing without us realizing it. A quick change from “Go to the next screen to see what happens” to “Go to the next screen to find out what happens” is more inclusive.
  • Consider your technology: It’s one thing to read all the guidance on how to make a course technically accessible. But you’ll get a deeper appreciation about the impact of your choices by experiencing assistive technology yourself and getting perspective from individuals with disabilities as they attempt to navigate your courses.

In this session you will learn:

  • To teach content that has a physical or sense-based component
  • To format activities that can engage learners of all abilities
  • How to use effective language that is more inclusive of learners
  • To make design choices that incorporate assistive technology

Technology discussed:

Assistive technologies

Diane Elkins


E-Learning Uncovered

Diane Elkins is owner of Artisan E-Learning, a custom eLearning development company, and E-Learning Uncovered, where she helps people build courses they’re proud of. She has built a reputation as a national eLearning expert by being a frequent speaker at major industry events for ATD, The Learning Guild, and Training Magazine. Her favorite topics include accessibility, instructional design, and Articulate Storyline. She is co-author of the popular E-Learning Uncovered book series, as well as E-Learning Fundamentals: A Practical Guide, from ATD Press. She is a past board member of the Northeast Florida and Metro DC chapters of ATD.