Accessibility & Facilitating Learners with Disabilities/Health Issues

Apr 28, 2015

Hi All,

I am currently working on ways in which we can make our e-learning more accessible to those with Disabilities or Health Issues.

Importantly, I am also trying to ensure that anything i do does not detract from the learning of the majority of users and provide them with a memorable and interactive learning experience.  

Putting on a narration button on each slide, providing audio narration for those who require it is one of the options that i am currently looking at implementing immediately, however other things i'd like to do like Colour Changing may not happen immediately due to

A) Time Constraints and

 B) Software Limitations.

I've also been advised that as hard as i try to ensure that the e-learning is inclusive,  i am highly unlikely to be able to cater for everyone, and that what matters is that an alternative method of delivery to those people is in place to ensure that they are not disadvantaged.

1-1 Facilitation (by a Learning Professional) is one of the options we are looking at in this instance.


My Question (finally!) is does anyone have any tips on facilitating those with Disabilities/Health issues, or know of anywhere i could get some information on this ?

Is there anything else i could do immediately to make my e-learning more inclusive?

Many Thanks in Advance!




5 Replies
Fiona Macelli

You definitely need to take a look at accessibility standards and guidelines (WCAG 2.0, Section 508). If you're going for compliance with these standards then they tell you what's necessary. If it's more optional for you, it's still a good place to start for understanding what's required.  I'm finding that it requires a real shift in my design mindset to consider the visually impaired in my courses. It's not impossible to have a great course for both audiences (the majority and the minority), but the tools don't make it easy.

I'm taking a live-online course from Eliquo (a Canadian company) this week that's specifically about how to use Storyline to meet WCAG 2.0 standards.  You might want to look into similar training options.



Sarah Hodge
Kristin Hatcher

Hi Kevin,

There is a lot you can do to make your course more inclusive for those with disabilities, and whoever told you that you just can't make a course to include everyone may not be aware of Section 508 standards that mandates the US Federal government to make reasonable accommodations in online training to make the course accessible for everyone.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Don't try to allow participants to change color, unless that's part of the learning. Choose compliant colors right from the start. Courses for those with disabilities require the color contrast to pass the "WCAG AA" standard of 4.5:1. How can you know if it passes? Use this handy-dandy website:
  • Audio narration can rarely be done to meet Section 508 standards, as you can't know when someone wants to click a particular button, etc., and therefore can't have that audio play at exactly the right moment. Audio is a nice to have, but it won't help with compliance for anyone who is visually impaired. If someone is visually impaired, they will use a screen reader like JAWS or NVDA. I HIGHLY recommend you get a copy of one of these and use it to test your course.

I'm curious about making your course accessible to someone with health issues. What type of health issues are you thinking of?

In addition to the resources Sarah provided, I wrote an article about making your Storyline courses accessible for those with disabilities. It's really too long, but I provided a download as well for future reference. Some of it is a little out of date due to Storyline updates - they've improved some things. But it might help.

The courses I created are required to be compliant by law, so I'm very familiar with making compliant courses. I also have access to a team of people who review all of our courses for compliance, and some of them have disabilities of their own, so not only do I understand the law I get first-hand accounts for making a course work for those with disabilities beyond compliance. I'm not the worlds expert, but if you have questions I'd be happy to help.