The universality of learning is what makes it powerful. Making learning accessible and inclusive for everyone regardless of disability, allows us to tap into the true potential of learning.
At Conscience, making learning 'accessible to all' is the driving principle that guides our teams to create inclusive learning solutions for our clients and their learners. For us, implementing accessibility for our clients' projects is not just a check-box to tick upon and therefore not an afterthought. Depending on the nature of the project, the demands of our clients, and the regulatory needs of where a solution is to be deployed, implementing an accessible learning product with compliances and based on the correct standards, form the backbone of all our processes spanning design, development, testing, and release.
We invest in continuous research on the latest developments in the WCAG 2.0, UAAG 2.0, and WAI-ARIA standards and compliances to keep abreast in these areas. Our Accessibility Design team is well-equipped with members that are responsible for the identification of the different types of interactions and activities on a regular basis, study the latest guidelines and assistive technologies that support their inclusion, and update the UI widget library accordingly to meet changes. The team makes special efforts to collate developer notes on all components being developed with careful mention of the level of accessibility that these components support along with any known issues.
Our Accessibility Services Process
We mostly use Bootstrap to design and build responsive web applications, websites, and rich-media and interactive learning courseware. For this purpose, we have created a UI widget library which is developed and tested according to WCAG 2.0 design principles and guidelines for web accessibility [Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust (POUR)].
This UI widget library readily lends itself for reuse in composing templates. The library is built on standard web frameworks and technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap, jQuery. Such templates find immediate use for the design of webpages and interactive digital learning courseware using ARIA Roles and Attributes, Semantic Mark-up and Source Order, Keyboard Focus Order, and Visual Reading Order.
Besides, they also ensure that the testable success criteria that are essential to verifying accessibility within the target devices and deployment environment, fulfill the WCAG guidelines.
Our Accessibility and Content teams are well-versed with implementing accessibility standards for learning products that comply with WCAG, Section508, UK Disabilities Act, AODA, amongst other prevalent accessibility standards.
Our research team is aligning themselves to the latest WCAG AA 2.0 for Web, Software, and Electronic Documents that covers all native apps, applications, LMS, websites & webpages, and digital content for both desktops and mobile devices.
Our Accessibility team feeds its research inputs to our Instructional Design & Courseware Development teams. Such data help our teams to ensure that greater reliance is placed on ensuring that all content and course templates designed and developed are accessible and in line with the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines.
Our research team is also focused on finding better digital accessibility strategies, implementations, and testing tools that would best serve the new learning and accessibility requirements identified for disability groups with “cognitive disabilities, limited manipulation, and limited strength” as part of the changes in the 508 compliance guidelines.
To better acquaint our team members with ongoing changes in accessibility standards and compliances, Conscience conducts periodic and on-demand accessibility training for all developers and testers along with the latest trends and developments in not just the Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 AA but also on other guidelines and standard compliances such as Universal Design Language (UDL Framework), UAAG 2.0 and WAI-ARIA.
We involve our Accessibility Design team in all phases of the ideation, design, development, and testing phases to ensure absolute compliance with the standards and implementation guidelines agreed upon at the time of the project initiation and contract.