What is accessibility and why is it important?
Providing accessible learning is a fundamental need as today’s work force is comprised of a more diverse population of workers. Accessible learning allows organizations to recruit and retain employees with disabilities and enables the continued contribution of an aging work force.
Accessibility is more than a compliance goal— it can improve an organization’s competitive advantage. It allows organizations to attract new talent while protecting their investment in their high performance knowledge workers.
Accessibility isn’t just nice to have. For many it’s the law.
The issues surrounding accessibility for IT products and services were brought to widespread attention in 1998 by Section 508 of the US Rehabilitation Act. This law mandates that all federal agencies developing, procuring, maintaining or using IT must ensure that it is fully accessible to employees and the public. Section 508’s primary purpose is to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to, and use of, the information technology used by federal agencies.
Skillsoft elearning not only addresses Section 508 requirements, but also the WAI WCAG 2.0 guidelines used by the majority of countries outside of the U.S. as the internationally recognized bench mark of accessibility. Through our learning platform, Skillport®, Skillsoft ensures its collection of 2,500+ U.S. English IT, desktop and business skills courses conform to accessibility standards established by Section 508 and WCAG. This work aligns with our corporate philosophy of helping organizations ensure that all employees have access to training and development opportunities anywhere, any time.
Skillsoft continues to monitor the success of its accessibility program by listening to feedback from customers received through Beta testing, user group meetings and the results of independent testing from accessibility consultants. Skillsoft strives to continuously improve the learning experience for our disabled customer base. In fact, our best feedback comes from those disabled customers who rely on our learning solutions every day.
Is your organization leveraging accessible learning content?
Dori Abele is a Product Manager at Skillsoft.