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Accessibility for E-Learning: Section 508 and WCAG

E-learning is a type of web-based content, and therefore, the technical standards outlined in the WCAG and Section 508 §1194.22 apply, if you want or need to make your e-learning courses accessible to those with disabilities. If you’re creating e-learning content for a U.S. government entity, your e-learning content likely needs to be 508-compliant. Several state government entities also require 508-compliance. Also, if you’re not creating e-learning courses directly for a government agency, but you provide services to or are funded by the government, it’s likely that some form of 508-compliance also applies to you.

Similar laws exist in other countries for their government entities, but most other countries have chosen to adopt WCAG as a legal requirement, rather than drafting their own rules. So if you’re creating e-learning content for government entities in other countries, there’s a chance that some level of the WCAG applies to you.

Even if you aren’t required by law to meet the guidelines, isn’t making your e-learning courses more accessible to people with disabilities the right thing to do? You may immediately think “Yes,” however, that the extra cost, effort, and sometimes compromised experience keep many non-government organizations from making accessibility a priority. Instead, they will often choose to use “reasonable accommodation” and provide training in another way, such as having someone sit down with the person and go through the training together.

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Source: Accessibility for E-Learning: Section 508 and WCAG