Designing for All: How WebCE Is Supporting Better Accessibility

By Scott McKelvey, VP of Technology
Aug 29, 2023

Designing for All: Ways WebCE is Improving Accessiblity for All

WebCE strives to create helpful and appealing educational content in all the products we offer. However, for that content to be of any value, everyone must be able to consume it in a format and environment that works for them. We all have unique needs, and “accessibility” is the term for reasonably accommodating those needs in the manner that is most appropriate for each of us.

Regulatory Compliance

We start with following the ADA and WCAG standards for delivering accessible content through the web. These focus on elements such as:

  • Ensuring HTML tag validity so that accessibility devices can correctly parse the content within a course
  • Adding “alt” tags that screen readers can use a text description of course images
  • Using high contrast ratio between text and background colors to make course content easier to read

Adhering to these standards affords a certain level of compliance and uniformity across websites and serves as the minimum bar to provide accessible content in many scenarios. We regularly perform scans and audits of our content for these type of specific use cases and are always working to ensure compliance.

Beyond Compliance

While adhering to the official regulatory compliance guidelines is important, accessibility doesn’t stop there. A quick internet search will turn up many example sites that comply with all of the technical guidelines yet are difficult to use. Our goal is to provide customers with a simple, worry-free experience beyond mere technical compliance.
There are many internet users who don’t have adaptive technologies such as screen readers, but who still prefer a little extra help to make their browsing experience as painless as possible. This could be adapting to different devices, changing screen sizes, or the availability of speakers at any given time. WebCE is focused on providing an accessible format for each of these users as well.

In the past few year's we've added:

  • Audio narration for course text so users can listen instead of reading
  • Integration with browser audio controls to allow listening at faster/slower playback speeds
  • Closed captioning so videos can be consumed without their audio
  • Font-size selection to enlarge course content for easier reading

Based on feedback from customers related to visibility, last month we increased the sizes available for font selection within our course content to make them larger than ever.

Default Course Text Size

Example of default text size

Previous "Large" Text Size

Example of old large text size

New Large Text Size for Even Better Accessibility

Example of new large text size

Features like this aren’t required by ADA/WCAG regulations, but we’ll continue to listen to our customers and improve on the areas that are meaningful to them. We all consume technology in slightly different ways. The best experience is the one that adapts to you.