itslearning is committed to delivering the best e-learning tool to the education sector. Among learners and teachers, there will always be users with special needs. Our obligation is to deliver the "state of the art". It is implicit that everyone, no matter what their disability may be, has the same opportunities to receive an education.
This section describes accessibility in itslearning and how this is implemented in conformance with the WCAG 2.1 level AA Guidelines and section 508b of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Making itslearning accessible is a continuous process in which we constantly improve the extent of accessibility.
Enabling the accessibility settings
Under Your settings > Customise itslearning, you can check a box labelled 'Accessibility'. When this has been done, itslearning will go into accessibility mode. As a result, the following settings are turned on: simplified tree structure, simple editor and scroll bars for all frames. The accessibility mode is designed to ensure that itslearning is accessible to people with special needs, such as people who are visually impaired.
Our approach to accessibility
Achieving a given degree of accessibility in a web application like itslearning is not only a technical problem. If accessibility is to be maintained at a given level, there are also requirements regarding the content being placed in the platform, as well as the user's chances to interact well with both the system and content.
There is more to accessibility than producing "pure" code. It is, for example, entirely possible to produce code that validates according to the W3C standards, but is inaccessible and semantically wrong. At the same time, it is possible to write semantically correct and highly accessible sites that do not validate according to the same W3C standards.
In other words, developing while keeping accessibility in mind involves a lot of balancing, and knowledge of people who are disabled and their use of facilities and aids. In addition to carrying out extensive technical changes in itslearning, we co-operate with leading experts in Norway who test itslearning with accessibility technology together with disabled users of itslearning.
Guidelines from W3C-WAI are normative in all work that involves keeping itslearning accessible for users with disabilities.
Feedback from our users is always taken into account when we are designing our products. Where it has been especially challenging to choose a particular solution, the feedback we receive from practical testing with disabled people has been most important, and has been prioritized to higher than the required guidelines.
Support for navigation and orientation
All content delivered by itslearning is coded as semantically correct. This means that headings, paragraphs, and so on are used in the content of itslearning. If a browser is used that allows the user to make use of such semantics (for example, lists of headings, frames and links), it is advantageous to use these for quick navigation and orientation. Groups of links (menus) are organised in lists, but also contain the option of skipping the lists. In addition, a speed menu is implemented for facilities that read the pages sequentially. The speed menu ensures quick navigation to important areas of itslearning.
Visual presentation of itslearning
itslearning is based on separation of content and layout. This means that the layout is presented with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), while the content is part of the XHTML document. This separation makes it possible for users who need other forms of presentation, such as high contrast or plain text, to override the appearance of itslearning according to their requirements. The same applies to text sizes, which can be changed using the browser settings.
itslearning and assistive technology
itslearning constantly undergoes expert evaluation. By combining such evaluation and user testing, we have assured the quality and verified the function of facilities and aids used in conjunction with itslearning. User tests are routinely carried out with blind and visually impaired itslearning users.
itslearning has been through several rounds of testing with facilities for tactile presentation (Braille writing) and also with aids for serial navigation that are used by the blind and the dyslexic. We have also tested different forms of magnification and alternative visual presentations that may be of interest to the visually impaired.
We current support a variety of accessibility tools for people with disabilities and the elderly. These include text-to-speech tools or screen readers to assist those with impaired sight, refreshable braille displays, and keyboard shortcuts for those unable to use the mouse. For further information on our accessibility tools and support, refer to your itslearning key account manager.
Accessibility functions in browsers and combinations with adaptations by Windows are also tested, and can be used successfully when needed.