Creating inclusive content
It is good practice to ensure your training material is accessible so that learners with particular disabilities can still access the content. It is especially important with topics relating to open science as one of the goals of open science is to make research as inclusive and accessible as possible.
In this section we share advice from OpenLearn’s course on “Supporting learners with different needs – accessibility in online teaching” where they define accessibility:
“Accessibility, usability, inclusion and universal design are all commonly used terms for ensuring that your learning materials can be used by a wide range of potential learners, including those with disabilities who may be using assistive technologies.”
OpenLearn course Taking your teaching online (CC-BY-SA licence)
As well as being the ‘right thing to do’, there are legal requirements to make materials accessible and we recommend seeking guidance from experts in your country or institution. Meeting these requirements does not mean that you have to avoid using elements that some people cannot access (such as video, for example), but that you ensure the information is available in different ways or through different media.
We’ve added specific guidance on accessibility to other sections of this course (for example, videos, presentations). But in general, there are some simple steps you can take to address common issues:
- Make materials clear, consistently organised and explanatory
- Use headings and subheadings in Word documents and web pages, rather than just using larger font sizes and bold
- Add text descriptions (ALT descriptions/tags) for information contained in visual element (e.g. images, video)
- Provide transcripts / captions for information contained in auditory elements (e.g. video or sound clips)
- Use in-built accessibility checkers in tools like Word and PowerPoint
To support you, there are many resources to help you make your content more accessible. Here’s just a few:
- OpenLearn’s course on “Supporting learners with different needs – accessibility in online teaching”
- W3C Web Accessibility Initiative "Introduction to Web Accessibility"