Don't Leave Learners Behind

How the Open edX® platform promotes accessibility to create better learning experiences for all

Why e-learning Needs Accessibility

Inclusive learning is not a trend, it is essential. That's why accessibility remains a cornerstone of online learning development. It ensures that everyone, with or without a disability, has the chance to thrive in a digital classroom.

Developing legal frameworks such as the European Accessibility Act — a directive that aims to improve the functioning of the common market for accessible products and services by removing barriers — are setting stricter regulations for e-learning platforms. These standards are pushing developers and technical provider to create solutions that are truly accessible and usable by all. It is not just about being compliant, it is about creating a richer learning experiences for a wider audience.

The Open edX® platform is designed to make education accessible to everyone!

Built with Accessibility in Mind

The core code of the Open edX platform adheres to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 of the World Wide Web Consortium, which describe best practices for the creation of web content that can be used by everyone. This includes features such as:

  • Keyboard Navigation:
    Users can navigate through the platform entirely using their keyboard, without needing a mouse

  • Screen Reader Compatibility:
    The platform is designed to work well with screen readers, which can read text aloud for users with visual impairments.

  • Clear and Consistent Design:
    The user interface is designed to be clear, intuitive and consistent, making it easier for users with cognitive disabilities to navigate through.

Accessible Course Creation

Instructors creating courses on an Open edX platform also have access to tools and resources to promote accessibility in their content:

  • Required Captions: All videos in Open edX courses must include captions, which are essential for users who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Accessibility Best Practices: Resources and documentation are publicly available to help instructors create course materials that are accessible to a wider audience. This includes guidance on using proper color contrast, providing alternative text descriptions for images, and structuring content logically. Read more about it here.

A Commitment to Inclusive Learning

The Open edX community recognizes that accessibility is and will be always an ongoing effort. The community regularly tests the platform to ensure and improve usability and compatibility with common accessibility tools for all learners. By providing an accessible platform and resources for instructors, Open edX is helping to make education more inclusive and equitable for everyone.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2024, the online learning sector is steadily growing with exciting developments, features and trends. From adaptive and personalized learning to immersive virtual experiences. Undoubtedly, innovations such as AI-driven solutions and AR/VR tools and features have the potential to make digital education more effective, but do they also support the creation and provision of inclusive content? 

Our philosophy in our Open edX® projects

Just like the Open edX community, we share the philosophy of inclusive online learning solutions and always ensure that our projects comply with the Accessibility Guidelines. Our goal is to develop solutions that work for everyone, regardless of individual barriers.

Is your online learning project accessible? 
We will look at it with you, provide advice and support you as your technical partner and expert!