Six Tips to Facilitating Successful Accessibility Trainings
By Megan Hagberg, Accessibility Analyst
Accessibility trainings, whether in-person, virtual, or a hybrid learning model, are a great way to introduce folks to what accessible information and communications technology (ICT) is, why it’s important, and how to remediate inaccessible content and create accessible content moving forward. Here are six quick tips on how to deliver a successful accessibility training.
- Prepare a PowerPoint presentation outlining the topics that will be covered over the course of the training. Make this PowerPoint available to participants prior to the event. This allows them to review it beforehand, become familiar with the content, and formulate questions. This presentation can also act a reference tool for participants to consult in the future.
- Discuss why accessibility is important. Consider emphasizing that, broadly speaking, accessible ICT provides equal opportunities to people with disabilities and helps prepare for an aging population.
- Provide sample documents/exercises to demonstrate remediation steps, in real-time. Provide participants with the same sample resources and encourage them to practice the remediation techniques on their own.
- Present the training with accessibility in mind.
- Speak slowly and clearly.
- Read what is presented visually on each slide.
- Pause often and encourage participants to ask questions and engage in the training.
- For longer trainings, consider building in five to 10 minute breaks.
- Provide participants with access to resources and tools. Examples include:
- Section508.gov - provides guidance to Federal agency staff who play a role in Information Technology (IT) accessibility
- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) - provides strategies, standards, and supporting resources to help make the Web more accessible to people with disabilities
- WebAIM - expands the potential of the Web for people with disabilities
- Colour Contrast Analyzer – free color contrast checker tool that allows users to easily determine the contrast ratio of two colors
- NVDA - screen reader that can be downloaded free of charge by anyone
- Relate to participants. Recall how you felt when you started your accessibility journey (or reference another learning experience) and reassure participants that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and encourage them to test different remediation techniques on their own. By engaging participants and involving them in the training process, they are more likely to take ownership of their learning. As Benjamin Franklin famously said- “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”