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How to Create Section 508 E-learning Course Using Flash

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How to Create Section 508 E-learning Course Using Flash

With constant changes in the business environment and processes, you can make your eLearning courses accessible to students with hearing problems. It is important for many organizations and companies, as it confirms that there are no walls to employees being able to complete their training through these compatible standards. Make sure that your eLearning courses meet the USA’s Section 508 requirements.

Developing Section 508 Courses means that the courses are built according to specific standards, so that they communicate with any Section 508 compatible LMS and support tracking.

Definitely, it can be a daunting task for the training managers and eLearning developers too. Aimed at learners who  have hearing impairments, as a core step, you need to separate the audio transcript. Text transcript is also the only text alternative to an audio clip. Though, a more acceptable and reasonable solution is to provide captions for video and animations, plus text description of any important extra sound and visual information – synchronized as far as possible. Aimed at hearing impaired students, as a core step, you need to separate the audio transcript.

Adobe Flash is undoubtedly an incredible tool that helps in designing and delivering highly interactive eLearning courses. It allows the incorporation of complex animations, high-level graphics and interactivities that can support and enhance learning. In addition, it allows the creation of accessible rich media applications also. By default with a collection of features to assistance in the authoring of accessible content and support resources at the Adobe Accessibility Resource Center.

There are many enhanced features and a wide variety of options available in Flash for ensuring accessibility. In specific, improve keyboard access and for making available information to screen reading software. Flash player provides good support to Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA). It assists as a connection between Flash and screen access technologies such as the Window-Eyes screen reader from GW Micro.

In Flash, there are two ways to provide accessibility. You can use either the Accessibility pane or  ActionScript. Here is the reference screenshot, shown below. The Accessibility pane is available within the Properties panel. Developer to add a brief descriptive text in the Name field. If longer text is required, it is placed in the Description field. Then, MSAA will permits this information to respective technologies.

Accessibility

Here is the list of controlling options:

  • Designers and developers can control the accessibility of individual elements or a group of elements
  • Make Object and Child Objects Accessible options
  • Hide individual elements that present no content
  • For group of elements, they can specify a single text equivalent and it does not support individual identities

Here are the basic actions which support Accessibility:

access_btn.accessibilityProperties = new AccessibilityProperties();
access_btn.accessibilityProperties.name = “home”;
Accessibility.updateProperties();

These were some strategies that can help you create accessible eLearning using Flash. Do share if you have any comments on this subject.

View Presentation on Steps to Migrate from Flash Courses to HTML5

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