Why your e-learning platform must be accessible and inclusive Why your e-learning platform must be accessible and inclusive

Why your e-learning platform must be accessible and inclusive

Posted on: by Alison Wilson

The continuous growth of digital communications is changing talent development throughout the world.

What was once just known as e-learning, which was focussed around e-learning platforms hosted on websites, has now expanded to become known as digital learning.

Digital learning now incorporates everything from ebooks to webinars, and podcasts.

And a whopping 90 per cent of businesses now offer digital learning to their employees, according to the LinkedIn 2018 Workplace Learning Report.

Thus employers now depend on digital and online learning solutions including e-learning platforms to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse and ageing workforce.

Employees value career development more than ever

Employees increasingly value being given training including digital learning.

94 per cent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development, according to LinkedIn’s report.

The report also shows that 68 per cent of employees prefer to learn at work, and 56 per cent would take a course suggested by a manager.

But whether you deliver digital learning that is formal, informal or mixed learning, you must ensure that you meet the access needs of your workforce, now and in the future.

This is particularly relevant in the UK when you consider what our workforce will look like in the future.  

What does the future of the UK’s workforce look like?

We are living longer and our population is becoming both older and more diverse. It’s also growing.

Because the population is growing there will be a larger workforce for employers to draw talent from.

But the ageing and more diverse nature of our growing population also matters greatly and it will present particular challenges to employers.

Let’s look at a few of the numbers and why they matter.

Firstly, people aged over 65 will make up a quarter of the population by 2045, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics last year.

If you compare that to the 17.8 per cent figure for 2015 you can appreciate the growth of people in this age group.

And according to some projections, 40 per cent of the UK population will come from a migrant background by 2050.

A changing population means changing access needs

Because the UK has an ageing, growing and diverse population this creates significant issues around accessibility and inclusion.

For example, around one in five people in the UK have a disability at present.

As most disabilities are acquired with age, the older you get the more likely you are to become disabled, with any associated access needs.

Plus of course those from migrant backgrounds, especially those who don’t speak English as their first language, will have language access needs.

They need to be able to access e-learning platforms and other digital learning tools in a language they can understand.

The more complex the topic and the language used, the greater the need for a chance for employees to learn in their own language.

Even if they then transfer the knowledge they’ve learned in their first language to use it in English in the workplace.

This means employers must find ways of making digital learning tools like e-learning platforms accessible and inclusive to people with a wide variety of access needs.

Recite Me can meet the access needs of your diverse workforce

Organisations like The Grey Matter Group are already doing this by using Recite Me’s accessibility and language toolbar.

The Grey Matter Group works with organisations across the health and social care sectors to improve lives through learning.

It does this by supporting health and social providers with online learning and assessments

The Recite Me toolbar has been added to their website to allow people with a range of access needs to use their online learning resources in the way that suits them best.

Recite Me supports people with common disabilities like sight loss and dyslexia in a number of ways.

They can use the Recite Me toolbar to change font type or font size, change the text colour and the background colour, and access a full dictionary and thesaurus.

They can also use Recite Me to have the text on the website read aloud to them.

This combination of features makes Recite Me a great accessibility tool for people with disabilities like sight loss and dyslexia.

Recite Me also translates written information on the website into over 100 different languages, which means people can easily access digital learning resources in their first language.

Recite Me’s unique combination of these features offers a simple way for all employers to future proof their organisations and make their digital learning platforms accessible and inclusive.

Recite Me can make your website’s digital learning more accessible and inclusive for your increasingly diverse and ageing workforce. It will also help you to comply with the law. Book your free demo now.

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