Best Practice: Creating accessible learning

Elucidat offers a wide range of authoring possibilities in order to give you a high level of creative freedom and control when building elearning. This level of control means that it is possible for you to create good quality accessible content for your learners with relative ease.

But how exactly do you make sure your content is accessible?

We've collated some best practice tips to help you get started.


1. Text content

2. Visual content

3. Multimedia content

4. Course interaction

5. Inclusive language

6. Quality assurance


Text content

Text size

Err on the generous side. You should ideally use font sizes of at least 16px

The Macular Society provides some great advice for preparing documents with accessibility in mind. Clear, visible text benefits everyone, not just people who are visually impaired. 

Text structure

The structure of your text is very important to facilitate the understanding of its content.

For instance, avoid using heading formatting just because you want bigger text. A screen reader follows a specific hierarchy when reading out text. Headings will be read out before text, so if your heading isn't actually a heading, the order of text that is read out by the screen reader will be in a confusing order.

It's important to understand the importance of correct document structure and this importance doesn't just stop at screen readers. Good structure also makes it easier for all learners to read and digest what is being said.


Visual content

Colour and contrast

Contrast is especially key to the readability of text but it applies to all elements of your course. Ensure that contrast between important visual elements is high, either by using very different tones, or by using very different colours e.g. black and yellow. 

If you're unsure whether the colours you're using contrast sufficiently, you might find WebAIM's Contrast Checker a helpful resource.

Colour coding

Avoid using colour coding as the sole way to convey meaning. For instance, colouring text green to indicate something positive and red to indicate negative.

Differing colours may be distracting or not as visible to certain users. The intrinsic meaning of colours may even be different in another language or culture.

If you do use colour coding, ensure that the same meaning is conveyed through the text content as well.


Be cautious of using transparency excessively. Transparency can have a big impact on readability.

For example, a text box with a transparent background may make the text hard to read due to insufficient or inconsistent contrast:


This example is much more accessible. The text is clear and easily readable:



If you are using images within a course to convey meaning, it is important to use images consistently and ensure they convey the same meaning every time it is used (for example a 'success' or 'failure' or 'progress' image should be consistent throughout).

Ensure that your meaning is also conveyed in the text content. If you have an image that conveys 'success', ensure that it is accompanied by text that says the same.

You may also want to add useful, descriptive Alt text to your images to ensure that they are read out by screen readers. You can find out how to do this in Elucidat in Adding Alt Text to an image


Elucidat provides you some fun animation options to apply to your elearning. This can be a great tool to supplement your learning content, however it's best to be cautious about using animation excessively, especially fast, flickering or jiggling movements. They can be distracting or cause discomfort or confusion.

If meaning is conveyed by an animation, it is important that your meaning is conveyed in another way as well, as animation will not be read out by screen reading software.

Keep in mind that, like autoplaying audio and video, most major browsers and mobile OSs will restrict animated elements as autoplaying behaviour. This means that we cannot guarantee that animation will work consistently across different browsers and devices for all users. 


Multimedia content

Video and audio

If you are including video or audio, ensure that you include an introduction before the video to introduce the content and tell the learner how to interact with it.

Always ensure that you include captions or a transcript of the multimedia content.

You may want to include audio alternatives to text on screen if possible. If you do this, ensure the audio and text convey the same information. A learner shouldn't be required to hear the audio in order for them to progress or understand what to do.


Be cautious when using autoplay for video and audio. It can cause surprise or annoyance for some users but for others, it can have a more significant impact.

Sometimes it is best to avoid autoplay altogether, but if you are using autoplay, it is best not to rely on it working for your content to make sense. Always provide a way for the learner to manually control video and audio.

Additionally, most major browsers and device OSs restrict autoplay based on various factors which include a user's personal preference and their browsing habits so it is not guaranteed all your users will have the same autoplay experience.

You can read more about autoplay in Understanding autoplay and its restrictions.


Course interaction

Interactive content

Include an introduction and clear instructions before any content that requires direct interaction, telling the learner how to use them.

Flow and order

Elucidat offers a huge amount of visual control. This is essential for creating rich visual layouts, but it also means that it is possible to drag items out of order.

For instance, in the following example:

The last item is dragged from last, to second. For a screen reader, the reading order would stay as it was originally.

As such, if reading order is critical to the understanding of the page, it will be important to maintain the order (often by deleting items that find themselves in the wrong order or swapping the text about, rather than dragging).

Interaction and page types

While Elucidat offers a wide selection of interactions, certain types may not be suitable for all learners. For instance, both the Drag and Drop and Sortable activities rely on a learner using (and being adept with) a mouse. This will exclude anyone using keyboard navigation, such as screen reader users.

If you'd like to use a Drag and Drop interaction, we'd recommend using an alternative Drag and Drop interaction called the Responsive Drag and Drop which is able to be used with keyboard navigation and screen readers.

When adding pages in Elucidat, you'll see that we have marked which page types are recommended for courses with accessibility in mind. For a full list, see Choosing an accessible page type.



Inclusive language

We recommend that you read Disability etiquette on Wikipedia. This is a great article with information and advice about inclusive language.

Words like 'click' imply that learners are using a mouse. If you use 'click' then you ought to use alternatives too. 

Links are summarised by screen readers so ensure that you make the sentence that is linked self-sufficient so that it will make sense out of context.

For these reasons consider using alternatives like 'Select this link to go to the next page' rather than 'Click here'.


Quality assurance

Consult other reputable accessibility sources

There are plenty of organisations and websites that are dedicated to upholding accessibility standards and guidance.

Organisations like W3C are a fantastic resource and have created a widely respected set of web standards which include guidelines for accessibility.

Build your content to be accessible from the ground up

It's much easier to build your content to be accessible from the start rather than trying to retroactively apply to something that's already been built. Make accessibility an essential part of your creation process!

Test with real people

We can't stress this point enough! You can tick all of the boxes above, but testing with real people can be incredibly valuable.

Recruit your colleagues to help and try to make your testing group as diverse as you can. A user familiar with using screen readers may be able to give some useful insights that others cannot!

You can also try using accessibility tools yourself. Download JAWS if you're using Windows or, if you are using a Mac, turn on VoiceOver with the keyboard shortcut, Cmd+F5.

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