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Accessible eLearning for Staff, Customers and Stakeholders

Setting the Scene

Sight problems affect over 2 million people throughout the UK. Many professionals and organizations need information on the issues affecting blind and partially sighted people and help to improve their services for people with sight problems. The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is a charitable organization that supports thousands of people affected by sight loss. They offer training and consultation to businesses and professionals working in social care, health, education and employment, to help them support people who are blind or partially sighted.

RNIB accessible eLearning on a Laptop

The Challenge

RNIB accessible eLearning is needed to make their training more flexible and meet the high demand for employee development from their business clients. They also wanted to diversify their internal training offering by incorporating new online learning technology while leading accessibility best practices. The project began in early 2014, with eCom and RNIB working in partnership to define an effective learning strategy. The agreed approach was to use eNetLearn and create a series of accessible eLearning courses. The LMS needed to support both RNIB’s and their clients’ varying training objectives. The three areas of focus are:

Public Academy – focusing on personal development and used by anyone supporting a person with sight loss.

Professional Academy – Partnerships with employers in the third sector, health care, local authorities, education and employment sectors.

Customer Academy – for businesses across financial services, retail, housing and utility providers to help tailor customer service requirements to support people with sight loss.

The Solution

Social and technological exclusion significantly affects blind and partially sighted people. It is critical for RNIB that their elearning environment is accessible to all, with adaptable resources which work across as many devices as possible. The project required a detailed understanding of web accessibility and incorporates the latest in accessibility technology. Significant research was carried out by eCom on how to structure content to make it accessible using screen reader software and available on most devices. A wide range of subject matter experts and accessibility advisors assisted with the project. Through regular testing, they ensured that Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards and regulations were met and best practices applied.

RNIB accessible eLearning on a Tablet
RNIB accessible eLearning on a Tablet

The Benefits

The project has delivered a flexible and cost-effective offering to RNIB’s teams. It has helped them to deliver information and training to a wider range of clients while still ensuring the highest level of accessibility for people with sight loss. It supports ongoing employee professional development by delivering easy access to training and full tracking of progress. Working on the new system and online courses has expanded eCom’s knowledge and understanding of web accessibility. This learning is being used to enhance our future projects.

This has truly been a mutually beneficial partnership between eCom and RNIB accessible eLearning. Our combined expertise has enabled the creation of accessible eLearning which ensures equity of learning experience for blind and partially sighted people. From the first phase of this successful collaboration, we have a new accessible eLearning platform and a suite of eLearning courses available to the public on RNIB’s website. The internal RNIB group eLearning course ‘Safe guarding’ is available to over 5000+ staff and volunteers across the RNIB group. Our partnership goes from strength to strength as we move into the next phase of creating more customised eLearning courses with RNIB accessible eLearning.

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