Accessibility Statement

Approach to Accessibility

Education is about sharing.  Lumen has a firm commitment to sharing learning materials that meet the needs of learners with variable strengths so that all learners can access and use them effectively.  We strive to understand what barriers learners may face and what inclusivity really means and to adhere to guiding principles regarding accessibility in order to be able to create inclusive learning materials.

Lumen has developed and continues to develop its approach to accessibility and inclusivity with advising from the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University in Canada.

Contents

This statement describes Lumen’s general approach to accessibility in the Approach to Accessibility section, and it describes the current status of the Waymaker courseware in the Current Accessibility Status section.

Who is Currently Excluded?

All learners potentially face barriers to learning. These can be seen as a product of a mismatch between the needs of the learner and the learning experience and environment. Learning needs that affect learning can include:

  • sensory, motor, cognitive, emotional and social constraints
  • individual learning approaches or preferences
  • linguistic or cultural preferences
  • technical, financial or environmental constraints

Some learners are more constrained than others and are therefore less able to adapt to the learning experience or environment offered; for this reason the learning environment or experience must be more flexible.

In order to identify and understand the mismatches that our learners may face, Lumen increasingly incorporate user research and feedback into our design and continuous improvement processes.

What is an Accessible Learning Experience?

An accessible learning experience is a learning experience that matches the needs of the individual learner or the learners within a group. It should enable the learner (or learners) to achieve a learning goal, in their learning context.

To achieve an accessible experience, the first step is to obtain information about:

  • the learning goal
  • possible access needs
  • how the open educational resources (OER) should address those needs to help the learner achieve the goal

The next step is then to adapt learning materials to meet those needs by doing one or more of the following:

  • transform the resource (styling)
  • augment the resource (adding video, captioning, alternative text)
  • replace with another resource (matching the learner’s specific needs)

Since different learners will have different needs, goals and contexts, Lumen is investing in features that allow content to be transformed, augmented and replaced based on user needs.

Accessibility Principles

Understanding the underlying principles to accessible learning content development are key to the thoughtful creation of accessible learning materials.  Lumen adheres to the following accessibility principles set out by the W3C in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG).

    • Perceivable. Content should be able to be heard, seen, or experienced either through the browser or assistive technologies.
    • Operable. Interactions should be operable by everyone.  Some ways to accomplish this are to provide clear, well organized headings, make text readable and understandable, and remove unnecessary complexity.
    • Understandable. Content should be plain and clear to comprehend.  Some ways to accomplish this are to provide clear, well organized headings, make text readable and understandable, and remove unnecessary complexity.
    • Robust. Content should be accessible by a wide range of technologies, both old and new.

Process

Ensuring accessibility is an ongoing endeavor that requires attention, understanding and responsiveness to learner needs. Accordingly, Lumen is investing in building accessibility into our general design, development and continuous improvement process in the following ways:

  • Content and technology designers and developers are trained in accessibility.
  • We increasingly conduct user research, co-creation and testing.
  • Users who encounter accessibility challenges may contact support@lumenlearning.com.
  • Issues will be addressed and solutions will be communicated in a timely manner

Current Accessibility Status

Waymaker Content and Technology Components

Both Waymaker and Candela courses provide course content via the Lumen Platform and support for integrating courseware into educational institutions’ Learning Management Systems (LMSs) via Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) Integration.

  • Course content includes:
    • Existing open educational resources (OER) that are brought into the Lumen platform and modified for accessibility as well as quality.
    • Original content developed by Lumen and collaborators
    • Links to external sources that cannot be modified due to copyright restrictions
  • Lumen Platform is a WordPress-based platform
  • LMSs are not provided by Lumen and are administered by educational institutions

Compliance with Accessibility Standards

Lumen’s current accessibility efforts focus on complying with the Level AA Success Criteria set out by the W3C in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG). These criteria meet current standards defined by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and provide more specific guidelines for complying with those standards. The following four tables evaluate Waymaker courseware against WCAG 2.0 Level A and AA Success Criteria for each of the four accessibility principles: perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.

Principle 1: Perceivable

Success Criterion Supporting Features and Remarks
 1.1.1: Non-text Content (Level A)

Alternative text: All images on pages accessed by students via LMSs have alternative text. Course catalog pages, however, lack sufficient alternative text.

Buttons: No buttons are shown to students accessing courseware via LMSs. When courses are accessed directly on the Candela platform, however, some buttons lack labels that would announce their purpose to AT users.

 1.2.1: Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded)  (Level A)  No audio only or video only content is included.
 1.2.2: Captions (Prerecorded) (Level A)

All BBC videos have high-quality captions. All other CC-licensed videos have at least automated YouTube captions. At times, links are provided to external, copyrighted videos; some may not include captions.

Goals for improvement: Improve the quality of captions, especially where captioning has been automated.

 1.2.3: Audio Description or Full Text Alternative (Level A)

Video: Visuals are supplementary to the dialog and support what’s being spoken vs. giving additional information, and audio descriptions are not required.

Simulations: Some simulations contain visual information not communicated verbally; descriptions need to be provided and will be provided during the coming months.

1.2.4: Captions (Live) (Level AA) Not currently an AODA requirement.
1.2.5: Audio Description (Level AA) Not currently an AODA requirement.
1.3.1: Info and Relationships (Level A) Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text.
1.3.2: Meaningful Sequence (Level A) The code order of elements is logical and intuitive.
1.3.3: Sensory Characteristics (Level A) Instructions do not rely upon visual characteristics or sounds.
1.4.1: Use of Color (Level A) Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element, except that the expandable attributions section is not identified as functional element. The attributions issue will be fixed in an upcoming release.
1.4.2: Audio Control (Level A) There is no audio that automatically plays.
1.4.3: Contrast (Minimum) (Level AA) The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1, except when allowed.
1.4.4: Resize text (Level AA) Zoom is generally well supported. Some minor resizing issues exist in simulations, as well as in a top banner that is present only when courses are accessed directly in Candela but not via LMSs.
1.4.5: Images of Text (Level AA) Generally, images of text are not used. Math equations are rendered as images but include alt text.

Principle 2: Operable

Success Criterion Supporting Features and Remarks
 2.1.1: Keyboard (Level A)  All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes.
 2.1.2: No Keyboard Trap (Level A)  There are no keyboard traps.
 2.2.1: Timing Adjustable (Level A)  There are no time limits.
 2.2.2: Pause, Stop, Hide (Level A)  There is no automatically updating, moving, blinking, or scrolling content.
2.3.1: Three Flashes or Below Threshold (Level A) There is no flashing content.
2.4.1: Bypass Blocks (Level A) There are no repeated blocks of content that need to be skipped.
2.4.2: Page Titles (Level A) Pages have meaningful titles.
2.4.3: Focus Order (Level A) Focus order is logical.
2.4.4: Link Purpose (In Context) (Level A) The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context, except for book cover images on course catalog pages, which are not available to students via LMSs.
 2.4.5: Multiple Ways (Level AA)  Currently there is only one way to locate a page within the site. A site search is being added.
2.4.6: Headings and Labels (Level AA) Text of headings and labels accurately reflect topic and purpose. The side navigation on the catalog page has the titles TAG 1 and TAG 2, which are not clear; this page is not available to students via LMSs.
 2.4.7: Focus Visible (Level AA)  Focus indication is missing.

Principle 3: Understandable

Success Criterion Supporting Features and Remarks
 3.1.1: Language of Page (Level A) The default human language of each Web page can be programmatically determined.
 3.1.2: Language of Parts (Level AA)  Waymaker courses to date contain only English content.
 3.2.1: On Focus (Level A) When any component receives focus, it does not initiate a change of context.
 3.2.2: On Input (Level A)  Changing the setting of any user interface component does not automatically cause a change of context.
3.2.3: Consistent Navigation (Level AA) Navigational links remain constant when courses are accessed via LMSs but change slightly when courseware is accessed directly via Candela.
3.2.4: Consistent Identification (Level AA)  Components that have the same functionality are identified consistently.
3.3.1: Error Identification (Level A) Error messages are given for form errors.
3.3.2: Labels or Instructions (Level A) Labels and instructions are provided.
3.3.3: Error Suggestion (Level AA) Input errors are not detected automatically.
3.3.4: Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data) (Level AA) No financial, legal transactions are supported.

Principle 4: Robust

Success Criterion Supporting Features and Remarks
 4.1.1: Parsing (Level A)  Code is generally valid, although minor parsing errors are present.
 4.1.2: Name, Role, Value (Level A)  For all user interface components, the name and role can be programmatically determined.