Content creators and owners recognize that it is important that their content is accessible to all candidates. Depending on the size of your item bank, the age of your content, and the complexities of your item types, making your content accessible can seem like a daunting task. In today’s post, we’ll identify how you can facilitate this task to ensure a seamless assessment experience for all candidates.
Changing the Way We Think About Accessible Content
After many years of working with content of all types, ITS has found that an important step in the process of making content accessible is a shift in perspective. Content creators tend to break out “accessible content” as a separate entity, but there is an alternative approach:
Content creators should try not to think of “accessible content” as being distinct from content in general.
Instead, we can think of accessibility as an inherent part of content creation. This small change in perspective can have a big impact. Approaching content creation with the goal of creating the same test experience for everyone will lead to better content and eliminate many of the hurdles encountered when making content accessible.
ITS and several of our larger partners have, for many years, taken this approach toward accessibility. It has paid off in our ability to provide a stronger candidate experience and an accessible framework for content delivery. The ITS core product offering now supports all major assistive technologies, including screen readers, zoom tools, and contrast settings.
That’s not to say there is no work involved in getting accessibility-enabled content and exams ready for production, but our mindset and framework now allow projects to flow under normal ITS processes rather than forcing them into a custom model for accessibility.
Making Your Content Accessible
The process of bringing accessibility to your content will differ depending on the project:
- Creating New Content
Making new content accessible is a straightforward process because best practices can be implemented up front. You can use accessible item types, ensure that content is properly tagged and labeled, and ensure that images have alt text. ITS can help you with a framework for this, and ITS’ Item Workshop supports everything needed to create accessible content.
- Updating Existing Content
Updating existing content can be more difficult. This process involves tweaking the underlying structure with proper tagging and labeling and creating alt text for images. You may need to move content to a new item type if the current type cannot support the modern accessible requirements. You may also need to make tough decisions about retiring content and images that aren’t compatible with accessibility. The Test Production team at ITS has been through this process many times, so we can help you with a project plan and framework for implementing the changes.
Content accessibility can be a big project, but it can be manageable with the right plan and the right tools. Establishing a full item bank that has accessibility built into the core structure will pay off going forward. If you would like to learn more about ITS platforms and how ITS approaches content accessibility, contact us today.