Global Accessibility Awareness Day SweetRush

Whether it’s videos, podcasts, snappy animations and graphics, VR experiences, virtual workshops, or eLearning, SweetRush excels at designing engaging and creative solutions to meet our client’s training needs. Yet, not all learners engage with the experiences we create in the same way.

Today, on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, let’s take a moment to consider the people we serve with disabilities. 

WebAIM, an association that monitors digital access, noted in their 2023 research that of the 1 million websites they evaluated, over 96.3% of home pages had at least one Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 failure. The average number of failures on home pages? Nearly 50.

This means that people living with a disability or impairment continue to run into roadblocks on the Internet—wherever they turn. If a public home page is inaccessible, chances are good that the organization’s training materials are similarly challenging.

An estimated 1.3 billion people across the globe are living with disabilities or impairments that make traditional eLearning impossible to access. Data from 2022 indicates that 17% of digital audiences require digital accessibility. 

These numbers are meaningful, but I think what really hits home for people is when you or a loved one have disabilities or impairments that make accessibility critical to how you do your job and move through the world. This is my story. And it’s why I’m so passionate in my role as Accessibility Lead at SweetRush.

SweetRush Inspire Accessibility

I’ve been working with a great team of SweetRushians and two wonderful partners—Artisan E-Learning and elb Learning—on accessibility initiatives…. 

…and I’m proud to announce that today we are launching! This is a resource for ALL learning leaders and eLearning designers and developers to champion and offer tools and resources to bring accessibility to our industry.

Building accessibility into our online learning is no longer optional. So what is SweetRush doing? To meet WCAG Level AA standards, we are:

  • Optimizing for screen readers and keyboard navigation.
  • Adjusting text color and backgrounds for better contrast.
  • Adding text descriptions for images, video, and animations.
  • Adding captions and subtitles.

…and taking a lot more steps in the development backend. 

Over the last year, SweetRush has engaged in ~30 projects that required Level AA accessibility. As more of our clients require Level AA, SweetRush is putting heightened focus on accessibility in our design and development and aligning accessibility considerations to specific roles and responsibilities throughout our process.

By prioritizing digital accessibility, we can ensure that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can access and benefit from the solutions we create.