Digital Accessibility Foundations
Free Online Course

Accessibility skills are increasingly in demand. With this course, you can build your accessibility skills and immediately apply what you learn in practice.

Ms. Natalia Amelina, UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) (Senior National Project Officer in Education, Chief of Unit "Teacher professional development and networking")

Who the course is for

Well worth [it] to reassess my #a11y knowledge. HINT: I learned a few things I didn’t know.

Todd, Web Dev 21+ years #A11y

I would recommend anyone who creates #a11y training to join the course and/or integrate the lessons therein. Very well constructed!

Damian Sian, Director of Web Accessibility

The course is designed for technical and non-technical learners, including:

And also:

'Checks': boxes of text. monitor with green checkmarks and red x-marks.

What you get from the course

The course is structured so that you can focus on the topics that you are most interested in. Optional activities and additional materials provide more learning on specific topics.

For example, you can choose to focus on:

We encourage you to go through the whole course, even if you focus more on some topics.

Course content (syllabus)

W3C WAI-AAA WCAG 2.1 logo

The course covers principles from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative’s (WAI) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and much more:

  • What is Web Accessibility (2 sections) — challenges the way you may approach accessibility.
  • People and Digital Technology (5 sections) — gives you the “why” behind the what you need to do for accessibility.
  • Business Case and Benefits (2 sections) — explains how accessibility can expand market reach, demonstrate social responsibility, drive innovation, and minimize legal risk.
  • Principles, Standards, and Checks (5 sections) — guides you through understanding accessibility requirements and checking for accessibility barriers (also called evaluating or testing for errors or bugs) — with non-technical and technical guidance; provides optional material for learning more about coding accessibly.
  • Getting Started with Accessibility (2 sections) — explains approaches for integrating accessibility into your design and development processes; provides tips for getting started with accessibility right away.

More “What you’ll learn” and syllabus is in the edX course page.

Duration

It’s easy to follow and complete. You can do it over several sessions at your own pace.

Laiya Lee 李荔雅
The nerdy gurl next door

The course is designed to take about 16-20 hours to complete for most people. It is listed as 4 weeks of 4-5 hours effort per week.

It is self-paced so you can complete it in a shorter or longer time frame.

This course will be available on the edX platform through at least the first quarter of 2021. We expect an updated version of this course to be available long term.

Cost: Free, optional certificate

The course is free. The audit option gives you access to all of the content.

Optionally, you can choose to get a Verified Certificate for $99 USD to demonstrate successful course completion.

The Certificate can be printed, listed in resumes, and linked to from online profiles.

You can start auditing the course now, and later choose to get a Verified Certificate.

(For information about edX certificate verification and accessibility, see: edX Help Center Accessibility pages.)

Enroll in the course on edXlog in to edX or create edX account

Video excerpts from the course

Accessibility: Essential for some, useful for all

From Module 1, on how accessibility impacts the lives of people interacting in the digital world:

From Module 4, on designing and developing accessibly, and checking (evaluating or testing) for accessibility:

What people are saying about the course and survey results

Some more things that developers and others are tweeting about the course:

I just enrolled in this accessibility course and I watched some short clips (Module 1), and it made an impact on me.
I will work from now on accessibility improvements thinking about these real people, not just because ‘the law’, or because you ’should’

David Corbacho Roman. Señor Developer… JavaScript, React, Apollo, GraphQL, Next.js, Edge networking.

‘Disability is about design. Bad design is disabling.’
The course on web accessibility by the @w3c_wai is filled with eye-opening arguments and concepts. Great job @shawn_slh and team!
Join the course!

Carlos Muncharaz. Front-end Developer.

I highly recommend this course for anybody wanting to learn about digital accessibility. It's got a lot of great info and a relatively small time commitment.

Justin Yarbrough. Blind. Digital #a11y specialist. #AvGeek.

Post-course survey responses (as of 2020-Dec-04) include:

Provided by

Shadi (W3C) and Natalia (UNESCO) introduce the course:

(alternatives for video are below)

The course is provided by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE). UNESCO IITE logo

This unique course is based on the open curricula from the W3C WAI Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG). It brings together international expert trainers from Deque, Infoaxia, Intopia, Knowbility, The Paciello Group (TPG), Web Key IT, and W3C WAI.

Course Manager and Development Lead:

Shadi Abou-Zahra

Course Trainers:

Shawn
Henry
Anthony
Vasquez
Henny
Swan
Vivienne
Conway
Makoto
Ueki
Carie
Fisher
Sarah
Pulis
Andrew
Arch


Learn more from the edX course page Enroll in the course on edXlog in to edX or create edX account

Alternatives for the video on this page

The course introduction video is also available on W3C servers: video for modern browsers and video mp4 file.

Visual description:

  • Opening and closing scene has:
    • Two people at laptop smiling.
    • 5 icons: hand, eye, brain in head, ear, speech/sound waves from mouth.
  • Most of the video is of Shadi and Natalia sitting by a desk.
  • There are a few other scenes for visual interest, not needed to understand the content.

Transcript:

Shadi: I’m Shadi Abou-Zahra, Accessibility Strategy and Technology Specialist at W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium.

Natalia: I’m Natalia Amelina, Senior National Project Officer in Education at the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education.

Shadi: Join us in this course to learn the fundamental skills and key resources that are becoming increasingly important across digital professions.

Natalia: In according with statistics, people with disabilities can make up around 15% of the population – and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognizes access to information as a human right. And you may know that this Convention was ratified by 180 countries all over the world, very likely including your country too.

Shadi: In this course you will learn how people with disabilities use the web including different types of assistive technologies and adaptive strategies.

Natalia: You will also learn how web accessibility improves user experience of older people, people using mobile devices, and essentially for everyone.

Shadi: And, of course, you’ll also learn all about the international standards from W3C – and training materials and learn first steps in creating accessible web content.

Natalia: This course was designed for technical and non-technical people. If you work with digital technologies this course is ideal for you to get started.


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