Unlocking Inclusivity: Enhancing Accessibility on Udemy's Learning Platform

Published March 25, 2024

Millions of people seeking new skills and horizons are turning to e-learning platforms such as Udemy to expand their horizons. As a result, these digital learning spaces must embrace inclusivity and accessibility to truly empower everyone. 

In this post, we will explore exactly how accessible Udemy is for people with diverse needs and how you can unlock its full potential to ensure an equitable learning experience for all.

Udemy’s Commitment to Accessibility

Concerning their accessibility standards, Udemy states, “Our goal is to provide flexible and effective learning and skill development to empower organizations and individuals. We believe that high-quality educational content should be available to everyone, so accessibility is a key area of focus for us. To deliver on this commitment, our teams are constantly working to improve the accessibility of our services.”

The company maintains a devoted team to handle inquiries and recommendations related to accessibility – users can reach out to them at accessibility@udemy.com or utilize the in-app support feature for assistance.

Udemy’s Accessibility Highlights

Here are some of the salient digital accessibility principles and features that make Udemy an inclusive platform:

Adherence to accessibility guidelines: Udemy follows the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) specification, ensuring the platform meets international accessibility standards.

Accessible course search: Search filters allow learners to identify courses with subtitles and closed captions, which is particularly helpful for those with hearing impairments. This feature streamlines the discovery of content that caters to diverse accessibility requirements, ensuring a more inclusive learning experience.

Broad compatibility: Udemy's website and mobile apps are tested for compatibility with various screen readers and accessibility tools, including NVDA, JAWS®, Voiceover (macOS, iOS), and Talkback (Android).

Subtitles and closed captions: The platform also offers machine-captioned subtitles in multiple languages and closed captions for certain courses, catering to a wide range of learners with hearing impairments.

Customizable video settings: The video player on Udemy allows learners to adjust settings using keyboard shortcuts, providing a tailored experience for each user's needs.

Guidance for instructors: Udemy recommends creating accessible and inclusive courses and promoting content that caters to diverse needs.

How to Make Your Udemy Courses More Accessible?

Making your Udemy courses more accessible is a fantastic way to reach a wider audience and ensure learners of all abilities can benefit from your content. Here are some tips to help you create more user-friendly content on Udemy:

Use clear and concise language: Ensure your course content is easy to understand by using straightforward language and avoiding jargon. This makes it easier for people with cognitive disabilities or those who speak a different native language to follow along.

Provide subtitles and closed captions: Add subtitles or closed captions to your video lectures so learners with hearing difficulties can follow along with the content. Udemy automatically generates subtitles for many courses, but you can also provide your own to ensure accuracy.

Use descriptive text for images and graphics: Include alternative text (alt-text) for images and graphics so that screen readers can describe them for visually impaired users. This helps to convey the meaning of visual content more effectively.

Ensure good color contrast: Use high-contrast colors for text and backgrounds to make it easier for users with low vision or color blindness to read the content. Avoid using color as the only means of conveying information.

Organize content logically: Structure your course content logically and coherently with clear headings, bullet points, and numbered lists. This makes it easier for all learners to follow along and understand the key points.

Use accessible fonts: Choose fonts that are easily read for visually impaired users. Open the door for sans-serif fonts with simple shapes and consistent sizing.

Make video content accessible: If you're using screen-sharing or demonstrating software, ensure the text is large and clear enough for users to read. Speak clearly and at a moderate pace, and consider providing written transcripts of your video content for users who prefer to read.

Test your course with accessibility tools: Use screen readers and other accessibility tools to test your course and identify any potential barriers. This will help you adjust and ensure your course is as accessible as possible.

Embracing Inclusivity in Online Learning with Udemy

Udemy's commitment to accessibility has made it a platform where learners of all abilities can thrive. By incorporating accessibility guidelines, compatibility testing, subtitles, closed captions, and an inclusive design approach, the platform has made significant strides in creating a user-friendly experience for people with different disabilities. 

As an instructor, you can contribute to this inclusive learning environment by ensuring your courses are accessible and accommodating to a diverse range of learners. By embracing accessibility, we can unlock the full potential of online learning, empowering everyone with the opportunity to grow, learn, and succeed on Udemy. 

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