Supporting 508 compliance in eLearning through our latest SCORM Engine release

As a recent Rustici Software hire, I’ve been impressed to see that the spirit of collaboration we so actively promote in our office also extends to how we work with our clients.

The case is made in the collaborative relationship we have with D2L, who wanted to make their Brightspace LMS 508 Compliant. While SCORM Engine has never needed to be compliant itself, it is a building block for other eLearning applications and it’s important for us to provide the accessibility features our customers need. That way, our clients can confidently provide the support they desire for their customers! When D2L wanted to improve Engine’s player so it could more easily cooperate with screen readers, we were game.

Throughout the process, we worked closely with two Quality Assurance Analysts at D2L who made a big impact on us. Their team is passionate about creating the most positive user experience possible. As a result, they provided us with great advice and resources (if you’re looking for resources, we would highly recommend this Section 508 Checklist and Deque’s aXe for testing).

The thing that made the biggest difference for us, however, was the help we received from one of D2L’s QA analysts, who is blind. She was able to show us exactly how she used Engine’s player and what needed to be improved. When we shared the final revision with her and she cried because she was excited to be able to use the platform for learning…well, it pretty much made our year.

As we have worked on updating, changing and improving Engine’s user interface, we’ve also been able to make significant changes to the way we structure Engine’s player so it can more easily cooperate with screen readers. We redid the Player’s menu, buttons and navigation so that VoiceOver can now read them properly. We also updated Engine so that Landmarks (this is like a shortcut popup that allows users to quickly navigate to pages) get properly populated.

Learn more about the additional changes made to Engine in the 2017.1 release here. And if you have any questions about 508 compliance in eLearning or want to talk to us about an upgrade, just contact us.