Poorly designed assessments can pose a huge barrier to people with disabilities who may be highly knowledgable regarding the information you are assessing. It may cause those individuals to present poorly in their results, misrepresenting their competency. The flow-on effects may include misunderstandings, frustrations and lost opportunities for both individuals and organisations.
Here are a few things you can do to help make your assessments accessible:
- Avoid time-restricted assessments wherever possible. Unless competency in a task critically requires it to be completed in a certain amount of time, do not place a time limit on how long the learner has to complete their assessment, or else negotiate a suitable time frame. At this stage, it is not possible to enforce a time limit on assessments within How Too.
- Avoid questions based on images. Even though How Too offers some question blocks that include images, requiring a learner to be able to clearly view an image and answer based on what they can see can pose a barrier to visually-impaired individuals. You can use alt text to describe the contents of the image, provided you can also offer the use of screen reading technology, though this may not be the most effective design.
- Any questions based on videos or audio clips must have an accessible transcript and/or captions and/or audio description track for hearing-impaired individuals. These resources must contain all the necessary information for the learner to answer the question correctly.
- Use accessible text content.
- Make sure your learners have all the tools they need to access content. Examples include screen readers, headphones, braille outputs and accessible buttons or keyboards.
Ultimately, the best path forward is to ask your learners what they need.