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Accessibility Training 101: What it is and Why it Matters

Posted June 18, 2024


Posted June 18, 2024

Laptop screen with six profile images; accessibility icon with a graduation cap on top of it is next to the laptop.
Laptop screen with six profile images; accessibility icon with a graduation cap on top of it is next to the laptop.

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Accessibility training is designed to teach trainees how to create accessible digital content. Learn what accessibility training covers and which courses are best for improving your knowledge around accessibility.

Spurred by advancements in technologies and the growing recognition of the rights of individuals with disabilities, organizations are increasing their focus on digital accessibility. Some of this increased focus is spurred by the new updates to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) — some come from the growth opportunities that come with having accessible content. 

As organizations prioritize accessibility, many are recognizing the need for comprehensive accessibility training to ensure digital content creators have the knowledge and tools to design, develop, and maintain accessible digital content.

What exactly is accessibility and what does it cover? Let’s dive in.

What is Accessibility Training?

Put simply, accessibility training is programs or courses designed to teach trainees how to create digital content that’s accessible to all individuals, including those with disabilities. Most courses provide learners with a comprehensive understanding of accessibility principles, guidelines, and best practices. This includes understanding the barriers individuals with disabilities encounter when navigating the web and how to remediate those barriers via thoughtful web design and development.
The best accessibility training courses go beyond teaching how to comply with accessibility legal requirements (i.e. the ADA and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)), though these are included in the training. Instead, they go a step further and help create a culture of inclusivity and empathy among digital content creators and organizations. Participants learn the importance of accessibility for information technology and how to create an accessible user experience for all users.

What is Covered in Accessibility Training?

The materials covered in accessibility training will vary slightly depending on the course. However, most will cover (or at the very least mention) the following topics:

Web Accessibility Laws

Given the numerous laws around accessibility, most accessibility training programs review digital accessibility laws and which accessibility standards organizations must comply with. This includes WCAG guidelines (the international standard for accessible web content) and regulations included in the ADA and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Explaining accessibility laws and standards helps digital content creators create digital content that complies with accessibility requirements.

Overview of Assistive Technologies

Accessibility training gives participants an introduction to the assistive technologies individuals with disabilities use to access and navigate digital content. This includes screen readers, magnifiers, voice recognition software, and alternative input devices. Understanding how each of these devices interact with web applications, web pages, mobile apps, and other digital content can help developers and designers create digital content that is assistive technology-friendly.

Common Accessibility Barriers

With so much of the web inaccessible to users with disabilities, accessibility training sheds light on common accessibility issues that hinder disabled users from easily navigating the web. Some of these barriers include inaccessible forms, lack of alt text for images, poor color contrast, misuse of headings, and complex navigation structures. Helping digital content creators recognize these barriers is the first step toward addressing them effectively.

Inclusive Design Principles

One of the most important parts of accessibility training — inclusive design practices. This part of the course covers accessible design principles such as ensuring sufficient color contrast, designing for assistive technologies and keyboard users, simplifying navigation, creating accessible documents, and using semantic HTML. Teaching accessible design principles is critical to helping digital content creators create digital interfaces that are intuitive and usable for everyone.

Best Practices for Digital Accessibility

Digital accessibility is not a one-and-done project — it requires continuous monitoring and adjustment to ensure ongoing compliance and a usable experience for users. As part of accessibility training, instructors review best practices for maintaining digital accessibility such as regular accessibility audits, involving users with disabilities in accessibility testing and feedback, staying up-to-date on accessibility laws, and creating a culture of accessibility.

Stylized web browser with a door open to the accessibility symbol.

What to Look for in Accessibility Training Courses

Given the growing importance of digital accessibility, it’s important to choose programs or courses that give a comprehensive look into digital accessibility. To help you find high-quality accessibility training programs, here are a few things to look for:

Expertise of the Instructor

Look at the background and experience of the program instructor. Ensure they have extensive experience in accessibility standards, inclusive design practices, familiarity with assistive technologies, and accessibility laws. Look for instructors with accessibility certifications or who’ve been in the industry for years as they’ll bring valuable insights and real-world examples into training.

Follows Latest Accessibility Standards

Because WCAG guidelines are updated periodically, you’ll want to ensure the online training program you’re considering is following the latest version of these standards. Look for courses that explicitly state their alignment with WCAG 2.2 as well as any other accessibility standards specific to your region or industry. This can help you meet the latest conformance standards and lower your chance of being sued for lack of accessibility.

Teaching Method

Effective accessibility training should use both theoretical knowledge and practical application. Hands-on exercises, case studies, and interactive sessions where participants can apply concepts help to reinforce learning and prepare you to implement accessibility best practices in your own work. You should also prioritize training programs that offer online modules, reference materials, and ongoing support as this enhances the learning experience and allows participants to continue learning.

Best Accessibility Training Courses


AudioEye’s Fundamentals of Digital Accessibility course provides learners with best practices in digital accessibility — from accessible design to global accessibility laws. The self-paced, online course begins by covering the basics of digital accessibility, including common misconceptions and categories of disability, before moving into accessibility barriers and best practices. The course concludes with an in-depth look into accessibility principles, standards, checks, and legislation. Courses are taught by CPACC-certified instructors with years of experience in the accessibility industry.

IAAP Certifications for Web Accessibility

The International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) offers several accessibility certifications and training programs around digital accessibility. Each one covers a different aspect of accessibility:

  • Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC): The CPACC course covers a broad range of topics, including universal design and accessibility-related laws. It also covers accessibility management strategies and essential concepts.
  • Web Accessibility Specialist (WAS): A continuation of CPACC, WAS provides more technical and hands-on knowledge of web accessibility. It covers accessibility standards around JavaScript, HTML, and front-end elements.
  • Certified Professional of Web Accessibility (CPWA): The CPWA course builds on the materials covered in CPACC and teaches participants how to build accessible websites, apps, and other digital content.
  • Certified Professional in Accessible Built Environments (CPABE): The CPABE course focuses on the technical build environment of digital content as well as the accessibility codes, standards, and legislation.

Assistive Technology Courses

To help web developers and designers understand how assistive technology works and why it’s critical to disabled users’ experience, there’s the JAWS Certification course and the NVDA Expert certification course. The JAWS course dives deep into how the technology works and covers topics like installation, keyboard commands, HTML customization, and more. The NVDA course covers NVDA screen readers and provides a high-level overview of what the device is and how it works. Both courses are great for learning more about assistive technologies and their role in digital accessibility.

Create a Foundation of Digital Accessibility with AudioEye

Implementing accessibility training equips your employees with the knowledge and skills needed to create accessible digital content. This enables your organization to expand its reach into the disability community, a largely underserved market. Along with improving inclusivity, accessibility training helps to foster innovation by encouraging content creators to consider user needs at the very beginning of the design process. 

At AudioEye, our accessibility training course provides a comprehensive look into the industry. Along with providing an overview of accessibility and accessibility laws, our trainers dive deep into accessible design principles and best practices of accessibility, including document accessibility. With this knowledge, your organization can create accessible, inclusive digital experiences that better meet the needs of the disability community. 

Ready to get started? Contact us to learn more about our accessibility training.

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