Case: The A11y Collective
Let’s make the web accessible with The A11Y Collective!
Do you know that feeling? Of an idea that you can’t let go of? That happened to us in the summer of 2019. We got something brewing and a few months later, The A11Y Collective was born!
We believe in an accessible web for everyone. And to make sure everyone knows how to create an accessible web, we officially launched The A11Y Collective this Spring. With The A11Y Collective we offer professional courses in the field of web accessibility. How this process went from idea to launch? Read on and take a peek behind the scenes of Level Level!
Were you looking for a course on web accessibility?
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Sharing knowledge with everyone!
An accessible web is something that we as Level Level support for the full 100%. So, how awesome would it be if we could offer online courses on Web Accessibility to anyone who wants to learn more about this topic? That way we can share our knowledge with as many web agencies, designers, developers, content marketers and project managers as possible and make the web even more accessible!
Developing the website of The A11Y Collective
In order to be able to offer online courses, it is very useful if you are a digital agency yourself and able to develop such a website. Of course including an accessible design and all the necessary features we had in mind.
And what about the content?
Yes… that’s what made this project extra special. Because this time not only the design and development, but also the content came from our hand! And by that we don’t just mean the various pages, but also the course content including all tests and certificates. The whole package! A lot of work to do. So, let’s get onto it!
“With The A11Y Collective we, as designers, can show that an accessible design doesn’t mean a boring looking website at all.”
What did we really want with this new platform?
- To create awareness about web accessibility;
- To offer courses (with accessible content) for various target groups: designers, developers, content marketers, content editors, project managers;
- To create a UX-flow that stimulates people to follow a course. The more people with knowledge about web accessibility, the better!
- And to do so on an accessible platform of course!
Do we have our wishes, goals and required functionalities clear? Check. Does it still appeal to the various target groups? Yes, great! We have always kept a close eye on this throughout the process.
We started with building a technical prototype, because we decided to work with an existing plugin (Learndash). Then we made an accessible design and made it fit with what was already there technically. It’s quite handy if you (as a future student) can see how to enroll in a course without too many steps! We therefore optimized the entire purchase flow and adjusted the design of the detail pages of the courses. And of course an inviting homepage is not missing either.
How did we create our content for a course? Well, all of our knowledge had to be written down and we can tell you: that led to a lot of content. And after that? Lots of practice! Everything to capture the course on camera as well and as tightly as possible.
Lights, camera, action!
We can do a lot at Level Level… But to record videos for our online courses ourselves? That was a big challenge. That’s why we are very happy with our partner: Valo Media. Valo Media has taken all the worries out of our hands when it comes to creating a studio, recording the videos and post-processing them. And in addition, we were able to contact them with all of our questions. Thanks Valo Media! 🙌
“We like to make a difference together for all those people who benefit from accessible websites. The great thing is: we’re then really talking about everyone! And not only about the 20% of the population that officially has a disability. But also about you and me when we’re trying to order from that one webshop in a noisy environment or in bright sunlight.”
We developed an accessible online e-learning environment online. We used Learndash as an LMS and adapted it to our own needs. In addition, we have developed a custom theme where pages can be created in the backend in a simple way by means of Gutenberg blocks. Also not entirely unimportant: ordering and paying! That process should be a piece of cake, right? That’s why we work with WooCommerce.
During the development we did encounter a number of problems around accessibility in the used plugins. We have raised this with the developers of the plugins and we’ll keep a close eye on it. Unfortunately there’s no work around this sometimes, but we can at least contribute to the accessibility of the plugins. So we’re happy to do that!
Web accessibility experts
All courses are given by web accessibility experts (and we happen to have some in-house 😉 ). They are given in English and are supported by slides and written text underneath the videos. They are also all captioned. Now everyone can follow the course in their own way. The courses are divided into chapters, to make them more clear. Are you at the end of a chapter? Then there is a quiz. Are you finished with the complete course? Time for a final exam. Exciting! Passed? Congratulations! You will receive a certificate of excellence to hang above your desk or your bed! (Believe us, it’s way too pretty to hang above your toilet.)
Wow, a few weeks after the launch more than 80 students had already signed up for a course. The registrations keep coming in steadily and we have even congratulated the first graduates! We are proud of what we have achieved together and are looking forward to adding new courses. Of course we will continue to improve the platform.
Curious about the courses?
We already put a great number of courses on The A11Y Collective:
- Web accessibility, the basics: for all your basic knowledge about web accessibility.
- Accessible design, the basics: specific knowledge and skills for designers who want to learn more about making accessible designs.
- Accessible code, the basics: specific knowledge and skills for developers who want to learn more about writing accessible code (coming soon).
- Writing accessible content for the web: specific knowledge and skills for content marketers/editors who like to write accessible web texts.
- Web accessibility, the business case: for anyone who wants to learn more about the risks you can avoid with an accessible website and even better… the opportunities it creates! (free).
Not quite sure yet if enrolling in one of these courses is something for you? No problem. We have a free Try-out Class for anyone who wants to get a feel for the courses we offer. Try before you buy!
We’re not sitting still. At the moment we are working on a new course: Accessible code. Super important for the developers among us who want to grow in the field of building accessible websites. But it doesn’t stop there. In the coming months and years we will continue to add courses and master classes to The A11Y Collective. In addition, we will continue to improve the platform itself in order to make the user experience even more complete!
Let’s make the web accessible together!
Thrilled about web accessibility?
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We are up for any challenge!