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Is Your Online Presence Accessible?

It’d better be, and fast. It’s been nearly thirty years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. Businesses had two years to comply, but many businesses were still not compliant a decade later. It wasn’t until people with special needs started suing businesses, that the tide began to turn. Today, people use ramps to enter buildings, closed captioning to learn the daily news, and receive audible instructions to alert them when it is safe to cross the street. More people benefit from these adaptations to our physical world than most people imagined when the ADA became law in 1990.

While there’s been substantial progress in making the physical world accessible, the same is not true online. Even though the same federal laws apply, universities and businesses have been slow to change. For example, a blind university student pays the same tuition as everyone else, but the experience is not “equivalent”. Many times, required online courses and materials are not e…
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Veteran Award Winning E-Learning Studio Combines with Austin edTech Gaming Startup

Enspire Learning and sonarDesign have combined forces to create a Next Gen digital studio. The studio is focused on providing interactive e-learning and simulations to new employees entering the workforce that have grown up surrounded by high production-value video games.

“Companies need e-learning with engaging interactivity, but they can't afford it,” explains Mary Maltbie, CEO of Austin-based Enspire. “E-learning projects start out with the desire for simulations, but training budgets are small, so interactivity ends up on the cutting room floor.” Having earned official designation as a leading gamification company through Training Industry for the past three years, Enspire was looking for a platform that would enable it to create immersive, interactive learning in a fraction of the typical development cost. “We’ve been looking for an unfair competitive advantage, and knew we had found it after our first meeting with sonarDesign,” says Bjorn Billhardt, Founder and Chairman of …

Making Interactive Learning Content Accessible. Easily.

Sonar is really impressive; it's fast, flexible, the editor has a lot of features and looks easy to use. But is the content we'd create with it accessible? This question was posed to our team after demonstrating Sonar for a room full of learning content developers, designers, and management. At that point in time, the answer was 'no.' We quickly learned that accessibility is a huge, huge issue for interactive learning content authors and their users. A great deal of interactive learning content (labs, simulations, and other activities) in use today is not accessible and this is creating a lot of heartburn - and lawsuits - for universities, colleges, other education institutions using this learning content online. 

That day we accepted the challenge to make the Sonar Platform support accessibility. This was not a small undertaking. Part of the Sonar Platform's power is that it takes great advantage of HTML5's features and cross-platform compatibility while smooth…