Summary of edX Introduction to Web Accessibility course

Even though I have accessibility knowledge that I acquired from different sources, I wanted a course that gave me a good foundation and boost my confidence going forward in my learning journey. So, I took the Introduction to Web Accessibility course on the edX platform in summer/autumn of 2023.

The course itself is free, but you can pay to get a certificate. Here's my certificate. The content of the course is adapted from W3C materials, which gave me confidence that it's useful information.

Some sections are more technical than others, but I think overall it's a general accessibility course for the web and it can be done by people in different roles and not just engineers and designers. There's a lot of information about building a case for accessibility and maintaining the culture that would be very well suited for project managers or other decision makers in an organisation.

I spent about 5 hours a week going through the materials and doing the quizzes. Each module has a quiz at the end, and the score counts towards your final score. I think the difficulty was about average, and I only struggled if there were sections I didn't pay attention to.

Things I liked about the course:

Things that could be improved:

Quick overview #

Module 1 #

A very gentle and real world introduction to accessibility. It emphasises that accessibility is about people and not standards and checklists.

Module 2 #

This module is led by Henny Swan and is based on How People with Disabilities Use the Web. It explains different types of disabilities:

and how people use assistive technology.

Module 3 #

This module is based on the WAI resource The Business Case for Digital Accessibility. It goes into the benefits that come from boosting accessibility in an organisation. The content was illustrated with a fake company use case, and I found the videos quite entertaining. I feel this content would benefit project/product managers a lot.

Module 4 #

The most technical of the modules, as it goes into the 4 WCAG principles:

It also defines the scope of other W3C accessibility standards, such as ATAG and UAAG.

This module also covers some WAI ARIA basics, but I found this section and the quiz a little bit confusing.

Some of the content in this module inspired me to write guidance at work regarding accessible blog posts for our engineering blog. It's got a lot of practical advice and is probably the most content rich module, so I would allow for more time for it.

Module 5 #

The concluding module is all about planning and maintaining accessibility in your organisation, establishing policies and understanding that accessibility is an ongoing commitment. It's based on the W3C's Planning and Managing Web Accessibility.

And that's the end of the course! This is a worthwile course in my opinion, with a lot of useful information and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a solid foundation in accessibility knowledge.