What challenges can arise when ensuring the accessibility of government e-learning content created with DITA?

Ensuring the accessibility of government e-learning content created with DITA can be a complex endeavor. Accessibility is crucial to ensure that all learners, including those with disabilities, can access and benefit from the training materials. Several challenges can arise when striving to make DITA-based e-learning content accessible.

Content Structure and Semantic Markup

One challenge lies in structuring the content and using semantic markup effectively. DITA provides a rich set of elements, but it’s essential to use them correctly to convey the intended meaning. For instance, ensuring that headings are appropriately tagged with semantic <title> elements, lists are marked up with <ul> and <li> for unordered lists, and tables are well-structured using DITA’s table elements. This ensures that assistive technologies can interpret and present the content properly to users with disabilities.

Alternative Text for Multimedia

Another challenge involves providing alternative text for multimedia content like images and videos. Images should have descriptive alt text that conveys their content and purpose to users who cannot see them. DITA allows for this by including alt text within the <image> element. For example:

<image href="example.jpg" alt="A pie chart showing quarterly revenue" />

Keyboard Accessibility and Navigation

Keyboard accessibility and navigation are crucial aspects of e-learning accessibility. All interactive elements within DITA-based training materials, such as quizzes or interactive simulations, should be operable and navigable using a keyboard alone. This ensures that learners with mobility impairments or those who rely on keyboard navigation can fully engage with the content.