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Accessibility mode is dead… Long live accessibility!

Adapt framework version 4 – released yesterday – has seen the community work hard to put accessibility for all at the heart of this open source e-learning tech. Starting by getting rid of the accessibility mode. Yes, really…

One of the things we at Can Studios value about Adapt-based elearning is creating courses that are more accessible – for example to learners with sight loss who use screen readers. In fact – Adapt has been one of the leading elearning technologies for accessibility.

A recent project saw us really put Adapt to the test on accessibility.

It was definitely the best tool for the job, and we’re proud of what we achieved for the client. But this challenge also revealed where we – the Adapt Learning community – could do better.

So I don’t think anyone is more excited than the Can Studios team that the main focus of this latest release has been to improve the functionality for accessible learning.

It’s a testament to the Adapt Community’s determination on this front that there is no longer an accessibility mode. Yes – you heard me right – because the Adapt v4 framework is always accessible.

Adapt v4 framework is always accessible… a person using assistive technology won’t have to enable a special mode – it’s there as the norm…


Paul Hilton

Can Studios Technical Director

For example, a person using assistive technology won’t have to enable a special mode – it’s there as the norm (just invisible to anyone who doesn’t need it, clever eh?).

Other specific improvements include:

  • greatly improved keyboard access – only interactive elements of the page will receive tab focus when there’s no screen reader running
  • headings now state what’s been completed and what hasn’t, allowing a screen reader user to quickly find any incomplete content on a page
  • page level progress functionality is further enhanced by the addition of completion indicators (which can be enabled at page/article/block/component level)
  • the media component now remembers the learner’s choice of closed caption setting, so they only have to set this once per course.

Those who worked on this release have done an amazing job – we’re proud of and grateful to them all. But the framework update is just the start.

Over the coming months the software team here at Can Studios will be working on integrating our Adapt from Can Studios authoring package with the version 4 framework. [UPDATE: As of 4 October 2019, new Adapt from Can Studios authoring tools will run on the v4 framework.]

It’s the authoring tool – especially our Lite mode and Preview editor – that makes it easy for just about anyone to create responsive, engaging, HTML5 elearning with Adapt.

In the meantime – if you need help building a course using version 4 of the framework do get in touch. As an official collaborator on the Adapt Learning project, we’d be delighted to help!


Find out more about Adapt framework v4 from the Adapt Community Forum