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The Floe Project assisted Lumen Learning by performing an analysis of some of the interactive assessments and learning tools within their platform. Floe provided Lumen short-term and long-term recommendations to help improve accessibility and inclusion. From this partnership, Floe created the "(Inclusive) Web Games and Simulations" entry in the Inclusive Learning Design Handbook as a resource to help other organizations.

The following is an analysis of the 'Utility Simulation' ( The findings below are not exhaustive - rather it provides examples of the kinds of issues to be aware of. Where appropriate, recommendations, resources, and possible solutions are given.

Also see Inclusivity and Accessibility of Interactive Web Games and Simulations for additional resources and guidance on creating accessible and inclusive interactive content.

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Significant Issues


For students who are more willing to explore and experiment, this simulation works well for them. If a student is more cautious or likes to understand things before acting, this simulation is unforgiving. Many times the learner is:

  • forced into advancing even though they may not be ready
  • unable to go back and choose different options
  • not given opportunity to review concepts
  • Give more options for users to retry and review.
  • Change wording of choices as to not make the student feel they have failed to understand.

Screen readers offer higher degree of control of navigation than just conventional keyboard interaction. This unfortunately allows a screen reader user to get into states which break the experience of the simulation:

  • items which are supposed to be non-interactative and hidden are focusable by the screen reader and are read out loud
  • inconsistent focus order
  • Elements which are supposed to be completely hidden to users, including screen readers, should follow established techniques.
  • Improving document structure through use of HTML semantic elements, and WAI-ARIA should help improve screen reader navigation and focus order.
  • Focus order should go from top to bottom and left to right in most cases.
  • Test with users of screen readers and keyboard users to further identify issues.
Important visuals (like graphs and tables) are background images which are inaccessible to screen readers. These images also lack any text descriptions.
  • Use W3C recommended technique for describing complex graphics.
  • Background images are for cosmetic purposes only. Graphs should have appropriate use of <figure> and <img> elements.
  • Graphs should have data tables (possible implementation described later in this document)
  • Tables should be HTML <table> and not images.