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The course is a really interesting one, but the journey through the course is quite long and challenging too. The challenge does not lie within the syllabus of the course, but within the time taken to complete each module of the course due to various accessibility issues within the site. The issue of accessibility or in other words not being able to access the site efficiently is a challenge faced by almost all the visually impaired persons, as the sites seem to be too complicated for the screen reader software (jaws) that we use. Keeping this in mind, i thought it would be good to note down my experiences which will also include the challenges i came across to
complete the course. Hope my experience will be of some use in order to make room for improvement so that many disabled people in particular the people with visual impairment may not be faced with such issues in the days to come.

I started registering for the course on the 12th of May after I received the link to the course from my colleague who had also completed the course. I managed with the help of the link to enter in to the site. Once I got there, the site gave me 2 options through which I would be able to register myself.  The first one is through Google and the other one by providing my email address.  I took to the 1st way that is registering myself  through Google as I was of an impression that registering  through Google would be  easier as my details  would be pre fetched already and just a few clicks was all that was required in order to be registered in to the site.  It was not long before I realised that my understanding was wrong as it took me almost 2 hours before I could give up and take to the 2nd way that is to provide my e-mail address and register myself. The first challenge that i would like to bring to the notice of ones going through this is that I’m sure that for a normal person or for a person who doesn’t need to use the screen reading software, the registration process wouldn’t take more than a few minutes. But in my case i needed almost
3 to 4 hours just to complete the registration process.  This is because, of the clash between the site and the screen reading software that i use. With some external help i completed the process successfully. So in short the first challenge that I faced was that it was needlessly time consuming and i couldn’t be self-reliant.

Before i could go in to further details, let me give you a brief description of how the course is structured so that you may have a better understanding as we go further, each module of the course comprises of a few lessons. Each lesson is been  given to us in the form of an YouTube video and audio give credit to those who were responsible in making those  videos,  the audios were very
clear, concise and of very good quality. After the video is played, the participants are required to go through a knowledge test which goes like this. Participants are given a few scenario based questions, which are mainly taken from the video that he or she just went through.    Once that has been successfully  completed  without
taking in to consideration the number of attempts the person took in order to go through it,  the lesson is then complete and participants are directed to the next lesson. After the entire module is complete, there is quiz conducted to ensure that the participants gained sufficient knowledge on that particular topic. Only if the
participant manages to give all correct answers again without taking in to consideration the number of attempts taken by a person only then  he or she can move to the next topic. Similarly the participants are required to complete 26 modules after which he can earn his certificate. I started with the first module of the course on 13th May 2020.  The first part where i was asked  to listen to the audio
went on really smooth, but  towards the end where i was asked to take
the knowledge test i started facing issues because it was required of
me to click on the right answer by clicking on the button that
contained the answer.

The challenging part here is that since i use only keyboard and not mouse it is not possible to click on the right answer with keyboard or with jaws, and i as a person with visual impairment cannot use mouse to perform the operation. So i found
another alternative of using my mobile phone where i use a software
that is popularly known as talk back. Like this i was able to complete the modules. Here i was faced with another challenge that on my phone i wasn’t able to take the quiz for some strange reason so I had to switch on to my laptop only for that there were another set of questions which actually took a lot of time for me to figure out how to go about completing them and they were the ones that are usually the most easiest ones to answer that is the true or false questions. Again needless to say, the difficulty was because of the inaccessible site.

I will get back with more of my experience as i journey along. I start again from where i left off. After i got accustomed to the course and how it works, I am pleased to write that the course went on very smoothly. In fact smoother than I actually expected. In terms of the speed also I didn’t have much problem. As the course progressed on the 19th of May i came across a few modules where the videos were mainly focused on explaining how graphics and visuals are really important in today’s digital world. This again was a new challenge for me as the questions at the end of the video were based  on the graphs to be more precise, the options
given below the questions which i needed to answer were shown in the
form of a graph.  and therefore  neither jaws software that I use on
my computer nor the  talk back software  on my phone were able to help
me with answering these questions.

So how i managed on answering these set of questions is an immediate doubt that would have crossed the minds of many reading this. To be honest i took a wild guess as to which one maybe the right one, failing many times I anyway managed to complete it. I know that it is not the accurate way of doing it but i was left with no other alternative. I completed the course on the 23rd May 2020.

Key learnings:

1. The importance of going digital in today’s world.
2. The advantages and the disadvantages of an online store.
3. Most importantly the importance of communication, and being relevant at all times.