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Samaritans transforms the accessibility and inclusivity of their volunteer core development training programme


About Samaritans

Samaritans is a charity dedicated to the vision that fewer people die by suicide. Over 20,000 volunteers provide emotional support, day and night, for anyone struggling to cope or in times of crisis.

Every 10 seconds, Samaritans volunteers answer a call for help from someone struggling to cope.

Their volunteer Core Development training programme plays a pivotal role in equipping volunteers with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide a safe, effective and positive experience for all who use the service.

Samaritans results highlights

Digital learning accessible to all learners including users of assistive technologies

Eliminating the need for paper-based versions of digital content

Refreshed look and feel with up-to-date brand guidelines

Content easily editable by in-house L&D team

The challenge

Samaritans sought assistance in updating their volunteer Core Development training programme. Their main challenge was that the digital modules were not accessible so the learning and development team had to produce Word versions for visually impaired learners. This was a source of frustration for these learners and their training teams. It also meant the Samaritans learning and development team had several sets of materials to amend with annual learning updates.

New Articulate Storyline templates were developed and existing content needed to be transferred. The Samaritans learning and development team did not have the resources and skills in house to do this.

With the goal of ensuring consistency and inclusivity, Samaritans aimed to:

  1. Ensure the digital learning is fully WCAG compliant so users of assistive technology could access the learning
  2. Transition their existing training content into Articulate Storyline 360 so that they could more easily manage future updates within their in-house learning and development team
  3. Incorporate their new branding guidelines in a dynamic and engaging way
  4. Implement new accessibility standards to ensure that the training content is inclusive and can be accessed by individuals with disabilities

What made Samaritans decide to use InfoAware over other solutions? 

“We were recommended by a fellow learning and development network member, with InfoAware offering reasonable and competitive pricing and a very helpful, friendly and patient team. Our key requirements for partnering with an external provider were their understanding of how to design truly accessible Articulate Storyline courses, patience and flexibility with timescales as volunteers were offering more of their time to test the outputs, and clearly labelled back-end content so we could easily edit in house.”

Edwina Daniels, Learning & Development Manager

The results


Through the implementation of accessibility standards, including compliance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Screen Readers, alongside working with Samaritans volunteer representatives to pilot, feedback and test the training, the Core development training programme now provides an inclusive learning experience for all.

InfoAware’s integration of new Samaritans branding guidelines ensured a consistent visual identity and learning experience across the training materials.

By working collaboratively with InfoAware, Samaritans were able to launch their new Core Development digital training modules in a shorter time frame than in-house.

The transition to Storyline 360 has enabled easy scalability of the training content in-house and reduced future costs associated with updates and revisions.

“We now have a very happy group of screen reader users! This has also helped our branch training teams, who are all volunteers too. They save time by not having to signpost learners to alternative learning material and can offer volunteering opportunities to a wider audience.”

Edwina Daniels, Learning & Development Manager

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