Digital accessibility is about everyone – every student and every staff member and everyone we interact with. It is about ensuring that we present digital content in the best way possible. We will all have experienced problems at some time with accessing content via our digital devices. Whilst improvements have been made, there is still too much content, which can be hard to use. New legislation (The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018) means that our institutions all have a duty to make our systems and resources as accessible as possible. Everyone involved in teaching and learning at a University should be aware of what is required and applying principles of digital accessibility design in their day-to-day work.
This workshop session will focus on simple steps that can be taken to make materials and resources more digitally accessible – for everyone. We all need to be familiar with digital accessibility, what it means and what we can do to create accessible VLEs and websites.
We will look at two aspects of digital accessibility:
1) The VLE and its content: In general, the framework of a VLE is accessible but once content is added, it can become very difficult for some students to use. In this session, we will look at the types of content we create, whether they are accessible or inaccessible and how we make our resources ‘born accessible’.
2) Tools that staff and students can use in their devices to make resources more accessible. Our devices (computers, tablets, mobile phones) all have accessibility features built-in but few people know what these are and how to use them. We will look at some of the features and how they can be used.
Accessibility is essential for disabled students, who often simply cannot use the technology without the accessibility built in, but increasing evidence also shows that many of the things we can do benefit every user-staff and students.
A laptop/tablet and headphones would be most useful for this session.
Everyone who comes will learn something new – and something they wish they had known 5 years ago!
– An introduction to digital accessibility; What does ‘born accessible’ mean?; Introduction to the Quick Checklist for digital accessibility; The importance of VLE accessibility – moral and legal
10 Practical tasks:
– The webaim colour contrast checker – how you can make your colours compliant ?
– Accessibility in published documents (font, size, colour, hyperlinks)
– VLE organisation
– Computer adjustments that aid accessibility
– Screen-reading – how to read your screen aloud
– Ways to improve proof-reading
– Software for recording reading
– Software for planning work
– Format conversion – making files more accessible
– Some accessibility apps (eg Seeing AI)
APPGAT, 2018. Policy Connect. [Online]
Available at: https://www.policyconnect.org.uk/appgat/sites/site_appgat/files/report/436/fieldreportdownload/appgatreport09-18finalweb.pdf
Ilona, A., 2018. How we’re helping public sector websites meet accessibility requirements. [Online]
Available at: https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2018/09/24/how-were-helping-public-sector-websites-meet-accessibility-requirements/
Institute for Employment Studies, 2017. Models of support for students with disabilities (A report to HEFCE). [Online]
Available at: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/media/HEFCE,2014/Content/Pubs/Independentresearch/2017/Models,of,support,for,students,with,disabilities/2017_modelsofsupport_(updated).pdf
UK Government , 2018. The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018. [Online]
Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/852/contents/made