In the months preceding the global pandemic, Universities were busy undertaking work ensuring that they were compliant with the newly introduced Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations (PSBAR).
The new regulations brought digital accessibility into a sharper focus more than ever before, and whilst noncompliance could lead to penalties being levied at the feet of an organisation, it was the inclusion of the VLE and the focus on content creation that introduced the academic squarely into the equation. By the commencement of the 2020/21 academic year, Universities must provide accessibility statements for their websites, must ensure that content within their VLE is compliant and must provide closed captions for time-based media.
In March 2020, as teaching quickly shifted into the digital space, this session explores whether the global pandemic acted as a catalyst for, or a distraction from, compliance with PSBAR and the pursuit of digital accessibility for all.
By presenting current data gathered from over one hundred Universities in the UK, this session will examine how Universities responded to the global pandemic and how the shift to online delivery accelerated work in the field of digital accessibility. The session will also look at the challenges that the global pandemic poses for Universities and how the systematisation of digital accessibility, through the use of format-shifting technologies and auto-generated caption providers, is both problematic and potentially harmful.
This session looks to explore the complexities of digital accessibility and how the challenges facing Universities have been reconceptualised by the global pandemic.