FAQs on Digital Accessibility Regulations
As a university being inclusive is a core value for us. This includes the student experience and the learning content that we make available to our students. The new Public Sector Web Accessibility Regulations aim to support institutions in addressing the issues of digital accessibility.
As much as possible you will need to ensure that any documents or learning content you create are accessible. Any newly created content needs to be as accessible as possible. The accessibility regulations don’t require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential for active administrative processes or learning. Other learning content or documents that are actively used either by students or staff need to be accessible by Sept 2020. Video content does not have to be accessible until Sept 2020 and live video is exempt. Further guidance and advice will be become available but a range of information is also available via the Further Higher Education Digital Accessibility Working Group Toolkit
Over the next year, a range of support and advice will be made available. Right now, IT have a web page on the helpdesk pages, which provides advice and online guidance on how to create accessible documents. The TEL team have support and training on how to create accessible Blackboard courses. Support and guidance will also shortly be provided to those who are responsible for the University’s formal published documents such as policies and procedures. There will be other support and advice available at various points over the next academic year.
We want to provide as an inclusive learning experiences as possible. We recognise that not only does providing accessible content directly help those who have particular needs but it can be of benefit to everyone. That’s why we’re working hard over the next year to provide a digitally accessible experience for all students. The Disability and Dyslexia Service have guidance on a range of tools and services that can support your studies and IT help pages have some recommendations such as using the Immersive Reader in Office 365.