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Digital Accessibility

Since 23rd September 2020, all digital materials in current use, and any new digital materials created to be shared, are required by law (equality legislation) to be fully accessible so that everyone can access them. We recognise that colleagues are currently at different stages of working towards achieving this.

If accessibility standards are new to you, you will need to spend a little time engaging with them. Common examples include: ensuring that videos have subtitles or a text equivalent (e.g. identical transcript), structuring documents and slides to be read by screenreaders (via use of headers, etc.), and following best-practice guidelines about dyslexia and red/green colour-blindness, (re. fonts, colours etc). Blackboard Ally (in Canvas) can help identify most issues in your existing module content and advise on how to fix them (although it will not pick up inaccessible videos).

Please continue being creative! It is important not to let concerns about the legislation stop you providing varied formats such as video. Design accessibly going forwards, for example generate automated subtitles/a transcript to accompany your video. Similarly, some great pedagogical tools may not yet be fully accessible (e.g. some online collaborative or e-portfolio tools). Be mindful in your use of any tool - look for the most accessible option which meets your pedagogical need, and if something is not fully accessible, ensure that all learners are able to engage in the learning process, via alternate means if necessary.

Getting started with creating accessible learning materials

We have a 'getting started with creating accessible learning materials' guide in our HAL Canvas course, together with detailed guidance, advice, and additional how-to guides on all elements of digital accessibility.

Some of our resources are publicly available via our resources page - search for 'access'.

The UK government has provided some useful do's and don'ts for designing accessibly available as an image with text versions available.

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