People, Culture and Inclusion

Digital Accessibility.

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Digital Accessibility.

When creating anything in the digital environment, be it in Word, PowerPoint, on a web page or in Blackboard, digital accessibility should be at the heart. Making sure your digital content is accessible benefits everyone.

1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability. Not all disabilities are obvious and you don’t know whether someone with a disability might need to access your content, either now or in the future.

And accessible content supports everyone. More and more people are watching videos now, with the sound off and closed captions on. There are also circumstances where people may experience temporary impairments – a few years back I temporarily lost my hearing after a nasty ear infection.

So isn’t it better to ensure we are meeting a basic level of digital accessibility from the start? Yes, absolutely. In fact, there is legislation which outlines what that level is.

But isn’t digital accessibility hard to do? Well, in some cases you might need to get advice and support from those ‘in the know’ – our Faculty Learning Technologists and IT Services colleagues spring immediately to mind. But we all have a part to play in making sure what we do and create is inclusive; often it’s not nearly as difficult or complicated as you might think.

For example, when creating a Word or PowerPoint document, making sure you use the right font type (i.e. sans-serif fonts) at the right font size (at least 12 for Word and 24 for PowerPoint) makes a huge difference.

So I urge everyone to seek the training and support you need with this.

Across the University, there are a number of training opportunities and resources available to support staff, such as:

Also, for the past two years, I have attended the Kent Digital Accessibility Conference and I have shared the session resources below for anyone who would find these useful:

June 2019 Conference

June 2020 Conference

Zoe Connell, Organisational and People Development

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