Digital Accessibility

What is Digital Accessibility?

“Digital accessibility is the ability of a website, mobile application or electronic document to be easily navigated and understood by a wide range of users, including those users who have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities”


Why is Accessibility Important?

1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability – this could be visual, hearing, motor or cognitive (affecting memory and thinking).
All users will have different needs at different times and in different circumstances e.g. location, health, equipment.

Key Principles

  • PERCEIVABLE e.g: text alternative, closed captions
  • OPERABLE e.g: Keyboard accessible
  • UNDERSTANDABLE e.g: Text should be organised with headings
  • ROBUST e.g: that works with assistive technology

Quick Start Accessibility Checklist

  • Blackboard Consistency – Don’t be tempted to change the menu.
    All module Blackboards built on the ‘standardised’ template have a link to Productivity tools, this link will guide staff and students to the range of productivity software packages on University PCs and also for the use at home.
  • Blackboard accessibility options.
    Within the Blackboard Global Navigation menu under settings there is guidance for changing Text size and High Contrast.
  • Materials should be available at least 48 hours in advance.
    Providing module information in advance helps all students understand what is expected of them, especially students with cognitive impairments and it allows all students to plan.
  • Meaningful file and folder names which include descriptions.
    This is helpful to all students not just those students using screen reading software.
  • Use of colour.
    Use colours that have correct contrast, i.e. dark text on light background, and avoid using patterned backgrounds.  Avoid yellow-blue or red-green combinations or using font colour alone to convey meaning.
  • Alt text for images.
    Include alternative text for any images, pictures or graphs that are essential to the learning .  Try to keep the description short but meaningful.
  • Avoid using underlined text.
    Do not use underline to emphasise words as this is indicative of a weblink on line.