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”Source: https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/digital-accessibility
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. It is important that all of our online resources are accessible. The Public sector bodies (websites and mobile applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 has ‘an accessibility requirement for online resources based on the principles below:
- 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
- Blackboard Consistency – Where possible try to adhere to the template provided.
- Blackboard accessibility options.
- 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.