- Do you teach online using MS Teams or Zoom?
- Do you use QMplus in your teaching?
- Do you use Microsoft PowerPoint in your teaching?
- Do you use videos/images/audio in your teaching?
If the answer to any of the above is yes, or if you are not involved in teaching yourself but provide support in developing teaching materials, then you should be aware of digital accessibility principles. This page outlines the wider benefits of considering accessibility when creating digital materials and provides links to other resources that will assist you in making your teaching materials accessible.
What is Digital Accessibility?
EU law and UK Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations states that all the digital content created for teaching must be accessible to students who have any disability or accessibility requirements. These regulations have further strengthened the rules around digital accessibility, i.e. the ability of a website, mobile application or electronic document (e.g. MS Word/PowerPoint/Excel and PDFs) to be easily navigated and understood by a wide range of users, including those users who have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities. It also includes materials provided on QMplus. An accessible content means the one which can be read/accessed/operated by ‘assistive’ or ‘enabling’ technologies.The World Wide Web Consortium has developed Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) guidance for web accessibility. These guidelines explain how to create accessible documents, multimedia and other content. It is based on four principles of digital accessibility, according to which content should be:
- Perceivable – e.g. images and videos should be accompanied by text descriptions
- Operable – e.g. websites should be designed so that people can engage with it only using only a keyboard
- Understandable – e.g. text should be organised with headings
- Robust – e.g. websites should be designed to work with assistive technologies and other user tools.
How can you make your content accessible?
- We have created a QMplus area that helps you understand the wider benefits of considering accessibility when creating digital materials, provides hands-on experience of identifying some of the primary accessibility challenges, and gives you a basic toolkit to help you make your digital content more accessible.
- Follow our QMplus Baseline Standards. If you follow the guidance in our baseline standards you will already be on your way to creating more accessible content.
- Blackboard Ally is a plugin that integrates with QMplus and provides guidance to users to improve the quality of their content. It also produces alternative document formats for students.
- SensusAccess – is a self-service portal for educational institutions. It allows students, faculties and staff to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media including audio books (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi) and digital Braille.
- QMUL Disability and Dyslexia Services website has very helpful guidance on inclusive teaching and learning practices.