Digital Accessibility in higher education refers to a set of practices that ensure online learning content is accessible to all the users. It improves the site experience of the learners and educators by providing the customise accessibility options to suit their individual needs.
Digital Accessibility is necessary because it:
Promotes inclusive learning practices.
Ensures Users can create, communicate, learn and collaborate without any barriers.
Provides alternative options to access the content, which can increase student engagement.
Encourages faculty to be mindful of the needs of the diverse group of learners while preparing the lectures.
access & use accessibility features
Find out how to access and use the accessibility features on:
Blackboard Ultra: Blackboard provides a list of accessibility features. Within Blackboard there is also a service called Blackboard Ally which works in the background and will ‘convert’ files uploaded to Blackboard into multiple alternative formats.
Blackboard Collaborate offers support for screen readers (full-screen and browser), as well as the ability to navigate using a keyboard.
Microsoft provides inbuilt accessibility features for Word, PowerPoint, and Teams.
Panopto accessibility features help students to easily navigate and read the Panopto web interface using captioning and screen readers.
Padlet currently offers basic support for screen readers and the ability to navigate the login page and dashboard using the keyboard only.
Accessibility features in PDFs (Acrobat, and Acrobat Reader).
Operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Chromebook (Chrome OS), Android and iOS.
Make your content accessible
Find out how to make (author) content accessible using the following tools:
Blackboard Ally is a tool that staff can use to make their module content in Blackboard accessible to all users. It does this by automatically scanning course content and providing accessibility scores and feedback on how to improve the accessibility of the content, as well as generating alternative accessible formats for uploaded files that students can download for their personal use.
Training and Support
News and Events
Digital Accessibility Awareness Week: The University of Westminster celebrated Global Accessibility Awareness Day(GAAD) by organising a week-long series of webinars. Check our blog page to access the recordings of the sessions, and valuable resources shared during the week.
Learning Innovation and Digital Engagement (LIDE) Team is committed to promoting inclusive digital learning practices at the University of Westminster. Contact us to share feedback regarding the accessibility features of learning tools.
Further guide on using your own device to make your mobile technology work smarter
Disability Learning Support: If you need further assistance, contact the Disability Learning Support Team. They have appointed Disability Advisers and Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD). Advisers are available to help you, as well as Disability Tutors at each campus who can answer questions related to your course. Each library also has a Disability Support Representative.
Understanding new accessibility requirements: New regulations from the government mean public sector organisations have a legal duty to make sure websites and apps meet accessibility requirements.
Last Updated March/2023