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Accessibility can be defined as “the quality of being able to be reached or entered”. The Oxford online dictionary defines accessibility as “how easy something is to reach, enter, use”. That is accessibility denotes everyone (including people with disabilities) is able to use a space, product, or service. In this document, accessibility is considered as the ease of which everyone, including people with disabilities, can reach, enter or use something. 

Accessibility Statement

A detailed, comprehensive, and clear statement produced by a public sector body on the compliance of its website or mobile application with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Alt Text

Alt Text or Alternative Text is a textual substitute for non-textual content. Alternative text works with assistive technologies to help users perceive content. Search engines use alternative text in assessing page content and purpose and if non-text content fails to load, the browser presents the alternative text in place of the non-text content.

Alternative Formats

Alternative formats are different ways information can be provided for people with accessibility needs. For example, a document can be provided as standard print, large print, audio or braille to help people access the information. Blackboard Ally can create audio and electronic braille alternatives for students with visual impairments.

Assistive Technologies

Assistive technology describes products or systems that support and assist individuals with disabilities, to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.

Audio Descriptions

Audio describing the key visual elements in media for the benefit of visually impaired viewers. 


Captions are designed for viewers who have hearing impairments and may not be able to hear what is there in the audio. Captions identify speakers, capture non-speech elements, and provide a word-for-word text version of the speech. Captions can either be open or closed. Open captions are burnt into the video, are always in view and cannot be turned off. In contrast, closed captions can be turned on or off by the user.

Colour Contrast

The difference in light between the foreground (text) and its background is referred to as the colour contrast. Sufficient colour contrast, at least 4.5:1 contrast for normal text and 3:1 contrast for large text, is recommended in the WCAG 2.2 AA standard.

Colour Vision Deficiency

People with colour vision deficiency (generally known as colour blindness) have difficulty identifying and distinguishing between colours. This affects about 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women.

Digital Accessibility

Digital accessibility is the practice of making digital products, such as websites, mobile apps, documents, and other online tools, accessible to everyone. 

Screen Reader

A screen reader is an assistive technology, a software program that reads the content and navigation on the computer screen using speech or Braille output. This can help visually impaired users and people who find it difficult to read text on a screen. JAWS and NVDA are commonly used screen reader software. Narrator for Windows and VoiceOver for Apple devices are also in-built screen readers.

Speech to Text

Speech-to-text software is also an assistive technology for people with motor disabilities making it difficult to type. It can also help reduce/avoid making mistakes when typing and can be an aid for people with Dyslexia or other learning difficulties. 


Subtitles are designed for people who can hear but may not understand the language of the video. They are the text version of what is spoken.

Text to Speech

Text-to-speech is an assistive technology that helps users by reading out text content. On a Windows computer, you can use the Microsoft Convert Text to Speech app. On Microsoft Word, you can try the Read Aloud on the Review tab.

The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018

This is the current digital accessibility related legislation in the UK. The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 came into enforcement in several stages. As of 23rd June 2021, all parts of the regulation are enforced.

Three Flashes Rule

Flickering, flashing, and strobe lighting can trigger seizures in individuals with photosensitive epilepsy. The Three Flashes Rule is to ensure there is no content that flashes more than three times in any one-second period to avoid triggering seizures in the users.


A textual version of the speech in an audio or video.

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

A document explaining to what extent an ICT product conforms to the 508 Standard required by law in the US. 

Web Accessibility 

Web accessibility is the practice of designing and developing websites, web tools, and web technologies for everyone so that people with disabilities can use them.


Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a set of guidelines developed with the aim to provide a single shared standard for web content. The current version 2.2 was published on 5 October 2023. There are three levels of compliance for WCAG: Level A, Level AA, and Level AAA, which is the most accessible level.