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Accessibility requirements in your role

Every single colleague who creates digital content can play a crucial role in making our University inclusive, and help us meet legal requirements around digital accessibility. People with accessibility needs require accessible content and you can find first hand accounts from colleages in the University how digital accessibility is helping them (Digital Accessibility – Learning from People with Lived Experience).

Have you thought about how digital accessibility is relevant in your role? Find a statement that matches your role at the University to see how you can support the University.

I teach students and or do research

When you are writing up your lecture notes or research reports it is important to make these document accessible. Using heading styles, simple tables with the header row marked, providing alternative text for images, and using descriptive text for links are some of the techniques to make documents accessible.

When making presentations to any audience (to students or at a conference) it is important to think about how to cater to people with disabilities. If there is a blind person in the audience they will miss slide content you don’t read out loud while a deaf person will miss out anything that is not there on the slides (unless there is real time captioning or signing for the session).

If you are using slides for your lessons, you will need to think about how easy they are to be read from a distance (font size and colours). If you are using any video/audio content, check whether there are captions/transcript available. Before you share the slides or notes on Blackboard, check the document passes accessibility check. These are some of the techniques to make presentations accessible.

By sharing the accessible presentation ahead of time, you can make the session more accessible to everyone.

Making documents more accessible

Making presentations more accessible

Digital accessibility for all (UoRLearn course)

I create and or commission documents in Word or PDF formats

Using heading styles, simple tables with header row marked, providing alternative text for images, and using descriptive text for links are some of the techniques to make documents accessible.

Before saving a document as a PDF it is important that you remember to give that document a title via File > Info > Document Title. This is because when a Word document is saved as a PDF, the PDF takes the document title from this location. If you have not given a document title, this will be reported as an accessibility error.

When you are saving a document as PDF, it is important to use Save As or Create PDF option and never Print to PDF because Printing to PDF removes all accessibility features from the document.

If you are commissioning any digital content from a third party, get an agreement from the supplier that the supplied content will be fully accessible to WCAG 2.2 AA standard. If the supplied document does not pass an automated accessibility check send it back and ask them to meet the requirements. You can use Adobe Acrobat Pro or freely available PDF Accessibility Checker to test PDF documents.

Making documents more accessible

Making PDF more accessible

Digital accessibility for all (UoRLearn course)

I create or update web content

Our website must be WCAG 2.2 AA compliant, and it is your responsibility to help the University achieve this by creating accessible content. As a web editor, you are required to complete the course Creating accessible online content (UoRLearn)

Correctly nested headings, image descriptions or alternative text for images, correctly structured tables, sufficient colour contrast (if you have ability to change colours), and readability are some techniques that will help you to make more accessible content.

If you are linking to videos or audio make sure that there is captions or transcript to make those accessible.

It is important that you do not copy and paste content directly on to the website. Copying and pasting content from different locations can carry forward existing styling that override system settings. This can introduce issues especially relating to colours and keyboard accessibility. If you must copy content from elsewhere, paste the content on to a Notepad (this strips out all styles) and copy it from there to the editor. There is also "Format Stripper" function available in Sitecore Rich Text Editor which you can use to strip out formatting if you are copying and pasting content.

Creating accessible online content (UoRLearn course) - compulsory for web editors

Creating accessible online content (guide)

Digital accessibility for all (UoRLearn course)

I am a designer

If you are producing digital content, you should meet WCAG 2.2 AA standard.

Think about various users who will be using the content produced. Will they be able to engage with the content you produce? For example, if you use colour to differentiate content, people with colour vision deficiency will not be able to engage with that content.

Accessible use of colour

Digital accessibility for all (UoRLearn course)

I commission or create video or podcasts

All videos should have captions and podcasts (or audio) should be accompanied by a transcript.

Videos also need audio descriptions. Audio description is an audio track explaining important visual information announced by a narrator. This is mainly to support users who may not be able to see the images of the video.

When creating videos avoid anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period. This includes strobe lighting, flashing images, some animations, etc.  Photosensitive epilepsy can be triggered by flashing images in videos. If flashing images cannot be avoided in a video due to the content or type of video created, provide an advance warning to the user.

Some videos are created with messages displayed without audio narration. If this is the type of video you want to create, think about how this can be made accessible to user who is visually impaired. You could provide a document of the video content (similar to a transcript) or you can narrate the messages in the video.

Making audio and video accessible

Digital accessibility for all (UoRLearn course)