Information Services

Accessibility

There is a requirement to make course materials that do not put any person on the course at a disadvantage. The University Disability office will inform you if you have to make any adjustments to your materials for a student who may require materials in alternative formats.

Accessible and Inclusive Learning | IAD

The Institute of Academic Development has compiled a list of resources that may of use for thinking about accessible and inclusive learning across the whole student experience. The below links may also be of interest to you.

When investing your time designing your course it can be advantageous to design with accessibility and universal use from the outset. This will not only make you more prepared if you have to make any adjustments to your content, but will also offer all students on your course the ability to benefit from some of the adjustments that you have made.

There are many advantages of having your files created electronically as many web browsers, and content reading software will have built-in accessibility features that you may have used before:

  • Changing Font Size
  • Zoom in/out
  • Changing colour of materials
  • Screen reading
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Subtitling in videos

General advice

Do This

  • Use the built-in content editor to layout your content
  • Use the Heading tags to break up your content (heading 1, heading 2)
  • Copy/Paste information into the content editor using plain text
  • Add meaningful alternative text when adding images (Learn will prompt you to do this)
  • Only use data tables for displaying content that would naturally be presented in a table
  • Get into the practice of adding subtitles when creating videos
  • Create transcriptions of audio only materials

Avoid this

  • Avoid changing font sizes and colours from the default course theme
  • Avoid using data tables to create customised layouts of content into multiple columns
  • Avoid uploading images that contain lots of text
  • Copying lots of pre-formatted code from a website or MS Word

Blackboard Accessibility Checklist

Download this simple accessibility checklist from Blackboard to see some of the quick tips for how to make sure you are adding accessible content to your courses.

Universal Design

We have heard from many courses in the University that have found that making their courses available online and designed in an accessible manner has provided many benefits to all students.

Examples of benefits of accessible design may include:

  • Ability to read/view materials on a mobile device
  • Ability to watch a video in a quiet location without disturbing others, or where a device is unable to play sounds
  • Ability to review materials multiple times if sound was unclear or the language was complex or unfamiliar
  • Easier to find materials within a page because of clear heading structure

Equality Impact Assessment

Blackboard Learn complies with relevant legislation for accessibility and the University EQIA can be found at the link below:

Content that is uploaded by course instructors and students may not meet all web accessibility guidelines. Using the built-in content editing tool will encourage you to follow correct formatting settings, and will prompt you when you need to add accessible elements such as alternative text for images.