Digital accessibility is quite simply the extent to which your audience can access your digital resources – and by access we mean absorb and understand as well as being able to locate and open the resources themselves.
Digital accessibility is a part of our responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 to provide equal opportunities for those with disabilities. But it is also in many cases just sensible good practice, which will create a better learning experience for all students.
As an institution, in response to the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018, UWE must ensure that our website and the online tools we use are accessible. However, the requirements also apply to the learning materials themselves, not just the platform they are on. This means all UWE teaching staff need to understand and apply digital accessibility principles to the content they produce.
Tools and resources
Blackboard Ally is a tool that is part of the Blackboard virtual learning environment and will help you gauge the accessibility of your content, as well as providing students with alternative formats on request.
Office 365 applications have their own accessibility tools, such as the accessibility checker in Word and PowerPoint.
From July 2020, captioning of recordings in Panopto will be done automatically. Please read the guidance on the intranet.
Learn how to write alternative text for images to make them more accessible.
There are various tools to check colour contrast in your resources (to make them more accessible to those with visual impairment). See this LIU article on contrast checkers.
See the Learning Development Centre’s Blackboard Train resources on accessibility for all the basic information, including information on Blackboard Ally, creating accessible documents, and links to UWE’s accessible branded templates.
Articles related to Accessibility
How to open new content in a separate tab or window.
Microsoft Translate can be used to translate or transcribe audio, text, and even text in images.
How to improve accessibility on your self-created video resources by creating a captions file in YouTube.
Make your desktop recordings more accessible by using Panopto automatic captioning.
For teaching staff who have joined the Faculty recently, or existing staff who’d like a reminder…
Why does my Blackboard Announcement email not include my subject heading? Read on for the solution.
Download audio from Panopto to make podcasts or use in Xerte.
Some archived, but still useful, content from the old Blackboard Support pages.
For 2020/21: All the guidance you need to know about reading lists in one place
Quickly add captions to all your Kaltura recordings.
Changes to the 2020/21 FET Blackboard Module Template and other support to help you create an accessible module site.
IMPORTANT: Please read before setting up your new 2020/21 Blackboard module runs.
We have pulled together a range of resources to help staff create accessible content for Blackboard sites.
This is a list of current TEL-related training events at UWE.
Interactive resources to help you make your Blackboard content more accessible, including step-by-step guides for Word and PowerPoint.
How to improve accessibility by adding a caption file to your Panopto video resource.
How to improve accessibility by adding a caption file to your Kaltura video resource.
Find out more about this browser-based tool for creating interactive and accessible online resources.