Get ready for GAAD

Global Accessibility Awareness Day Logo

Can you help us on Global Accessibility Awareness Day? This is a day to raise awareness of how we can all help support digital accessibility and this year it’s on 19th May. It’s an opportunity to take a small amount time to focus on the digital accessibility of your courses or any content that you might want to improve. There are lots of events worldwide and you can find out more about the range of events on the dedicated website. Blackboard are running a Fix Your Content 24-hour global event– challenging institutions and Blackboard Ally users everywhere to look at how they can improve the accessibility of their content. To help with improving the digital accessibility, colleagues from QED, IT, the TEL Unit, the Library,… Read moreGet ready for GAAD

Accessibility for the busy lecturer

person using computer on brown wooden table

Digital accessibility and fostering an inclusive learning environment are as important as ever with the focus on blended and online digital learning and teaching at the moment. There is a range of online guidance and support available for colleagues to use to help with making their courses accessible. To assist in making this a little easier to discover, we’ve created two new documents that bring together some key tips and sources of support. The first is a A Busy Lecturers Guide to Accessibility. This two page document provides some key tips for making the more common content types more accessible and provides links to help you get started if you’re not clear where best to start. The second is the Accessible Content Toolkit which provides some… Read moreAccessibility for the busy lecturer

Moving Online with Accessibility

Image of braille laptop

With the rapid transition that has been necessary due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a large number of colleagues are looking for ideas, alternatives and suggestions for developing their learning and teaching approaches online. This series of blog posts are aimed at supporting staff looking for ways to incorporate more blended or online learning teaching whether for the short term or long term. What do we mean by accessibility? Over this last year, there’s been a focus on digital accessibility with the introduction of the new Public Sector web accessibility regulations. This requires all institutions to look at how they make their websites accessible for all users including staff and students with accessibility needs. This includes those with specific learning needs but also includes people who… Read moreMoving Online with Accessibility

Your handy Office 365 Accessibility Checker- Good to go

Image of check list with passed stamped at bottom

Changing digital practice to accommodate accessibility within the range of documents and learning materials we produce can seem like a daunting task. Thankfully, there are some tools that can help you get the grips with the needs of disabled students when it comes to accessible content. In this brief post, we take a look at the Accessibility Checker in the Office 365 suite such as Word, PowerPoint etc. To note: this advice is based on the latest version of the MS Office. IT services have been rolling this out across the institution. If you don’t see the same as the images below, then contact IT who will be able to help. What is the Accessibility Checker? The Accessibility Checker is a tool that been included… Read moreYour handy Office 365 Accessibility Checker- Good to go

A Month of Digital Accessibility

Page showing calendar with pen highlighting day

So, that was October. The start of term, welcoming our newest students and getting to grips with the new academic year.  We also started to raise awareness of the new Public Sector Website Accessibility Regulations. And, now, to support staff with developing accessible content we’re publishing a range of support, guidance and tips and tricks to help everyone with making their content as accessible as possible whether it’s content for a website, content for internal colleagues or learning content for our students. It can seem that creating or adapting existing content to make it accessible is quite challenging. But in reality there’s some really quick ways to achieve this. For this month there’s handy calendar of Office 365 tips and tricks which provide some ideas… Read moreA Month of Digital Accessibility

7 quick ways to make your Word docs accessible

Printed words blurred. The words 'expressing gratitude' are visible.

With the new Public Sector Web Accessibility Regulations now in place, here are seven tips and tricks to help you make your existing or new word documents more accessible whether you’re writing internal documents, learning content for students or would like to know how to make your essay or thesis more accessible. Use Heading Styles to make your document easy to navigate Using Headings makes your documents much easier to navigate for someone using a screen reader. You can create Headings Styles that match your needs and if you need to change them you only need to do it once and all the Headings in your document will be updated. Using Headings also makes it much easier to create a table of contents for any… Read more7 quick ways to make your Word docs accessible

Our Special Interest Group Needs You!

Hands raised in air with red background. The word community is blurred in background.

Are you interested in inclusive learning and teaching? Have you been thinking about how this relates to your digital practice? If so, read on….. The last Digital Learning and Teaching Update mentioned a new Special Interest Group which has recently started up. The Digital Accessibility Special Interest Group is an open learning community where anyone at the University who has an interest in digital accessibility can get involved. Whether you’re a student studying a subject that includes inclusive approaches and assistive technologies, a member of staff with an interest in digital accessibility, a researcher who has an active focus on this or you’re just generally curious, then please come and get involved in the community. While this is the first group to be set-up due… Read moreOur Special Interest Group Needs You!

Aligning Digital Accessibility and Digital Capabilities

You may have recently heard about the new Public Sector Web Accessibility Regulations which put a much stronger emphasis on ensuring all users of websites and intranets across the public sector can have as an inclusive web experience as much as possible. For most institutions there’s a lot of work underway both on their public facing websites and for those systems such as VLE’s where a significant numbers of individuals need to engage with a range of online content and activities. This blog post isn’t a dissection of the ins and outs of the new regulations. Jisc have been holding a number of accessibility clinics where specific queries can be discussed and the Further and Higher Education Working Group have pulled together a range of… Read moreAligning Digital Accessibility and Digital Capabilities

Digital Learning and Teaching Update

Photo of trees with gold and brown leaves depicting autumn

The leaves are tinged with the hints of reds, golds and browns of autumn, there’s the familiar chill in the early mornings . Yes, it’s the start of the new academic year for both schools, FE and HE institutions across the sector are gearing up to welcome thousands of new students to a new phase in their education or perhaps restarting their education. There’s a range of activities that have occurred over the summer months to help put digital learning and teaching on a stronger foothold and plenty of innovative practice to get engaged with over the next academic year. If you’d like to know more, then read on. What’s been happening over the summer? Here’s just a few of the things that have been… Read moreDigital Learning and Teaching Update