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Responding to the digital accessibility regulations

Chair: Alistair McNaught, subject specialist (accessibility and inclusion), Jisc


Abi James, senior accessibility and usability consultant, Ability Net
Anthony Ilona, policy engagement manager, Government Digital Service, Cabinet Office
Julia Taylor, subject specialist (accessibility and inclusion), Jisc
FE and HE providers are subject to new regulation in respect of their websites, intranets and digital platforms. The legislation clarifies the entitlements of disabled students, puts new obligations on providers and is subject to auditing.

This session with input from Jisc, AbilityNet and the Government Digital Service (GDS) will provide:

A brief introduction to the key points of the legislation
An overview of the potential benefits for organisations in terms of improved service join up, quality assurance and digital competency agendas
An overview of how to create and test accessible platforms
A summary of how GDS are working with the sector to ensure guidance is contextualised, avoiding unintended consequences

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Responding to the digital accessibility regulations

  1. 1. Responding to the digital accessibility regulations Julia Taylor, Alistair McNaught, Abi James, Antony Ilona
  2. 2. Julia Taylor, subject specialist, Jisc Responding to the digital accessibility regulations
  3. 3. 3
  4. 4. Timeline New websites compliant by 23 September 2019 Existing websites compliant by 23 September 2020 Mobile apps compliant by 23 June 2021
  5. 5. The new legislation - five things to know 5 1. In place Sept 2018 - increased risks - compliance, discrimination claim, reputational damage 2. If your websites don’t meet the ‘accessibility standards’ you are in breach of the regulations 3. Exemptions – particular organisations and particular content 4. Disproportionate burden – cost benefit analysis 5. Monitoring and enforcement
  6. 6. An opportunity for quality improvement 6 Potential benefits for organisations • Improve student experience • Retention and achievement and satisfaction • Business development and expansion • Innovative teaching practice • Social contracts and community engagement • Good practice, inspection and funding • Accountability, cost and efficiency • Maximise ROI
  7. 7. Jisc Support Visit our page Join the Digital Accessibility Regulations mailing list 7
  8. 8. Abi James, AbilityNet and University of Southampton Responding to the digital accessibility regulations
  9. 9. Accessibility is a journey, not necessarily a destination 9 © Copyright C Michael Hogan and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence Embedding accessibility: •Requires policies, processes and quality assurance •Has design, content, procurement and technical requirements •Will involve staff from across the organisation
  10. 10. Digital Accessibility does not stand alone 10 •Over 13 million people in the UK have a disability •12% of students declare a disability (HESA) •18% of students are regularly using assistive technology (JISC digital tracker) •20% of students are from another country with potential language and cultural barriers to learning Equality Act Widening Participation Inclusive Teaching and Learning
  11. 11. •European standard “EN 301 549” •Aligned to WCAG 2.1 level AA Covers •Web •Non-web documents •Non-web software and apps WCAG 2.1 is the new web accessibility guidelines published 2018 •51 success criteria What are the relevant accessibility standards? 11 Perceivable • Content is presented in ways that can be accessed by all Operable • Content is presented in ways that can be operated by all Understandable • Content is presented in ways that can be understood by all Robust • Content is reliable and compatible with assistive technology and standards
  12. 12. What digital tools does the regulations cover? 12 •Websites •Documents hosted on websites •Videos and multimedia content •Intranets and extranets VLEs •Libraries •Student portals •Staff systems •Apps •Purchased 3rd party content and tools
  13. 13. Common issues 13 • Incorrect / lack of heading structure  websites, documents • Insufficient colour contrast or use of colour for meaning  websites, documents, apps • Missing alternative descriptions on images  websites, documents, apps • Lack of keyboard only access and missing focus indicator  websites, apps • Form field error messages  websites, apps • No captions, transcripts or audio descriptions on videos
  14. 14. Accessibility is addressed at different stages of a project 14 Design Colours and focus indicator Icons & layout Templates Development Forms Keyboard access Responsive design Content Images Multimedia Language
  15. 15. 15 Design Development Content Purchase new platform Buy in content Create new VLE template Accessibility is addressed at different stages of a project
  16. 16. What if I can’t meet accessibility standards? 16 Disproportionate burden e.g. captioning lecture recordings •Must perform an initial assessment of the extent to which compliance with the accessibility requirement imposes a disproportionate burden •Size and resources of organisation •Costs and benefits to people with disabilities, taking into account use of app website / document “You can’t take into account irrelevant things like lack of time or knowledge, or because you haven’t given it priority.” •Must state the components that do not comply with standards in the accessibility statement •Where possible provide accessible alternatives Disproportionate burden ==== reasonable adjustments
  17. 17. Accessibility statements and processes 17 Must publish statements for websites and apps •State which components do not meet accessibility standards and why •How people with access needs can get alternatives •How to report accessibility problems •Doesn’t need to be technical language – an opportunity to promote what works •Likely each different technical platform will need a separate statement •Should be easy to find and understand
  18. 18. Quick Accessibility Checks - W3C Easy Checks 18 •Automatic Checkers e.g. WAVE •aXe (for developers) •MS Office Accessibility Checker Manual checks •Keyboard navigation •Reflow / resize / zoom
  19. 19. Antony Ilona, policy engagement manager, GDS Responding to the digital accessibility regulations
  20. 20. What have we been working on?
  21. 21. GDS
  22. 22. GDS Insert
  23. 23. GDS Insert
  24. 24. GDS Insert
  25. 25. GDS
  26. 26. GDS
  27. 27. What’s coming?
  28. 28. GDS A blog post explaining how we’ll ensure compliance through monitoring and enforcement
  29. 29. GDS Scoping the GDS monitoring team
  30. 30. GDS A model accessibility statement
  31. 31. GDS We’re iterating the guidance the better meet your needs
  32. 32. GDS Let us know what you think of the guidance:
  33. 33. Contact Details 33 Any questions? Abi James AbilityNet & University of Southampton Julia Taylor Jisc Subject specialist, Inclusion Tony Ilona Policy engagement manager GDS
  34. 34. Thank you Alistair McNaught subject specialist – accessibility, Jisc Julia Taylor subject specialist, Jisc Abi James AbilityNet and University of Southampton Antony Ilona Policy engagement manager, GDS anthony.ilona@digital.cabinet-