Digital Accessibility Guidance for Staff
We want everyone who uses our websites, web-based systems and mobile apps to be able to find, read and understand our content.
In order to achieve this we all need to contribute towards making sure our content is accessible to everyone.
We have prepared guidance for staff to give you the tools and information you need to create accessible content.
Digital Accessibility Strategy and Policy
Guidance for CMS Users
You are responsible for making sure that the content that you create using the CMS is accessible. There are many CMS authors and many web pages on our sites, so we need you to take responsibility for your own content. You may already be creating accessible content, but take a look at the document below to make sure you are following these guidelines.
- Digital Accessibility Guidance for CMS Users (PDF)
- Digital Accessibility Guidance for CMS Users (DOCX)
To help you assess and improve the accessibility of your content, use the documents below:
- Web Content Accessibility Checklist (PDF)
- Web Content Accessibility Checklist (DOCX)
- Fixing Common Accessibility Issues (PDF)
- Fixing Common Accessibility Issues (DOCX)
Please work through Digital Accessibility Training for CMS Users as soon as you can.
Short on time? See our top 5 accessibility tips!
Guidance for Managers
You are responsible for making sure that the content that you provide for CMS Editors is accessible. Although you are not the person putting the content onto the website, you need to understand how to provide your content in the best format, and with additional information (such as alternative text) included. You may already be creating accessible content, but take a look at the document below to make sure you are following these guidelines.
- Digital Accessibility Guidance for Managers (PDF)
- Digital Accessibility Guidance for Managers (DOCX)
Please book yourself onto a Digital Accessibility Training for Managers session as soon as you can.
Digital Accessibility Tools
- Alt Text Tester
Extension for Chrome which allows you to check if images in your page have alt text set.
Extension for Chrome which runs automated tests to let you see what accessibility issues you may have with your page. It's also available for Firefox - axe Firefox add-on.
- Browser inspect tool
Built in browser tool which allows you to check the HTML code for a particular part of a page. This can allow you to do things like checking if an image has alt text. Right click and choose 'Inspect' or 'Inspect element'.
Extension for Chrome which allows you to check the structure of your page to make sure you have used headings correctly. It's also available for Firefox - headingsMap Firefox add-on.
- Hemingway Editor
This web-based tool can help you to assess the text you have written to make sure it is clear and understandable.
This is a full screen reader which can be used to check how your pages work for screen reader users. It can be installed via the Software Center.
- SilkTide - Disability Simulator
Extension for Chrome which allows you to find out what your page would be like for a screen reader user, as well as how your page might look to users with visual impairments
- Site Spell
Extension for Chrome which highlights misspelt words on a webpage.
- WAVE Evaluation Tool
Extension for Chrome which runs automated tests to let you see what accessibility issues you may have with your page. It's also available for Firefox - WAVE Firefox add-on.
- WCAG Color contrast checker
Extension for Chrome which allows you to check if there is sufficient contrast between text and background. It's also available for Firefox - WCAG Color contrast checker Firefox add-on.
Guidance on Creating Accessible Learning Materials
Choices you make when creating learning materials can make a big difference for your students. It is easy to make documents more accessible and easier to use by students and others who may have a disability or specific learning difference. Accessible documents help all students to learn more easily.
The Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit in collaboration with Student Support Services offers Creating Accessible Learning Materials, a training session for all staff who create Word documents, PowerPoints, PDF files, or videos for students. The session helps staff ensure that all digital material they put into Blackboard courses is accessible. The session is based around two handouts, which you can download below:
- Digital Accessibility Checklist (DOCX) – gives top tips for making your materials accessible, including links to useful online tools.
- Creating Accessible Learning Materials training session handout (DOCX)– explains why accessibility features are helpful or essential for many students.
Guidance for Developers
When new websites, web-based systems or mobile apps are developed we must ensure that they are accessible from the start. They will also require an accessibility statement.
- Digital accessibility and mobile apps (PDF)
- Digital accessibility and mobile apps (DOCX)
- Accessibility Statement Toolkit
- Understanding accessibility requirements for public sector bodies (gov.uk)
- Make your website or app accessible and publish an accessibility statement (gov.uk)
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1
- Understanding WCAG 2.1 (w3.org
- Techniques for WCAG 2.1 (w3.org)
- Mobile Accessibility at W3C (w3.org)
It is essential to consider digital accessibility in the procurement process to ensure we are abiding by the legislation and that all users can access our web-based systems and software.
Digital accessibility is not only important in new procurements, but also when renewing existing contracts. If the current product is not accessible and there is a viable alternative which is accessible, we must not continue to renew the current product.
Digital accessibility should also be explicitly included in contracts to ensure continued compliance.