7.4 Making online workspaces accessible
The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 came into force in September 2018 and imposed duties on public sector bodies – which includes most HEIs – to ensure that their websites meet approved accessibility standards, and to publish an accessibility statement on each website to confirm that the standards have been met. There were three key dates to meet the requirements, the last of which was in June 2021, so in theory this should be standard practice at your organisation now.
Jisc produced anguide for colleges and universities in December 2019, updated in January 2020. If you want to explore that in your own time, it’s approximately a 45-minute read.
If you would like to explore an example of a statement, you can find the Accessibility statement for OpenLearn.
There is also another OpenLearn course, Accessibility of eLearning, which you might be interested in studying. Although it is primarily aimed at education professionals involved in developing online learning materials for students, it contains material of more general interest around disability, usability and accessibility.
Activity 17 Aspects of online accessibility
Visit each of these short sections from Accessibility of eLearning. As you read, consider how they could be applied to your online/virtual workplace(s) to improve your user experience and that of your colleagues.
- considering disabled people
- usability and accessibility
- special resources or universal design?
- keyboard and mouse alternatives
- alternative content
- quick ways to improve accessibility
You can make some notes in the box below.
The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales has two Simple Changes resources related to improving online accessibility. Follow the links in Box 4 to find out more.
Box 4 Simple Changes #77–78
Simple Changes #78 Use a variety of accessible, inclusive engagement methods and formats.