Within the university's 2040 strategy, inclusivity is a main strand:
"Our university is open to all. We will welcome staff and students of all backgrounds, and will connect with our communities and partners, locally, nationally and internationally. Our commitment to inclusion will guide our education, our research, and the projects we deliver. We aspire to lead our sector in promoting health and wellbeing, and celebrating diversity."
The University also has obligations under the Equality Act 2010. This page pulls together the support and guidance available to staff in order to enable them to provide an inclusive experience for students. The university has generated an Inclusivity and Accessibility Checklist for staff.
Legislative Requirement: Websites
The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 requires universities to make all new learning material published on Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) accessible. From September 2020, this also includes having closed captions (CC) on pre-recorded video material. The university is also required to publish an accessibility statement online (available on the footer of the university website) which outlines what is accessible and what may be less accessible. This will be a working document that will be updated to reflect progress made towards digital accessibility. JISC have published additional guidance for universities.
The University aims to provide accurate video captions, however it may not be feasible to have 100% accurate captions on all our videos. In the meantime, the University continues to prioritise courses where video captions will have the biggest impact, but is also investigating new systems in order to make it easier for staff to provide accurate captions. Closed captions for pre-recorded video can be generated manually or by using the automatic captions within Panopto. Automatic captions can be edited by staff. Similar systems are available on MS Stream and YouTube. The accuracy of these systems is up to 90-95% based on the clarity of the audio, however there are functions to allow you to correct errors in captioning.
Live video is exempt from the legislation, but students may wish to enable Google Chrome captions for use in Collaborate, or captions within MS Teams. Recordings of live sessions should be captioned if they are shared online for longer than 14 days - recordings can be moved to Panopto for captioning. The university has generated guidance on the accessibility of video for staff.
Mathematics in LaTex Documents
Making mathematical content fully accessible for all user and devices is not yet possible, however colleagues across the university have put together a guide for staff outlining straightforward advice that can help make learning materials more accessible. The guide will be revised when further options become available.
Accessibility of documents can be checked and improved by using the Accessibility Checker in MS Word/PowerPoint or by using Blackboard Ally within MyAberdeen. These tools provide guidance and instructions for staff if helpful. Changes are often not complicated for staff, but can make a big difference to students.
- Closed captions "CC": text of the audio from the video that can be switched on/off (often referred to as captions or subtitles)
- Transcription: a document to be read instead of watching and listening to a video
Guidance for Staff
Training and Support
- Centre for Academic Development
The Centre for Academic Development supports staff and students from across the University in teaching, learning, research and professional development. Staff looking for practical workshops in the use of MyAberdeen, Ally, Collaborate or Panopto should check out the course booking system. Here you will find sessions running throughout the academic year. For tailored support contact the centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)1224 27 3030.
The eLearning Team can support staff design, develop and deliver accessible learning materials through MyAberdeen. Workshops are are available via course booking with guidance also available on Toolkit. The eLearning team also provide support for staff using Blackboard Ally and Panopto video.
- Percipio Self-Teach Resources
For anyone looking for written guidance or short online tutorials on how to make documents accessible in Mircrosoft Office, Percipio has a number of ebooks and videos available for staff or students.
- Assistive Technology
The Assistive Technology team aim to empower students and staff to be independent in their studies or role. Students who have been referred by student disability service can make an appointment.
- Disability Support
University Disability Advisers offer support and guidance and are a first point of contact for disabled students. The University welcomes disabled students, and it is our policy to consider applications from all students on the same grounds.
- Student Learning Service
We aim to help all students to achieve their full academic potential including those with Dyslexia and other Specific Learning Differences. The Student Learning Service offers individual Study Advice Sessions throughout the year.
- Training and Documentation Team
The Training and Documentation Team can provide guidance on how to create accessible MS Office documents – Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
- Useful Links