Accessibility

IT Service

Why are we focussing on Digital Accessibility?

As a university being inclusive is a core value for us. This includes the student experience and the learning content that we make available to our students. The Public Sector Web Accessibility Regulations aim to support institutions in addressing identified issues with digital accessibility and we’re continually looking to improve digital accessibility for all our users.


I’m a student, what does this mean for me?

We want to provide as an inclusive learning experience as possible. We recognise that not only does providing accessible content and services directly help those who have particular needs but it can be of benefit to everyone.

That’s why we’re working hard continually improve the digitally accessible experience for all students.

Within Blackboard, our Virtual Learning Environment, you can download content in a range of alternative formats. This is available for all students regardless of whether you have a specific learning difficulty – just select a format that works for you at the time you need it.

The Disability and Dyslexia Service have guidance on a range of tools and services that can support your studies if you have a specific learning difficulty.

This webpage also contains some recommendations that support digital accessibility such as using the Immersive Reader in Office 365.

I’m a staff member, what does this mean for me?

As much as possible you will need to ensure that any documents or learning content you create are accessible as possible. This includes Office 365 files, PDFs and multimedia content. Where it’s not feasible to make files accessible, an accessible alternative format needs to be available.

However, it’s worth noting that the accessibility regulations don’t require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential for active administrative processes or learning.


Improve accessibility with the Accessibility Checker

Office 365 comes with an in-built accessibility checker which works in a similar way to spell checking and grammar checking. You can change your settings so that the accessibility checker is running while you work.

Before sending your email message or sharing your document or spreadsheet, run the Accessibility Checker to make sure your Microsoft Office content is easy for people of all abilities to read and edit.

Using the Accessibility Checker in Word

Using the Accessibility Checker for PowerPoint

Using the Accessibility Checker in Outlook

Improve accessibility with the Accessibility Checker


Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams provides accessibility support for live meetings by allowing participants in your meetings to switch on live captions.

Accessibility support for Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Stream

Stream is an Enterprise Video service where you can upload, view, and share videos securely. You can share recordings of classes, meetings, presentations, training sessions, or other videos that aid your team’s collaboration. Stream will auto-create captions for your recordings which can be edited to help with accessibility needs.

Accessibility support for Microsoft Stream


Immersive Reader

Immersive Reader enables you to set appropriate settings to help you access materials better. With Immersive Reader you can change page colour, set text spacing and read aloud text – including syllable description.

Immersive reader is available in the following Office 365 applications:

  • Word
  • One Note
  • Outlook
  • Edge Browser

How do I access Immersive Reader in Microsoft Word?

How do I access Immersive Reader in Microsoft Outlook?

How do I access Immersive Reader in Microsoft Edge?

Learn more about the Immersive Reader


Designing accessible courses

The Inclusion Toolkit has been designed as a set of resources to support embedding inclusion across all aspects of learning and teaching at the University of Worcester. It is intended to provide guidance and supporting information for staff.

By adopting an inclusive approach to all aspects of the student experience at the University, we aim to inspire all our students to work hard and achieve their full potential. The toolkit covers designing inclusive learning environments and courses.

Learn more about the Inclusion Toolkit

The Technology Enhanced Learning Unit have collated some useful information to help you ensure you create accessible course materials.

Learn more about designing accessible courses


Where can I find help with this and who can help me?

As well as the guidance provided on this webpage the following are additional resources or areas that can provide support with accessible content.

The Realising Teaching Excellence blog link to the Busy Lecturers Guide to Accessibility

The TEL team have support and training on how to create accessible Blackboard courses. If you’re interested in writing web content or writing for the web you can get details on training courses and information by emailing web@worc.ac.uk

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