Accessibility requirements for Higher and Further Education organisations

As higher and further education organisations are part of the public sector body they must adhere to The Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018 (PSBAR). 

What are The Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations?

Three students working on their laptop in a library. PSBAR requires public sector organisations, such as universities and colleges, to make their websites and mobile apps accessible so they can be used by as many people as possible.

The accessibility regulations say that you must make your website and/or mobile application more accessible by it being "perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust" (POUR). Your website must also include an accessibility statement.

Free Webinar on Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 

In our free webinar, which took place on 7 February at 1pm GMT, Amy Low, Service Delivery Director at AbilityNet was joined by Deborah Green, CEO of The University and Colleges Information Services Association (UCISA), and Stephen Thompson from the University of Sheffield. 5 years on from the introduction of PSBAR, Amy discussed GOV.UK audits and sector-focused insights from our recent ‘Attitudes to Digital Accessibility’ survey with the panellists.

Watch the recording of our webinar on PSBAR

Profile images of Amy Low, Stephen Thompson, and Deborah GreenStephen Thompson shared his experience with being audited by GOV.UK last year at The University of Sheffield as part of its role in monitoring compliance with PSBAR (2018). Stephen discussed the preparation for the audit, the actions they took based on the audit results, and how they are continuing to embed digital accessibility within the institution.

Deborah Green from UCISA delved further into results from AbilityNet’s ‘Attitudes to Digital Accessibility’ survey. From 447 full responses, 40% (201) were from Higher and Further Education (HE/FE) institutions (primarily in non-managerial roles), and the results revealed a mixed picture of digital accessibility improvements and barriers.

More than 55% of the HE/FE respondents said that digital accessibility is a significant feature of their role, but only 7% said that for senior management it’s a ‘very high priority’, 33% a ‘high priority’, and 7% said it’s a very low priority - findings from AbilityNet's Attitudes to Digital Accessibility survey

How AbilityNet can help you meet accessibility requirements

AbilityNet's expert consultants can assist you in ensuring that your organisation's website, apps, and other digital services are usable, accessible, and in accordance with PSBAR (2018).

You can download a free copy of our HE and FE Accessibility Maturity Model

The accessibility model will help you:

  • Determine where you are in the Accessibility Maturity Spectrum
  • Understand the risks and how to build on the benefits
  • Identify support needs

Amy Low, Service Delivery Director at AbilityNet, and Alistair McNaught, McNaught Consultancy, explain more on how using the HE and FE Accessibility Maturity model can help you in your accessibility journey.

Also, our popular training course ‘How to deliver and sustain accessible digital learning’ can help you in improving the overall student learning experience. You'll learn how to identify strengths and weaknesses, what training staff might need, how to incorporate digital accessibility considerations into templates, quality assurance and feedback, and a comprehensive audit framework.

Book your spot

More resources for Higher Education and Further Education organisations