Key accessibility issues for public sector: mobile apps and eLearning

Earlier this week we welcomed Susi Miller, eLearning accessibility expert and author of 'Designing Accessible Learning Content' to share her insights about accessible eLearning dos and don'ts on our HE/Public Sector update webinar.

AbilityNet's senior accessibility consultant James Baverstock joined Susi on the webinar to provide a timely outline of the key responsibilities for public sector organisations to meet the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations (PSBAR) 23 June deadline. Find a summary below.

Are public sector organisations delivering accessible eLearning?

Before Susi shared her tips, we asked attendees on the webinar 'How confident are you that you deliver accessible eLearning'?

Poll results for 'How confident are you that you deliver accessible eLearning?' - full description of responses in body text

The majority said 'Quite confident - we have just a few issues to iron out but we know what we need to do' (44%), which is a really positive response.

However, no respondents answered 'Very confident - we have perfected it'.

Other results were:

  • Not confident - there are a lot of problems to fix and possibly more we don't know about (40%)
  • Not at all confident - we don't know where to start (4%)
  • Not applicable - 12%
Teach your staff about eLearning best practices with our eLearning modules for higher and further education:

Six accessibility 'dos'

Susi shared as part of her presentation six accessibility dos, and six don'ts - here are the dos:

  1. Use plain English
  2. Use clear and accessible fonts and formatting
  3. Add alternative text to any images which add meaning
  4. Make sure all interactions and media players are keyboard accessible
  5. Use accessible headings, lists and tables
  6. Make sure text and background items have good colour contrast

For the full set of dos and don'ts, watch the webinar (and download the transcript):

Mobile apps regulations deadline: 23 June 2021

James's advice for meeting the mobile apps deadline included: 

  • If you have in-house developed apps make sure they are checked for accessibility
  • Most public sector organisations are more likely to use 3rd party apps. Note that CDDO (formerly GDS) has issued updated guidance that only apps where both of the following apply are in scope:
  • Mobile apps designed and developed by or on behalf of a public sector body (NOT unbranded off-the-shelf apps)
  • Mobile apps for use by the general public (NOT specifically defined groups such as employees or students)
  • If your 3rd party apps are in scope, speak to suppliers ASAP and publish a statement by 23rd June 

Susi and James also answered many questions from attendees on the webinar itself, and you can find the answers on the webinar recording page including advice on captioning tools and accessible quizzing.

Screenshot from video of James Baverstock, Susi Miller and Annie Mannion speaking on webinar

Further resources