HE Update and Accessibility Maturity Model for Higher and Further Education

Date of webinar: 
27 May 2020 - 11:00

This webinar took place on 27 May 2020. Below you will find a webinar recording, slide deck and transcript.

Learn about the Accessibility Maturity Model for Higher and Further Education that AbilityNet and McNaught Consultancy have developed based on Alistair McNaught's existing model. Also receive an update on the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations.

On the webinar, Helen Wickes of AbilityNet provides an update on the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations, and Ben Watson from the University of Kent describes the very successful OPERA project at his institution, the principles of which were based on our model's approach. 

The model can be very useful for kickstarting work towards the accessibility regulations and also in engaging senior stakeholders in driving the cultural change that needs to accompany the practical ‘to do’ lists.

This webinar is for anyone in the public sector, particularly those in a higher or further education setting.

The webinar lasts one hour and includes a question and answer session. For additional information read answers to frequently asked questions about AbilityNet webinars.

Webinar recording, slide deck and transcript

A captioned recording of the live webinar is now available via YouTube and pasted below, along with a transcript. You can view the slide deck below that was used during the webinar. 

Useful links mentioned during the webinar

Additional questions and answers from the webinar

Although our expert panel answered many of the questions posed on the live webinar, there were a few questions we ran out of time to address within the session. Here, we answer the remaining questions:

  1. We provide further education short distance learning courses through a third party platform. The content is not accessible - what should our distance learning team do about this?The accessisibility shortcomings would need to be highlighted in your accessibility statement and a link given for students to contact the relevant person if they need an alternative format.
  2. Where are people putting the accessibility statement on their virtual learning environment (VLE) - ours only offers the oppourtunity to put in on the front page. For compliance I guess it should be on every page?
    Yes, it should be available from every page - I encourage higher education institutions to produce course level templates (highly adapted so they are pragmatic and achievable) and these link to the main VLE statement as well as describing the tutor's accessibility choices.
  3. What is Ben Watson's role within the University of Kent and are you part of the disability services team? Where was this work led from?
    I am in the Student Support and Wellbeing team, but am very clear that this is about partnership building and catalysing others to play their part in supporting all students equally. More and more I am finding that people are making their own decisions and finding great ways to make their content more accessible - I was recently involved with colleagues in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) who had indentified a really nice way to make documents more accessible using html format.