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Web Accessibility and the JISC Digitisation programme: David Sloan Techdis and Digital Media Access Group firstname.lastname@example.org
Overview • UK Legislation and e-learning accessibility • DDA and SENDA • Implications for projects creating and providing digitised assets • Implications for institutions and other potential users of the assets
Holistic e-learning accessibility • Acknowledges the inherent value of digitised media assets as an accessibility aid in teaching and learning • Promotes following best practice in ensuring that what is produced is as accessible as possible to the target audience • And meets legislative obligations • Forcing Standardization or Accommodating Diversity?... (Kelly et al 2005): http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/papers/w4a-2005/
Legislation: DDA • Disability Discrimination Act 1995 • Parts II and III cover educational institutions as employers and as goods, facilities and service providers respectively • …but provision of education itself was not covered by Part III • Part IV came into effect in September 2002 (as a result of “SENDA”) • Extended DDA to cover provision of post-16 education • DDA 2005 – the Disability Equality Duty
What does the DDA say? • Effectively: • Do not unjustifiably discriminate against a person on account of their disability. • Do take reasonable steps to avoid unjustified discrimination • Examples of reasonable steps: • An accessible web site • An e-learning resource that overcomes a barrier present in a traditional learning delivery method
What does the legislation NOT say? • There are no references in the DDA legislation to web accessibility, text only web sites, ‘alt text’, captions, W3C etc… • There is no such thing as a technically testable condition “DDA Compliant”. • No case law yet exists (April 2006) in the UK relating to web accessibility • Out of court settlements in the UK • Australian case law: SOCOG v Maguire case (2000): web site with access barriers was in breach of Australia’s DDA
Implications of accessibility barriers • On services/projects creating and providing access to digitised resources: • Inaccessible digitised assets may not in themselves be unlawful… • but the service through which the assets are provided may be • On institutions using the service/individual assets: • Disabled staff and students may face unlawful discrimination if required to use a service or individual assets with accessibility barriers From: Sloan M. (2004) Content Service Providers and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 http://www.jisclegal.ac.uk/publications/legalimplicationsDDA.htm
Implications on digitisation strategies • Point of creation is the best place to include accessibility • Digitisation projects must consider: • Accessibility of the digital assets themselves • Alternative text for still images • Captions for video • Transcripts for audio; signed translations • Audio description for video • Accessibility of the interaction required to retrieve these digital assets • Through a web site, OPAC, DVD/CD-ROM…
Resources Guidelines and standards: • W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/ • JISC Information Environment Technical Standards:http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/distributed-systems/jisc-ie/arch/standards/ Advice: • Techdis: http://www.techdis.ac.uk • Skills for Access (accessible multimedia): http://www.skillsforaccess.org.uk