In September 2018, a new set of regulations called the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations came into force. Digital accessibility is the ability of a website, mobile application, or electronic document to be easily navigated and understood by a wide range of users, including those users who have visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities. Websites (and their digital content) created or substantially changed after September 2018 must be accessible on or before 23 September 2019; websites created before September 2018 must be accessible on or before September 2020. In accordance to the regulations Ulster University has an accessibility statement for digital learning. Within this statement, one area that is highlighted is “content uploaded by our user community may have accessibility issues.” Within Blackboard Learn (our VLE) there are tens of thousands of text-based resources and many of these may be inaccessible to students. Blackboard Ally is integrated into the VLE and highlights resources with issues for staff and will create alternatives for students to meet their particular needs.

Several strands of work, across multiple departments including the Office for Digital Learning, Centre for Higher Education, Research and Practice, Student Wellbeing, Student Union have been raising awareness of the need for an inclusive and accessible teaching and learning experience.