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How to Use This Kit

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Ensuring your digital learning environment is accessible to all users necessitates a reciprocal process that necessitates an ongoing commitment.

This toolkit will outline the role of the accessibility statement in this process. It also offers a series of guides on the development and publication of accessibility statements in higher/ further education along with draft templates to get you started.

Please explore the links below to find specific information you are looking for on this page.

Getting Started

Before creating your web accessibility statement your organisation needs to make a clear commitment to embrace accessibility into the future.

Once you have established your goals in relation to accessibility you need to ascertain where issues exist in your current systems.

With this knowledge you can begin to develop an evolving infrastructure to promote accessibility with your statement as a central tool.

The EU Directive clearly mandates the need to prepare and REGULARLY update a detailed, comprehensive and clear accessibility statement.

What about 3rd party applications?

The Regulations place the legal obligation of compliance on the public sector body.

3rd party content that is neither funded nor developed by, nor under the control of the public sector concerned is exempt from the Regulations. But if you’ve made decisions about it, for example by commissioning or specifying it, the content will come within the scope of the Regulations.

Buying or licensing a third-party product could be considered to be funding the product and this would oblige you to meet the accessibility requirements for those materials – from e-books and e-journals to HR systems – by working with the supplier as necessary to achieve compliance.

Alternatively, you might need to source an equivalent accessible alternative but if none is available, you would need to explain this in the accessibility statement and justify it under ‘disproportionate burden’. In this case it would be good practice to provide workarounds while urging the publisher to make their product accessible in the procurement process.

Even if content is not caught by the new accessibility regulations you have a duty to make reasonable accommodations [subject to disproportionate burden test] under the Equality Legislation and the IHREC Act section 42 public sector equality and human right duty. Accordingly, you should engage with third-party suppliers to ensure accessibility standards.

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