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  4. Accessibility statements for Education Application Support Services
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  3. Accessibility
  4. Accessibility statements for Education Application Support Services

Accessibility statements for Education Application Support Services

These statements apply to the services listed below, supported or developed by the Education Application Team, iSolutions, at the University of Southampton.

Introduction

Enabling everyone to realise their potential really matters at the University of Southampton. This requires a fair, equitable and mutually supportive learning and working environment. Being a diverse community strengthens us as “One Southampton”. It matters that we continually act to ensure the University is supportive and inclusive of everyone. Designing accessible learning materials is critical because it provides educational opportunities to all students. For example, a captioned video is not only helpful to a deaf student but also benefits non-native English speakers, and those who are unable to listen to a video, for example because they have no headphones and are travelling on a Unilink bus or working in a room shared with others. One of the key benefits of accessible learning materials is the sense of independence to students with disabilities that they can provide.

Assistive Technology and support

Find out about Assistive Technology Software available to download to your computer, or use on University public workstations

Find out about Assistive Technology locations on campus as as the AT Suite

Our colleagues in Student Disability & Wellbeing provide a wide variety of support for students who have disabilities, mental health conditions and/or specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Their expert team can provide advice and support relating to your studies, both while you are preparing for University and throughout your time here.

What to do if you cannot access parts of a Southampton education website or app

Where you find content or aspects of the site you are unable to access, let us know via ServiceLine.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

Accessibility problems can be reported via ServiceLine.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you are not happy with how we respond to your notification or request, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contact us

Contact us via ServiceLine.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

The Education Application Support Team have a number of work streams involved in improving accessibility:

  • We are taking part in the ‘Enhancing Academic and Delivery Project’ on their inclusion and accessibility work stream.
  • We welcome input on past and future projects from a number of stakeholder groups:
    • Staff Disability Network
    • Disability ICT SAT.
    • ECS Accessibility Team.
    • Student Communications.
    • Internal Communication.
    • Teaching Accessibility Research Group.

Our team also actively contributes to a local network within iSolutions, the ‘Digital Accessibility Community of Practice’. We are promoting digital accessibility within our department and running events and tutorials. Many are available on this YouTube channel.

Statement by service

Blackboard

Blackboard is the centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) at the University of Southampton.  Blackboard is a commercial product, designed and developed in accordance with the internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA as well as the US Section 508 standards.  When at the University of Southampton, we make customisations to this product we try always to make the level of accessibility consistent or better compared with the baseline product.  Certain bugs or issues may cause difficulties with accessibility and as we identify these we will describe them within this statement.

Within the native* Blackboard interface you will be able to

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen except where content has been created by a user in such a way to not make this possible (for example within a non-responsive table)
  • navigate the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader

*because additional content can be uploaded to Blackboard the above may only apply to the user interface of Blackboard itself rather than content that has been uploaded to it.

The Vendor, Blackboard Inc, has provided a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template which includes an overview of its WCAG 2.0 report where it is found to “Support WCAG 2.0 expectations with some exceptions”.

How accessible is Blackboard.soton.ac.uk?

Content you will find on Blackboard has been uploaded by our user community made up of more than 7000 University staff to more than 4000 modules taught each academic year.  As such the accessibility of content may vary between modules and content creators. You may find for example:

  • that some images shown within courses do not have alternate text
  • that some text entered into courses using tables does not re-flow when the browser is resized or text size increased.
  • that recorded videos do not have subtitles/captions
  • that you may not always be able to skip to the main content when using a screen reader

We will be publishing a plan in due course that will set out how content creators will be given guidance and training on the creation of accessible resources.  The statement will be updated as that information is cascaded within the institution.

You may find that you access external sites outside of Blackboard, these may be hosted or supported by the University, or may be third party services or websites.  This statement refers to core Blackboard functionality and content uploaded directly to Blackboard rather than third party content or services accessed through Blackboard.

What to do if you cannot access parts of Blackboard.soton.ac.uk

Alternatives to content that is not accessible can often be accessed through using the Alternative Formats icon through Blackboard Ally. Where you find content or aspects of the site you are unable to access, let us know via ServiceLine.

Technical information about accessibility in Blackboard.soton.ac.uk

The University of Southampton is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Content you will find on Blackboard has been uploaded by our user community made up of more than 7000 University staff to more than 4000 modules taught each academic year.  As such the accessibility of content may vary between modules and content creators. You may find for example:

  • that some images shown within courses do not have alternate text
  • that some text entered into courses using tables does not re-flow when the browser is resized or text size increased.
  • that recorded videos do not have subtitles/captions
  • that you may not always be able to skip to the main content when using a screen reader

Using Blackboard Ally, instructors are automatically alerted to content that has opportunities for digital accessibility improvement.

Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATs)

The following VPATs state what aspects of the core interfaces of Blackboard and associated tools meet accessibility guidelines:

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

Content uploaded to courses that predate 23 September 2018 is exempt from the regulations except for where it is used for active administrative purposes.

How we tested this website

All testing has been done in an ad-hoc nature by sampling a small number of relevant Blackboard courses.

Accessibility Statement Timeline

This statement was prepared on 25 April 2019.  It was last updated on 8 July 2021.

Blackboard Collaborate

BOB TV

Eassignments

This accessibility statement is currently being drafted.

Education Dashboards

This accessibility statement is currently being drafted.

Elearn

Our user documentation website www.elearn.soton.ac.uk is a WordPress website using KnowAll Knowledge Base Theme with several customisations and plugins.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

We have raised these issues with KnowAll or are working on a custom fix for the following:

  • Site has no skip link (used by screen readers) – fix in progress 17/06/2022
  • Hamburger button (when the site is loaded on mobile or small screens) has no focus indicator
  • Hamburger button does not announce expanded /collapsed state to screen reader user
  • Poor contrast ratio in breadcrumb trail – fix in progress 17/06/2022

Jisc Discovery Tool

Microsoft Office 365

MySouthampton App

Panopto

Questionmark OnDemand

Turnitin

Vevox

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