On 23 September 2018, The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 became law. The Act requires public sector organisations to make their websites and mobile applications accessible for people with disabilities.
The new regulations provide the University with an opportunity to adopt a more inclusive approach to the design, development and procurement of digital products and services; helping to enhance the support we offer the diverse community of minds at Bath.
Accessibility is an institution-wide issue that affects marketing communications, learning materials and research outputs. As a result, the University needs to adopt an institution-wide response to this change in the law.
Any University department or directorate that:
- designs, develops and assures digital products or services, or
- assists the procurement of digital products or services
Any University department and directorate that:
- runs a website or mobile app, or
- produces materials that can be read, watched or listened to
- Change organisational behaviour by raising awareness of the new legislation, explain why it is important and what individuals can do to support the diverse community of minds at Bath.
- Embed an inclusive approach to the design, development and procurement of digital products and services, so people with disabilities can understand and use a website or mobile apps functionality unsupported.
- Support individual development by giving people the skills and knowledge they need to remove barriers to understanding and perception, so that the materials they make are consumable by people with disabilities.
- Embed a culture of continuous improvement by monitoring the accessibility of websites and mobile apps, and provide targeted help to people who need enhanced support to address access issues.
The programme will be broken down into four separate stages, Initiate, Plan, Implement, Sustain. Plan and Implement will run concurrently.
Phase 1: Initiate
Develop a detailed understanding of the accessibility of the University's digital estate, raise organisational awareness of legislative changes and consult with relevant groups.
- Publish a webpage explaining the project, including supporting documentation
- Launch targeted communications to explain the new legislation and what it means for individuals
- Engage with senior stakeholders to talk through the project and what it will mean for their department or directorate
- Draft University’s first Digital Inclusivity Policy
- Launch targeted communications with colleagues and students to explain how they feedback on the draft University’s - Digital Inclusivity Policy
- Engage with disabled colleagues and students and ask them to participate in the consultation
- Open consultation on the University’s Digital Inclusivity Policy
- Close the consultation and send the proposed Digital Inclusivity Policy to Senate for approval
- Launch an accessibility audit of the University's digital estate
- Submit a costed business case to the Executive Board based on the findings from the audit
Target end date
End of December 2020/Beginning of January 2021
Phase 2: Plan
Create an environment that supports an inclusive approach to the design, development and procurement of digital products and services and agree on a framework to encourage best practice.
- Launch targeted communications raising awareness of accessibility
- Begin work with an external auditor to complete a detailed assessment of digital properties from most to least at risk
- Launch a tool to monitor the accessibility of the University's digital properties and establish a baseline
- Deliver a draft digital design, development and assurance framework
- Engage with design leaders and senior developers, asking them to encourage their teams to participate
- Engage with disabled colleagues and students, asking them to participate
- Open consultation on the digital design, development and assurance framework
- Close the consultation and send the proposed framework to the Chief Digital and Information Officer for approval
- Deliver an accessibility resource centre
- Launch targeted communications with colleagues and students promoting the accessibility framework, resource centre and policy
- Submit findings and recommendations from the external auditor to the Executive Board for approval
Target end date
Phase 3: Implement
Deliver targeted training and support to make sure that people have the knowledge and skills required to produce accessible materials throughout the organisation.
- Develop accessibility training to support colleagues
- Complete the first tranche of accessibility training
- Submit a report to the Executive Board based on feedback from people attending accessibility training
Target end date:
End of June 2021
Phase 4: Sustain
Implement changes to digital design, development, testing and assurance practices to make sure that digital products and services are accessible Monitor compliance and report on progress.
- Implement changes to design processes to encourage an inclusive approach design throughout the University
- Implement changes to the development process to implement automatic and manual accessibility checks as part of the production pipeline
- Implement service standards and assessments to make sure that new products and services are reviewed for accessibility before they are released on to bath.ac.uk
- Submit the first annual Web Accessibility report to the Executive Board setting out the University's progress to date
Target end date:
End of September 2021