The University has a duty under the Equality Act (2010) to make anticipatory reasonable adjustments for all students, staff and visitors, taking a proactive, strategic approach to removing barriers that could potentially prevent an individual from participating in all aspects of university life.
Have a browse of the University’s Disability Policy for specific advice regarding the needs of disabled students. However, you also need to bear in mind that inclusive practice is not just about teaching disabled students, it affects all aspects of your taught sessions. Please take time to check out the new Web Accessibility legislation (September 2020). See the JISC website for further advice regarding the new legislation , and how it will affect your Moodle sites.
The Inclusive Practice Working Group have created a Moodle module for all staff to review. The site consists of useful resources and some activities to assist you to reflect on inclusive practices within your teaching.
Make sure that all your documents (Word, PowerPoint, PDF’s, Spreadsheets etc) are as accessible as possible. Check out the most recent UK Gov Guidelines to check that you are not breaking the law!
- Check the accessibility of your document using Blackboard Ally
- Also check that all presentations and videos are clearly legible on a small screen
- Use in built slide templates to give clear structure to the slides
- Wherever possible, set font size at a minimum of 26
- Choose a clear font colour (e.g. black or dark navy) with a non-white background (e.g. cream or pale green)
- When using images or screen shots, ensure they are in focus and are of a high quality
- Label all your images (so that a screen reader tool can interpret them for a blind or partially sighted student)
- Ensure that you have a diverse range of images, rather than only using images from a certain country / particular ethnic group. For example, try to include images of people from a range of ages and backgrounds, not just people from the background most similar to your own
- Use bullet points to keep text to a minimum and assist with the navigation for screen reading software
- If narrating a PowerPoint or other document, check that your voice is clear and audible throughout the recording, before you upload it to Moodle and check the speed of your delivery
Inclusive and Accessible Power Point Design
Think about the screen size that your students are using
Remember that many students will be accessing your presentations on a small screen such as an iPad or a 12” laptop. Any text that you are sharing (e.g. a PowerPoint side) will need to be adjusted from the usual lecture room format, to make it easily legible. Use the largest font size that you can, only use 3-4 bullet points, and ensure that the text is not too cramped. Keep it simple, keep it snappy!
Minimise the use of tables:
Tables should be used primarily to display numerical data in a logical way, rather than for textual information. They must not be used to present content such as lists or other content in a certain layout, even if you think it looks better. This is because screen reading tools will try to read the text, but may not cope with scanning and reading the columns and headings. It’s better to use a bullet pointed list whenever you can.
Links to websites: Use descriptive link text rather than adding the whole web address. The link text you use should clearly indicate where the link goes to or what will happen if when you click it, without needing context. This makes navigation much easier for students using screen reading tools, which read out all the text on the screen – including web addresses.
Original text: Go to this web page for our master’s course list, at: https://www.roehampton.ac.uk/postgraduate-courses/
Change to: The Courses for 2020-21 page has a full list of our master’s courses.
Ask the students what they think
Take time to do a short survey or mid-term module evaluation (perhaps as a quiz in Moodle) to check how well the students are accessing and using your Moodle resources and activities.
Accessibility check and Screen reader in Moodle’s Text editor
When you type content into Moodle for instance create a page or add a description to an assignment inbox you can use these Text editor tools to help check for accessibility issues. For more information please check our guide on the text editor.
Blackboard Ally is a tool which is integrated into Moodle to assist staff in providing a more accessible experience for students. Please see our dedicated page for Blackboard Ally guidance and further information.
The University is committed to ensuring learning materials are as accessible as possible and because of this for 2020/21 the University is piloting a new piece of software called Caption.Ed.
It allows students and staff to generate automated captions on all media hosted platforms which are supported by eLearning Services (Panopto, Blackboard Collaborate, Moodle & ePortfolios).
All staff are able to sign up for a free Caption.Ed account. By doing this, you can then add an extension onto either the Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browser which will enable you to generate automated captions on all media played on the platforms listed above. For further information please see our Caption.Ed guidance.
Converting documents into accessible formats (Sensus Access)
Supported by the library, SensusAccess is an automated document conversion service, available to all students and staff, that allows you to convert your readings into other formats. With SensusAccess you can convert your readings, slides and lecture notes into formats that work best for you such as:
- MP3 files (so you can listen to your readings while walking or commuting)
- Digital Braille books
- Structured audiobooks in DAISY (Digital Accessible Information System) and e-books with media overlay
You can also use SensusAccess to convert scanned PDF documents, pictures of text captured with your smartphone as well as PowerPoint presentations into formats that are more useful for you or easier to work with.
SensusAccess is a great service if you are having difficulties with printed text, if you want to experiment with different learning styles, if you need assistance when reading text in a foreign language or if you simply want to make your readings available on the go.
The SensusAccess library page here provides a short introductory video and a list of FAQs. It is simple and intuitive to use, but sometimes you will get better results if you know how to prepare your source documents. A full e-learning course is provided if you want to learn more about the advanced features and how to get the most out of the service.