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Creating Digital Content

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This is a slightly more detailed version of a short presentation I gave to my colleagues in Organisational Development & Professional Learning (OD&PL) about the new digital accessibility regulations and how to create more accessible content.

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Creating Digital Content

  1. 1. Creating Digital Content Kirsten Thompson OD&PL, University of Leeds | Twitter: @iamKirstenT
  2. 2. Overview 1. The case for change 2. What this means for OD&PL 3. Quick wins
  3. 3. The case for change 1. Equality Act 2010 duty to be anticipatory to the needs of disabled students (1 in 5 in the UK have a disability, Gov UK) 2. Increasing international students 3. Commitment to widening participation for underrepresented groups 4. Eliminate disadvantage resulting from linguistic, educational or cultural background, learning need or learning preference 5. Inclusive approaches encourage flexibility, variety and active learning. EVERYONE benefits.
  4. 4. The case for change cont.
  5. 5. The case for change cont. New digital accessibility regulations (23/09/18) • Build on existing obligations under the Equality Act 2010 • Includes websites, apps and VLEs (and content published within) • Meet WCAG 2.1 AA standards: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust • Phased implementation starting 23/09/19
  6. 6. What this means for OD&PL The new regulations impact: • Web, platform and app developers • Graphic designers • All digital content creators We need to develop guidelines for graphic creation and update OD&PL templates New workflow for digital requests (so we make informed decisions about the tech we need)
  7. 7. What this means for OD&PL cont. Create digital content that works for more people. Consider: • Dexterity • Deafness • Cognitive challenges • Colour blindness • Low vision • Blindness
  8. 8. What this means for OD&PL cont. Priorities for us: September 23rd 2019 compliance deadline 1 • New/recent (created since last Sept but including People Dev website launched last August) web spaces, Minerva spaces and use of O365 applications • All documents and brochures • Multimedia: photos, graphics and video • Email • Understand accessibility of third-party digital content and tools you use September 23rd 2020 compliance deadline 2: • historic content
  9. 9. Quick wins • Choose a ‘born accessible strategy’ • Use MS Office file formats for documents with OneDrive • Professionally designed PDF brochures need an alternative format (PDF brochures also need to be designed more inclusively) • Use built-in accessibility checkers in MS Office (more thorough on desktop, compared to O365) • Graphics & media content: design for small screens • ALT (alternative) text needs to either fully describe the image or be marked as ‘descriptive if the content is just decorative
  10. 10. Quick wins cont. • Word and email: minimum 12pt sans serif (including email signatures) • PowerPoint and presentations: minimum of 24pt sans serif (ideally bigger). Screen size and room size influence how big fonts should be for presentations • Colour contrast: need to test, we can’t SEE if colour contrast meets the standards • Videos need captioning and narration/script (keep readable on a small screen)
  11. 11. From existing web guide… • Text alignment: left aligned text with a 'ragged' right- hand margin is the most legible. • Use styles to format headings, bullet points etc. • Design: accessible design is clean, simple and uncluttered with good visual navigation. • Italics: avoid using italics (they can be difficult to read). Instead use quotation marks if needed. • Underlining: avoid unnecessary underlining (they can be difficult to read). • Capital letters: avoid over-use (they can be difficult to read and appear as though we are SHOUTING!) • Write content for reading on-screen and use Plain English for ALL audiences.
  12. 12. From existing web guide… • Links: always set links to open in the SAME window (on webpages – unless e.g. you need ‘how-to guidance’ open whilst completing a form) and make clear what the hyperlinked text will open e.g. a webpage, PDF, email address etc and never use vague language such as 'open this' or 'click here' etc. (We aren’t supposed to click links when we don’t know what we’re opening anyway…) • Link spacing: ensure sufficient space appears between hyperlinked text. This helps people with low vision and manual/hand dexterity challenges as well as people accessing digital content on mobile devices in general.
  13. 13. DESIGN INCLUSIVELY TEACH INCLUSIVELY ASSESS INCLUSIVELY CREATE INCLUSIVE L&T ENVIRONMENTS DEVELOP INCLUSIVE PRACTICES BACKGROUND FOR PARAGRAPH TEXT Inclusive Teaching Guides: new colour scheme Colours chosen based upon contrast ratio: • All pass AAA standard for normal and large text
  14. 14. Colour contrast checkers • We need to meet AA standard but should aim for AAA. • Colour Contrast Checker (no download, Web Aim website) • I also use this free tool (download required for Mac and Windows): Colour Contrast Analyser (Paciello Group website)
  15. 15. MS Office Accessibility Training • Microsoft Accessibility Trainin (MS Office website) Remember…. 1. Accessibility checkers do not pick up everything but they are a great starting point. 2. We still need to consider other aspects of inclusion when creating digital content (we will cover in another workshop) 3. Creating accessible content isn’t as difficult as it might first appear – it gets easier and becomes routine. 
  16. 16. Thank you Learn more at: inclusiveteaching.leeds.ac.uk OD&PL workshops to follow… Kirsten Thompson OD&PL, University of Leeds | Twitter: @iamKirstenT