Accessibility and Inclusion News

Putting accessibility and inclusion at the heart of Research Support

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  "access-933130_1920" by Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

We’ve created this blog to keep you updated about the work we’re doing to embed accessibility and inclusive practices at the heart of Research Support.  We’ll update you regularly to share good news, our plans for the future, and any challenges we’ve faced along the way.

Accessibility Statements

We’ve published accessibility statements for our research support websites:

All public sector bodies in the UK need to publish accessibility statements for their websites and mobile apps to meet new legal regulations; Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations, 2018.  Get more information to understand accessibility requirements for public sector bodies.

Writing our accessibility statements

We wanted our statements to be as open and honest as possible so we have used data to give us evidence to help us write them.

By taking a sample of data from our Kent Academic Repository, and all of the data from our Open Journal System and Kent Data Repository, we were able to use Blackboard Ally to analyse the data for current accessibility successes and where we must make improvements.

Our findings are included in our accessibility statements, which will be continually reviewed and updated in the future to share the progress we are making to our workflows, systems and practices, to improve accessibility for everyone.

Requests for accessible content

There are over 56,000 documents and files in our Kent Academic Repository and this number will continue to grow.  Although the documents are not created by us, they can be accessed or requested by anyone at anytime, including requests for accessibly formatted versions, and it’s our responsibility to respond to these.

What accessible formatting means

Providing a digital copy with a clear structure and easy navigation, so that it can be understood by screen readers and other assistive technologies, by:

  • Converting images into real text
  • Converting audio into text
  • Converting text to audio
  • Also converting content into e-book, audio, braille, etc.

Find out how to make documents and presentations (including images and other media) accessible.

How we’re responding to requests for accessible formatting

We are developing a robust process to respond to these requests by:

  • Improving our standard emails to ensure they are fully accessible
  • Finalizing and recording our processes to respond to requests
  • Training our staff to format documents to maximise their accessibility
  • Developing technical improvements to our Kent Academic Repository and Open Journal System

This is an area that is currently being improved so we look forward to giving you more news about our progress in the future.

Research Support Accessibility and Inclusion Working Group

This newly established working group will provide a focused approach to advocating, raising and prioritising accessibility and inclusion standards to:

  • Research support websites
  • Workflows and guidance
  • Communications
  • Events and training

Members of the group will lead, provide guidance to and support individuals and teams to raise accessibility standards across research support.

We look forward keeping you informed about developments being made by the working group.

How to get involved

Are you a University of Kent student, academic or professional services member of staff?  Get in touch with the Research Support team to share any comments, suggestions or concerns so that we can continue to improve accessibility and inclusive practices for everyone.

If you are visiting us from another university or business, are interested in working with us, sharing your experiences, and developing best practice then please get in touch with us.

We look forward to sharing more good news with you in the future.

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