It is not only good practice to make your pages as accessible as possible – it is also a legal requirement. Staff in all areas of the University need to be aware of their duties with regards to preparing web content for audiences with a variety of disabilities.
W3C web accessibility guidelines
The W3C, the governing body of the Internet, has put together a set of web accessibility guidelines, which are seen as the current standard for accessibility. There are three priority levels specified throughout the W3C guidelines. By law we are required to meet priority level one and we are working towards meeting priority levels two and three. The guidelines on this site are an overview of the areas of the W3C standards that relate to University web editors.
The Special Education Needs and Disability Act
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA) amended the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to make unjustified discrimination by education providers against disabled pupils, students and adult learners unlawful. SENDA also means that education providers must make reasonable adjustments, to ensure that people with disabilities in education do not suffer a substantial disadvantage in comparison to people who are not disabled.
Learn more at the Office of Public Sector Information website
Disability Equality Duty
Amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) made in December 2006 place an obligation on all public bodies, including the University, to promote disability equality and eliminate unlawful discrimination. The University has a Disability Equality Scheme and action plan in place to meet its duties.
Learn more about disability rights
Making a website accessible is the process of ensuring that the content is open to all users – regardless of the speed of their connection, their choice of web browser or any disability they may have.
The Quality Assurance Agency
The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Code of Practice has been integrated into the QAA audit scheme and will seek to ensure that ‘students with disabilities have access to a learning experience comparable to that of their peers’.
Learn more at the QAA website
Admissions Code of Practice
The code of practice for the admissions of students to the University of Birmingham states: ‘The University will at all times seek to operate procedures that are fair and are in accordance with the law of the United Kingdom, the University’s Charter, Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations, and the rules of natural justice. This includes specific compliance with legislation relating to discrimination (eg, Race Relations Amendment Act, Sex Discrimination Act and the Disability Discrimination Act, etc) and Clause 13 of the University Charter.’
View the University Charter (PDF 112KB)
Find out how to make your pages accessible