About the accessibility regulations

Introduction

Lancaster University has to meet the requirements of the new accessibility regulations. We all have a responsibility to make sure the University meets them, and we may be breaking the law if our websites or apps don’t.

At least 1 in 5 people in the UK have a long term illness, impairment or disability – many more have temporary disabilities. At the university there are over 1,900 students who have a declared disability, and others may require adaptations but don’t declare it.

But following the accessibility guidance will not only help all those that use adaptations such as screen readers, magnifiers, special keyboards or speech recognition software – It will also help to make your services quicker and easier to access, and information easier to understand for everyone.

The following video provides a short introduction to the new regulations.

Who is responsible?

Almost everyone! Anyone at the University who publishes information, or makes content or resources available via the web or mobile applications, is responsible for ensuring it’s accessible.

This includes any web sites hosted by the University, module resources hosted in Moodle, WordPress sites, and services provided via a web browser (see the section further down about what is and isn't included).

What are the deadlines for making any changes needed?

At a high level the regulations give the following deadlines for ensuring that web content, services and applications are accessible:

DescriptionDate
Documents and PDFs published on the web that are essential to understand and access services 23 Sept 2019
New websites published since 23 September 2018 23 Sept 2019
New applications and services provided over the web 23 Sept 2020
Applications and services developed prior to 23 September 2018 23 Sept 2020
Pre-recorded audio and video files created from September 2020 onwards must be accessible 23 Sept 2020
Mobile applications 23 June 2021

There's further guidance on deadlines for specific content types on their individual pages - see the What do you manage or create? section.

What is and isn't included in the regulations?

What is included?

Sites, apps and content covered by the regulations include:

  • Content on the main University website.
  • Websites published by individuals or research groups (e.g. using WordPress).
  • Learning resources uploaded to Moodle spaces.
  • Content on the staff intranet/student portal.
  • ilancaster content.
  • Other mobile applications.
  • Applications with web interfaces (such as eExpenses, online surveys, room bookings, etc.).

What isn’t included?

Following the accessibility guidance generally means that your services will be quicker and easier to access, and information easier to understand. However, there are content types that are currently excluded from the regulations:

  • Pre-recorded audio and video files created before September 2020.
  • Heritage collections like scanned manuscripts.
  • Maps (but you’ll need to provide an accessible alternative where needed).
  • Third-party content that’s under someone else’s control if you didn’t pay for it or develop it yourself - for example, content created elsewhere that you refer to in your Moodle space.
  • Content on intranets or extranets (e.g. a news article on the Staff Intranet) published before September 2019, unless you make a major revision after that date).
  • Archived websites if they’re not needed to access current services.

For specific guidance on different content types, see the What do you manage or create? section.