It's not always possible to make all of the content within learning and teaching resources fully accessible for all users. It is important to be transparent with students about any content that might pose digital accessibility issues. For this reason, all Minerva modules contain a dedicated area in the 'Module Information' section for you to include a module accessibility statement.
A module accessibility statement should provide a brief overview of the types of content in that module that could be regarded as inaccessible to some students.
Module leaders should use Blackboard Ally to help populate module-level accessibility statements. Blackboard Ally is a tool that identifies and helps you fix accessibility issues in content in Minerva.
How to create the statement
Copy and paste the relevant following information into the 'Module Accessibility Statement' in the 'Information - Start Here' area in the Minerva module.
1. Add a title
To begin the statement, use the following title, replacing [module name] with the name of the relevant module.
2. Select the appropriate information
It is recommended that colleagues only use the wording provided here to maximise clarity and consistency. It can be supplemented by a more detailed description (eg which specific resources are affected) following the list of statements, should colleagues choose to do so.
3. List third-party content, tools or software
Listing the third-party content, tools or software (e.g. Top Hat) that will be part of the module will help students with access needs better anticipate blockers to engaging with the content. This gives them the chance to raise any issues with the module leader earlier.
Use the following phrasing to introduce your list and then note all the third-party content, tools or software that will be part of the module:
4. Explain any accessible alternative routes
Make sure you explain what people can do instead if they can't use something that's part of a module, such as a browser-based tool or software. This will typically be required if it's know that something doesn't meet the appropriate accessibility requirements. This is vital for anything students must use as part of assessment.
See our guidance on accessible alternative routes to better understand what kind of alternative routes might be suitable. The route will depend on the thing you're creating a workaround for.
The explanation should be presented in as much detail as is necessary to avoid any obstruction or confusion for the student.
5. Provide contact details
Where students may struggle with content it's important they have a route to contact module leaders. Copy and paste the following phrasing to under the heading: 'Feedback and support'.
Not sure about the accessibility of your content?
Using the Digital Accessibility site
If you're confused by the kinds of problems Blackboard Ally is raising, the information on this website may help. It's split into two main sections:
- Guidance: This explains different ways content may need to improve to increase its accessibility. There are also step-by-steps of how to follow this guidance in Word and the University's main CMS platforms.
- Quick fixes: This houses digital accessibility checklists you can work through when creating web content, Word documents and PowerPoint slides to feel confident your materials meet a good standard of accessibility.
Contact your SALIP
SALIPs are School Academic Leads for Inclusive Practice. They know about digital accessibility and will do their best to help you. SALIPs are in most faculties. Visit the Our Academic Leads page to find the contact details of the SALIP most relevant to your area.