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Digital Accessibility Course

Recognising the importance of accessibility in the digital age, we have produced a new Digital Accessibility Course. This resource is aimed at ensuring that all digital content and platforms within our institution are accessible to individuals with disabilities, as required by law. This course is designed to give you an overview of the accessibility regulations, design principles and how you can create more accessible content. Upon completion you should be more confident in creating content that is more accessible and understand why online content needs to be accessible. We encourage staff to work through this resource to understand the fundamentals of digital accessibility.
Click here to access the HYMS Digital Accessibility Course

About Hull York Medical School Blackboard

Blackboard is the VLE or virtual learning environment at the Hull York Medical School. You are likely to use Blackboard to access resources, submit work, work collaboratively with other students and so on. The Blackboard system meets internationally-recognised Web Content Accessibility standards, you will be able to do the following with your browser:

  • change colours, contrast levels and font size
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen except where content has been created by a user in such a way to not make this possible (for example within a non-responsive table)
  • navigate the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader

You should be able to do the above on anything that has been typed directly into Blackboard itself. You can access Blackboard’s guides on how to use it with a screen reader, including landmarks, keyboard navigation and quick links.

About files uploaded to Blackboard

The majority of files on Blackboard have been uploaded or curated by Hull York Medical School staff. There are a large number of modules, content files and file types. As such, the accessibility level may vary between them. We know that most older PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software and lecture capture content does not yet have captions or transcripts. However, we are revising our current courses to maximise accessibility for as many users as possible. This means that you should be able to do the following in the software that opens the files:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts on documents
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate the file content using just a keyboard
  • navigate the file content using speech recognition software
  • listen to the file content using a screen reader

Alternative formats

You can also use the self-service facility, Sensus Access, which is provided by the York University Library to allow you to create alternative formats. If you need specific academic support and adjustments, do seek advice from the York University disabilities advisers.

How to make contact to report accessibility issues

If you have problems using Blackboard or the files on Blackboard :

  1. Speak to your tutor in the first instance.
  2. Consider speaking to your student reps to highlight issues to your department.
  3. You can further escalate any issues to help@hyms.ac.uk and we will get back to you in 3 working days.
  4. You can raise a complaint using the York University complaints procedure.

Enforcement of accessibility regulations

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you are not happy with how the University has responded to your notification or request, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

  • In this academic year, we are adding a tool to Blackboard called Blackboard ALLY that will enable students to download alternative formats from the VLE.
  • The York University Library is enhancing the digitisation workflow to create more accessible materials for reading lists.
  • We are aiming to provide captions on lecture recordings by Sep 2020.

This statement was last updated on 25 Oct 2019. Version 1.0

Third Party Accessibility Links

Hull York Medical School uses Blackboard Learn as the core application with a select set of supported integrated tools from several 3rd party vendors which are used to provide additional functionality.

Links to supported vendor Accessibility Statements: