UK law on web accessibility

Practical resources and advice to help you understand and implement the new legislation.

On 23 September 2018 new regulations on the accessibility of websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies came into force in the UK.

These regulations implement the EU directive on web accessibility and require public sector websites and mobile applications to achieve specific accessibility standards. This applies to all publicly-funded higher and further education institutions.

The government will be monitoring affected websites and apps to check they follow the rules and aren’t breaking the new legal requirements.
 

Government advice and resources

Read the government guidance on making online public services accessible - includes help with:

How we can support you

Overview session

In November 2018 we ran a briefing to outline the changes and highlight what needs to be done to ensure compliance.

Responding to the regulations

This session looked at the legislation and how to address it. It also explored how we are working together with the sector to make the most of this opportunity. To improve the student experience for everyone, not just those with disability issues. 

Delivered at Digifest 2019 by specialists from Jisc, Ability Net and the Government Digital Service (GDS).

Download the PowerPoint slides with notes (pptx).
 

More about the session

The session provides:

  • A brief introduction to the key points of the legislation
  • An overview of the potential benefits for organisations in terms of improved service join up, quality assurance and digital competency agendas
  • An overview of how to create and test accessible platforms
  • A summary of how GDS are working with the sector to ensure guidance is contextualised, avoiding unintended consequences
     

Consultancy

These can be adapted for bespoke single institution delivery.

  • VLE review
    A strategic review of your VLE, to help you take steps to improve the student experience
  • Infrastructure review
    Ensure your IT systems can support your organisation’s vision

New guidelines - get involved

Jisc is a co-chair of the digital accessibility working group, liaising with the Government Digital Service to help ensure guidance on implementing accessibility regulations:

  • Is context-aware, recognising the nature and complexity of educational digital platforms and content
  • Avoids unintended consequences
  • Ensures the sector takes advantage of the new regulations to improve teaching and learning for all students

Share your suggestions, concerns or feedback via the digital accessibility regulations JiscMail list, where you'll also receive updates and practical resources from our four working groups. 
 

Working groups

The working groups comprise:

  1. Accessibility statements and technical compliance (facilitated by Abi James, AbilityNet)
  2. Resources, training and skills development for staff (facilitated by Alistair McNaught, Jisc)
  3. Guidance and policy framework for implementing regulations (facilitated by Robert McLaren, Policy Connect)
  4. Stakeholder engagement and dissemination (facilitated by Ben Watson, University if Kent)

All working group outputs are disseminated through the digital accessibility regulations JiscMail list. Information on joining the working groups is available through the JiscMail list above.

We are also active members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Assistive Technology and have contributed to that groups report on accessible virtual learning environments – making the most of the new regulations

Other resources