This guide supports college leadership teams and staff to make further education more accessible for blind and partially sighted students.Find out more about 'Making College Accessible'
Technology and accessibility in further education
Research into how blind and partially sighted students access information and assistive technology
One year ago, our research revealed that further education (FE) colleges are failing in their compliance with website regulations and little focus on inclusion, accessibility and anticipatory adjustments. This impacts how blind and partially sighted students can access information for their studies and about their college.
A year on we commissioned All Able Ltd to follow up on where colleges are now. This time the research includes Specialist FE colleges.
What we found
The findings show small improvements. Headline results show almost a quarter of colleges now have a Good or Compliant accessibility statements on their websites (up by 8%). And the number having poor quality, or no statements is down by 12%. But 63% of statements are still poor.
Find out how your college fared on our accessibility online map.
What we are doing
We are working with both the Association of Colleges (AoC) and the National Association of Specialist Colleges (NATSPEC) to raise the profile of the report and the importance of getting websites right and accessible.
We have produced a range of resources to support colleges to do this in our ‘Make College Accessible’ guide.
Cambridge Regional College took action following the publication of the report in 2021. Jeremy Lloyd, Director of Supported Learning and Inclusion, said:
“We used the findings from Thomas Pocklington Trust to review and continue to make adjustments to our systems and processes. We know it is really important that the whole student journey is of a high quality and that our students, who are blind and partially sighted, are supported to be independent, through adapted resources and assistive technology to achieve their own individual outcomes.”
Tara Chattaway, Head of Education at TPT, said:
“Every blind and partially sighted student should have access to a quality college education. Our research shows there is still a lack of inclusive practice creating a barrier to accessibility. This was seen in inaccessible software, systems, processes and culture.”
Read our reports
You can read our latest report here
Read our original report from 2021 here
Listen to the podcast
About All Able
All Able is a consulting company committed to using its expertise to help public sector organisations remove barriers and deliver accessible and inclusive services that work for everyone. We believe that everyone should have equal opportunity to utilise public services, get an education, and engage with their communities to live an enjoyable and independent life. Go to www.allable.co.uk to find out more.
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