As an education leader, chances are you’ve invested money, time and energy in using technology to improve the student experience.
You’ve left behind “chalk and talk” teaching and are moving toward digitally-enabled systems that emphasise flexible, independent learning – with the learner at the centre of what you do.
Yet in an inclusive society, you need to meet the digital needs of all learners. Since the Equality Act 2010, for example, you have a duty to make learning accessible – in digital and physical spaces alike.
National strategies, too, stress the need to embed equality across your organisation, devolving responsibility in the process – and creating an evidence base for your work on inclusion and widening participation.
Pulling strategies together to make that happen can be a challenge. But it makes perfect sense – as it can not only help you meet your responsibilities, but also save money, improve your reputation, and reach new communities as a business.
To help you in the process, we’ve launched our consultancy service for developing a digitally-inclusive organisation.
We can help you embed inclusivity into your digital practice, meet legal obligations, and create a more inclusive student experience.
How our service helps you
This consultancy service can help you to:
Make the most of your digital investment
Embedding digital inclusion into your organisation can help you save money and get return on digital investment. For example:
Adopting digital inclusion technologies may lead to savings on more expensive services such as scanning, scribe support and reader support – allowing you to use human resources more effectively
Student independence via increased digital skills can also reduce the cost of support services
Improve your reputation and reduce risk
Improving the student experience across the organisation can increase student satisfaction – which has a positive effect on your reputation.
Our service helps provide practical responses to the network of policies, strategies and legislation on digital inclusion – not least the Equality Act 2010 – which also helps reduce legal risk.
Meet the needs of all students
By helping you use technology to engage learners, this service supports you in improving the learner experience. We do this by:
Identifying opportunities for technologies that support inclusivity – for example, by raising awareness of how voice recognition and text-to-speech can be productivity tools for all learners
Helping incorporate inclusivity into your policies and practice - for example, by embedding accessibility into procurement practice, and training staff in digital accessibility, you can ensure that digital platforms you purchase are accessible – along with the content created for them
How the service works
This service is divided into two elements: practical advice and support which is included in your Jisc membership, and additional, paid-for bespoke support for organisations who’d like to go further.
Included in your membership
As a Jisc member, you’re entitled to take part in our accessibility evaluation process on digital inclusion. This involves:
An accessibility snapshot of your five key student-facing resources – learning platform, e-book platform, website, prospectus and assistive technology provision
Follow-up feedback – identifying good practice and opportunities to improve accessibility
Signposting to valuable support resources and recommendations to meet student and legal expectations
Paid-for consultancy services
We can also provide additional bespoke support, including:
Strategic support to specific teams
We can work more closely with your teams – from your inclusion steering group to procurement to staff development – to find ways of improving digital accessibility in a range of contexts.
Training and practical support
We can help train teams on how to support digital inclusion – to support you in spreading good practice throughout your organisation. For example, we can:
Support library teams in evaluating accessibility of resources
Train your disability teams in technology solutions
Help lecturers and e-learning teams use technology as inclusively as possible
Help marketing professionals and internal content teams create accessible content