2020

On Friday, Sarah and Angharad were in conversation with Neil Milliken, Debra Ruh and Antonio Santos on the Teaching Accessibility project ahead of a forthcoming Twitter Chat – #AXSchat – focussed on the teaching of accessibility. The conversation is available via iTunes AXSchat podcast, in your browser via BuzzSprout, or on YouTube as a Subtitled video

We hope that those of you on Twitter will be able to join the conversation tomorrow, Tuesday 11th Feb, 20:00-21:00 GMT / 15:00-16:00 EST. To do so, follow the questions via @AXSchat and tweet using the hashtag #AXSchat.

We’ve set six questions that we hope will instigate a conversation that raises useful reflections, resources, and dialogue for everyone involved in accessibility: 

Q1: How did you first start to learn about #accessibility? What helped you on your learning journey?

Q2: How do you continue to learn about #accessibility? Has this changed over time?

Q3: How can someone starting out get from #accessibility basics to a specialist/expert level? What does it take in terms of support, mentors, time and resources etc?

Q4: How can the lived experiences of disabled people be best drawn upon for #accessibility training and teaching?

Q5: How can current #accessibility teaching and training be developed? What feedback, networks, events and conversations are needed to do this?

Q6: What does excellent #accessibility teaching and training look/feel like? Are some formats (hackathons, sprints, MOOCs etc) better than others? Why?

We’re glad to announce that our accessibility policy analysis has been published by the journal of Disability and Society. Academics can access the paper via Disability & Society: ‘Accessible at last?: what do new European digital accessibility laws mean for disabled people in the UK?’. An Open Access authors’ pre-print version is also available via our publications page. We are planning further analysis leading to a longer work, concerning issues of compliance culture and education policy. If there are areas that you think can or should be expanded/deepened, or further work we should be aware of, please do let us know. We appreciate your comments. 

The full abstract and reference follow below: 

Abstract

Recent changes to the regulation of digital services could represent a step-change in the accessibility of public sector websites and applications in the UK and across Europe. Accessibility will be centrally monitored meaning the onus is no longer exclusively on disabled people to issue legal challenges to digital exclusion. How will these changes affect disabled people in the UK, in light of Brexit and the complex relationship between standards and disability?

Lewthwaite, S. & James, A. (2020) Accessible at last? What do new European digital accessibility laws mean for disabled people in the UK?. Disability & Society.

Would you like to do a PhD investigating the teaching and learning of accessibility?

We are currently seeking funding for two outstanding PhD candidates (UK-based or international) to come to work with us here at the University of Southampton, researching the teaching and learning of accessibility. As a doctoral researcher, you will join the Centre for Research in Inclusion at Southampton Education School at the University of Southampton – one of the UK’s best Education departments. Here, you will work on new research into the teaching and learning of digital accessibility. Potential topics for pedagogic research include learner perspectives on accessibility; or ageing in accessibility education.

Proposals can either be candidate-led (initiated by you) or developed with us. We are currently seeking funding from the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership and Southampton’s Presidential Scholarships through a competitive process, with a view to PhDs beginning in Autumn 2020/Spring 2021. 

For more information, please get in touch with Principal Investigator and project lead Dr Sarah Lewthwaite.