new research

We have a new Open Access research paper now available in ACM’s Transactions on Accessibility Computing (TACCESS). The paper ‘Digital Accessibility Education in Context: Expert Perspectives on Building Capacity in Academia and the Workplace‘ considers the socio-cultural conditions in which accessibility teaching and learning takes place, the institutional and organisational challenges that fundamentally shape the nature of accessibility education. The paper has ‘Just Accepted’ status, with formal copy to be updated soon.


The social model of disability, accessibility legislation, and the digital transformation spurred by COVID-19 expose a lack of accessibility capacity in the workforce, indicating persistent gaps in academic and professional education. We adopt a socio-cultural lens to examine how the context of education and training influences teaching and learning in university and workplace sectors, and how expert educators manage and negotiate these contextual factors to build accessibility capacity. This paper reports qualitative research with 55 experienced educators using expert panel method and focus groups. Analysis highlights the important disconnects and contextual challenges that educators must navigate and negotiate to affect and embed cultural change. We find that faculty and workplace cultures frequently perpetuate precarity in accessibility education, individualising the responsibility to ‘heroes’ or ‘champions’, while disciplinary and role-based silos limit the scope for raising awareness and developing widescale competency. Conversely, centres of excellence and communities of practice can cultivate and sustain links between education and research, engage expert users, and promote interdisciplinary and cross-role learning environments, where accessibility is increasingly recognised as a shared endeavour. We conclude that greater collaboration between academia and industry can enhance pedagogical understanding, to transform accessibility educational practices and build and sustain capacity for the future.

Cite: Coverdale, A. Lewthwaite, S., and Horton, S. (2024) Digital Accessibility Education in Context: Expert Perspectives on Building Capacity in Academia and the WorkplaceTransactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS).

We’re delighted to announce the publication of our open access research paper ‘Workplace approaches to teaching digital accessibility: establishing a common foundation of awareness and understanding‘ in Frontiers in Computer Science. This paper was published on 18th October 2023, and is part of a growing research topic Advancing Digital Accessibility in Academic and Workplace Education.


Accessibility in the digital world is a shared responsibility, requiring a common foundation of awareness and understanding. However, little is known about how digital accessibility can be effectively taught, and research on workplace teaching and training in accessibility is highly scarce, despite its crucial role in building accessibility capacity in the workforce. This paper considers workplace accessibility pedagogy to focus on aspects of foundational education, characterized as a pedagogically informed set of teaching strategies, cultivated through organizational and workplace cultures and practices. It contributes an analysis and synthesis of pedagogic research with 55 experienced accessibility educators in higher education and the workplace, in the UK and internationally, drawing on insights from expert panel methods including interviews, forums and focus groups. We find that digital accessibility is identified as a necessary core competency for an inclusive digital world. We examine the prevalent approaches that experienced workplace educators use to establish foundational awareness and understanding of accessibility to enable learners to achieve core learning objectives. We report the challenges that workplace educators face, negotiating different contexts and working practices and adapting foundational learning experiences to meet the pedagogic demands of different roles, responsibilities, and specialist advancement. In doing so, we demonstrate that establishing a common foundation of awareness and understanding is the basis for a pedagogic framework for digital accessibility education, with relevance for both workplace and academic settings.

Citation: Lewthwaite S, Horton S and Coverdale A (2023) Workplace approaches to teaching digital accessibility: establishing a common foundation of awareness and understanding. Front. Comput. Sci. 5:1155864. doi: 10.3389/fcomp.2023.1155864