Spreading the word on digital accessibility

In May, we ran a Learning at Work Week event at Sussex to talk about the importance of digital accessibility.

Amie Morrell, who’s currently QA and Accessibility Manager within Digital and Creative Media, led the session, pulling together the accessibility guidance we give to Sussex staff and adding context to changes in accessibility rules.

During our session, we covered: 

  • what digital accessibility is 
  • why it’s important 
  • how to create content that meets accessibility standards.

What is digital accessibility?

If you’re not sure what we mean by digital accessibility, it’s designing web pages, apps and other technologies so that they’re usable by everyone, including people with disabilities. This involves removing barriers so all users can perceive, understand, navigate and interact with digital content.

To create this inclusive space, we must follow laws and standards such as WCAG 2.2, the Equality and Disability Act, and the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations.

In the session, we also discussed the upcoming European Accessibility Act (coming in June 2025), which has more enforcement powers.

What we explored 

In the session we covered some of the assistive technologies people might use to access our content including screen readers, sip and puff devices and keyboard only. We showed videos of people using some of these technologies and explained why it’s important to create accessible content.

Interestingly, many assistive technologies are now widely used. For example, Ofcom found that 80% of people use TV subtitles to enhance their viewing experience, especially in quiet environments where they can’t use sound. 

We then looked at the things we can do collectively when creating content to ensure everyone can access our information.

This includes: 

  • well-written page titles and hierarchical headers 
  • descriptive link text 
  • alt text for images 
  • transcripts and subtitles for videos and podcasts 
  • clear, simple language
  • a colour contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for text over background colour.

More about Learning at Work Week

Learning at Work Week (LAW Week) is a national event led by Campaign for Learning to foster a culture of continuous learning and development in the workplace.

Using LAW Week was a fantastic opportunity to highlight digital inclusivity, especially as we progress the New Web Estate project. It was great to see such a strong turnout and clearly there is an appetite among the Sussex community to deliver a more inclusive experience. We’re excited to have them supporting us as we work towards a new website.


Our mission is to create an accessible website experience for all users. We aim to educate our University community about the necessity of producing fully-compliant content, systems and apps – not only to meet legal requirements but also to put our users at the heart of everything we do.

The session was a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about this vitally important and often overlooked area and we’d love to do more.

If you work at Sussex, or you’re working with us, and want to learn more about digital accessibility or need advice about making something accessible, email dcm@sussex.ac.uk.  

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