Developing an Accessibility Statement for Weymouth College Website

James Foster
22nd November 2021

This reflection was contributed as a submission for a 2 Star Badge in Accessibility (Leading)

Give a brief description of your work context and responsibilities, e.g. your teaching background, experience, type of organisation (e.g. FE college, ACL), subject/curriculum you teach/lead, your learners (skills level, any particular inclusion needs, age range of group, size of group)

I am the Head of Academic Studies and the Quality Improvement Manager at Weymouth College. My teaching background covers a range of academic and vocational subjects, but traditionally I am a Law, Politics and History teacher. I have progressed throughout the organisational strucutre and worked as a learning team leader Quality Improvment Manager and Head of School. As Head of Academic... more

How did you use the learning from this/these module(s) (briefly describe the learning context, with a focus on Accessibility)

Before I started this project and this module, i was blisfully ignorant to accessibility and the law,. What i learnt from this module made me contact my Vice Principal (VP)and ask to see our accessibility statement. We did not have one and the VP suuggested that i look into writing a basic accessibility statement as part of the project. I did not really know where to start so i spoke with... more

How did you adapt/modify activities and/or resources for your context providing alternative approaches with specific reference to Accessibility practices?

As we did not have an accessibility statement, the first thing I did was to discuss this with my mentor and ask if he could help me to write one and provide me with a template. The template he provided me with had lots of links to read around the subject of accessibility and to get a better idea of what was required I had to read parts of the regulations, download and use manual and automatic... more

Provide any examples of any new approaches tested out.

The new approaches that I have tested out have been the accessibility checkers such as siteimprove

What worked well, or did not work so well? How would you approach the activity/use the resource differently next time?

Speaking with my mentor and going therough some parts of the site together went well. This simplified the process and pointed me in the right direction as to what needed to be included in the statement and also encourage me to read around the subject. The meeting with marketing went well and were able to prioritise what needs to be done. We have also decided to meet weekly to work on the... more

How did the learning from the module(s) impact on the quality of the learning experience?

The module itself was the catalyst which led to the initial communication with senior leadership regarding the creation of an accessibility statement. If it was not for the modulle and webinar I attended on accessibility, I would not started to look at the website and find out any of our compliance issues. I have learnt the basics of the law relating to accessibility and will take this... more

How have you initiated strategic change/quality improvement in relation to Accessibility, eg at a peer, department, organisational, regional, national level)?

Yes, the drawing up of the accessibility statement and the overhaul of teaching resources will allow the College to meet the goals of the strategic plan to maintain a culture which values differences, promotes equality, and embraces diversity. Meeting the regulations will provide an equitable experience to everyone who uses the College website. Furthermore, this will go towards improving the... more

What will be your next step in bringing about further change?

My next step will be to continue working on the accessibility statement with the marketing department and by the end of the project have a basic statement in place. This will allow the College to look at what is doing well and prioritise changes that will allow us to satisfy the regulations. Furthermore, I Intend to move onto teaching resources and provide training for staff to ensure they... more

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