New research has been published which outlines several ways further education colleges can become more accessible for blind and partially sighted students.

With the support of KMPF’s Special Educational Needs and Disability Progression Partnership (SEND PP), research into technology and accessibility in FE conducted by All Able on behalf of Thomas Pocklington Trust, found that colleges across the UK are struggling to ensure the education they provide is fully accessible for blind and partially sighted students.

Despite the research reporting positively on the support provided by dedicated support teams and individual staff, the findings highlight that a cultural shift is needed for accessibility to become the responsibility of all involved in teaching and learning.

Now the Thomas Pocklington Trust has developed a ‘Making college accessible guide’ for colleges, which could also be useful for schools.

The guide includes several practical recommendations, advising colleges to:

  1.   Implement a digital accessibility policy.

  2.   Map the extent of the college digital estate and student interactions with college systems and resources.

  3.   Ensure policy and processes are in place and followed by digital content teams.

  4.   Invest in training to support staff.

  5.   Only procure new digital systems that meet accessibility standards

  6.   Engage with all students to foster the creation of a more inclusive community.

Each of these recommendations is expanded on in detail in the guide.

Joni Chase, FE Development Manager at the Kent and Medway Progression Federation (KMPF), said, “A key part of the SEND PP’s remit is to make sure education is accessible to everyone – including supporting cultural change where it is needed.

She added, “We welcome this report and look forward to working with colleagues across our local colleges to support improvements in accessibility for visually impaired students.”

Read the Executive Summary

Download the full report

Making college accessible guide

If you are interested in finding out more about the SEND PP, please sign up to the mailing list here.

Lucy King

23 Feb 2022

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