DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY GUIDANCE FOR STUDENTS

In addition to existing accessibility provisions, new regulations for digital accessibility began to come into force in September 2019.

For students this means two things:

  1. From September 2019 content needs to be provided in an alternative format on request
  2. From September 23rd 2020, video and audio must be provided with at least one alternative format. The University of Glasgow will be providing automated transcripts as an alternative format.

It is important that you familiarise yourself with the guidance below:

What to expect from transcripts and captions

Transcripts and captions

To provide a more accessible, flexible and inclusive learning experience the University is providing transcripts and/or captions for video and audio recordings. Having written text may help you understand what is said in the recordings and may make it easier to navigate through recorded material.

Do not expect transcripts or captions to be completely accurate. 

  • Check your understanding using other sources such as textbooks, a subject-specific dictionary or lecture slides.
  • Transcripts will be automatically generated and may not have been checked by a lecturer before being provided to you.
  • Speech-to-text technology is still developing so it is important to note that automated transcripts and captions will not always be exactly the same as what is said in the recording.
  • Auto transcripts vendors claim that their products are between 80-90% accurate. Strong anecdotal experience suggests a lower figure is applicable in many circumstances.
  • Transcript accuracy will vary from recording to recording and will depend on many factors, including the quality of each audio recording and the ability of the machine to recognise the voice.
  • We recommend that if one is available, you use a subject-specific dictionary which should help you identify key terms. These are likely to be required in some subjects more than others. Examples include subjects such as maths and medicine, which use specific and technical terminology.
  • Key words and formulae may be available on the slides provided in advance of the lecture recording being available.

How to use transcripts and captions to support your learning

  • Transcripts can be searched to find a specific place in a recording, providing an efficient way to locate what you are looking for.
  • Captions will allow recordings to be viewed in locations where audio is not possible.
  • If you are unsure about something in the recorded lecture, please contact the lecturer and ask questions to clarify your understanding.

Feedback

The University is keen to hear your feedback on the usefulness of the transcripts and captions provided and will use that feedback to make improvements. Please contact your lecturer with any feedback. 

Alternative formats in Moodle

Students can ask for content in alternative formats. It is a legal requirement to provide documents, leaflets, electronic resources etc in an alternative format.

In Moodle, Blackboard Ally provides various alternative formats. You can tell if alternative formats are available as there will be an A and a down arrow icon (and an Alternative formats tag for screen readers) to the right of the file. Click on the icon to choose and download an alternative format. 

Blackboard Ally accessibility tool will be added to Moodle on 8 September 2020. 

Blackboard Ally creates the following alternative formats:

  • Tagged PDF (currently for Word, PowerPoint and OpenOffice/LibreOffice files) 
  • Mobile-friendly HTML
  • Audio
  • ePub
  • Electronic Braille
  • BeeLine Reader
  • OCR’d version (for scanned documents) 

Blackboard Ally provides alternative formats for these file types:

  • PDF
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Open Office
  • Libre Office
  • Uploaded HTML

See also

Blackboard Ally guidance for students