Accessibility can also refer to the concept of learners having ‘digital access’ to resources, as highlighted in the second consideration earlier. Like learning need-focused accessibility, this refers to removing barriers and ensuring that all learners can access resources equally. Here are a few examples of potential digital access issues:
- Journal articles which require subscriptions not provided by your institution’s library
- Youtube censorship in some countries
- Box of Broadcasts, which is intended for a UK audience, have opened their restrictions, but it is still not legally accessible worldwide
- Software which is only provided for your students on computers physically situated on-campus- examples may include; statistics, media editing, computer-aided design software.
- Content which is not playable or accessible on older operating systems or hardware.
It is important to note that whilst there are workarounds to providing access to resources that are restricted, using such workarounds may constitute a breach of the terms and conditions of using the resource and/or your contract with a supplier.
Where you cannot provide access to resources for all learners, it is better to seek alternatives, especially where restricted resources are part of the essential learning materials and a learner’s progress is dependent upon accessing it.
There is a wide range of open access resource repositories available, including some that have been made available free of charge to support teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic- including some Pearson resources. More information is available at the bottom of this page.
Take a look at some further resources to help you get to grips with accessibility and to help source alternatives to restricted content.