Web Accessibility: Institutional Perspectives

Video recording of EA Draffan

A number of plenary talks at IWMW events have demonstrated the importance placed on the accessibility of web content and services by those with responsibilities for managing institutional web services.

Over 10 years ago, at the IWMW 2004 event, a talk on “Beyond Web Accessibility: Providing A Holistic User Experience” highlighted some of the limitations of WCAG guidelines.

Moving on to more recent years at the IWMW 2012 event EA Draffan gave a plenary talk on “Beyond WCAG: Experiences in Implementing BS 8878” (and note that a video recording of her talk is available).

The following year Jonathan Hassell, editor of the BS 8878 standard gave another plenary talk on this topic, entitled “Stop Trying to Avoid Losing & Start Winning: How BS 8878 Reframes the Accessibility Question“.

BS 8878: A Workshop Session

It’s pleasing that since 2004 that not only have the limitations of WCAG and the WAI model for addressing accessibility of web resources been acknowledged, but an alternative approach, BS 8878, has been developed which enables WCAG guidelines to be used in a pragmatic manner, which can cater for the particular context of use.

Although the recent plenary talks helped to raise awareness of how BS 8878 can help to address the challenges of implementing appropriate web accessibility practices across the wide range of challenging uses of web technologies to be found across the higher education community the talks did not provide opportunities to explore how BS 8878 might be used in particular use cases.

A workshop session on “BS 8878: Systematic Approaches to Documenting Web Accessibility Policies and Practices” at the IWMW 2015 event aims to address this gap.

The session will provide an opportunity for participants to document policies and practices for specific uses of web technologies found across the sector. One such common use may be video recordings of talks. As the video recording of EA Draffan’s talk is not have captioned, should it be made available? If so, what is the business model for doing so? And if resources are not available to provide captions, will accessibility be enhanced if the video recording is deleted?

Such tensions are widely understood. The session will aim to ensure that relevant policies and procedures are provided which will address the requirements of the various stakeholders who have interests in the resources.

Your Institutional Approaches to Web Accessibility Policies and Practices

In order to gain an insight into existing approaches to institutional web accessibility policies a brief survey is available which is embedded below.


In addition a second brief survey invites your to describe your practices for embedding videos on institutional web pages.