Disability and accessibility
In line with our strategic vision of creating a truly inclusive environment for all of our staff and students, including those who have disabilities and difficulties accessing text, Queen Mary is committed to ensuring that all of our digital estate is accessible.
As a public sector body, the university is mindful of the new Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations that came into effect on 23 September 2018 and is in the process of ensuring that our websites comply with this legislation.
With this aim in mind, we are reviewing our existing document templates to ensure that they comply with the international WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard as required by the new legislation. We are also addressing the content on our virtual learning environment, QM Plus, and advising colleagues on best practice to help the people using our website access its content.
The timeframes for complying with the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations are as follows:
- Webpages published after 23 September 2018 must be made accessible by 23 September 2019
- Webpages published before 23 September 2018 must be accessible by 23 September 2020
- Any Apps must be made fully accessible by 23 June 2021
Problems accessing content?
If you experience any difficulties accessing any web content please contact us at email@example.com. Someone will reply to you within ten working days – wherever possible, this reply will include a response on how to make the content you are trying to access accessible, but if there are difficulties in doing this we will let you know. (Working days in this context means Monday-Friday, barring public holidays and university closure days).
Advice for Queen Mary staff
Queen Mary staff are advised to look at two documents available on the Advice for QMUL staff section of the Disability and Dyslexia Service website for more information and guidance on creating accessible content:
- QMUL Accessibility Principles for Text and Multimedia Teaching Materials
- Digital Accessibility Checklist
These have been produced in collaboration with our colleagues in the E-Learning Unit.
You can also use the SensusAccess digital conversion tool to upload documents and request them back in a format of your choosing. See our pages on how to convert a document and to access this facility, (NB: you will need a @qmul.ac.uk email address).
SensusAccess is a self-service, alternate media solution for educational institutions. SensusAccess allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media including audio books (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi) and digital Braille.
If for any reason you are not satisfied with the response to your accessibility feedback, please refer to the enforcement procedure outlined in the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
Queen Mary University of London has collaborated with the organisation AccessAble (formally DisabledGo) to create a comprehensive set of access guides for all the university's physical locations, covering all our campuses.
AccessAble state that they are there to “take the chance out of going out. To give you the detailed information you need to work out if a place is going to be accessible to you”, adding that their “Detailed Access Guides tell you all about a venue's access. They are 100% facts, figures and photographs.” (About AccessAble, 2019)
Their website hosts information on a wide range of venues and organisations across the UK – they currently work with many universities, including Imperial College London and King's College London. More locally, they have also worked with Tower Hamlets council and Barts and The London NHS Health Trust. The organisation was set up in 2000 as a result of their founder, Dr Gregory Burke's experiences and frustrations trying to access his local community as a wheelchair user. AccessAble is a Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise and is a not-for-profit social enterprise. By 2018 DisabledGo (now AccessAble) was used by over 1.5 million people each year to plan a visit or trip out. Thousands of people continued to shape the service getting involved in DisabledGo's engagement events and social media channels, and they aim to build on this success, hoping to be helping 3 million people by 2020.
AccessAble access guides
The access guides are aimed at disabled people – both prospective applicants and current students, as well as disabled staff and visitors – and have been produced for the benefit of all disabled people, including those with mobility issues, sensory impairments (e.g. hearing impaired, visually impaired, blind and deaf people), as well as those with sensitivities to extraneous lighting and sound, e.g., autistic people.
Where to find the access guides
QMUL’s access guides are hosted on the AccessAble website, with links to QMUL's buildings and services being embedded onto QMUL's own webpages wherever appropriate. The relevant access guide for each campus, building and university service can be navigated to from this main page.
If you would like the content relating to your service area reviewed please contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support for applicants and students
Queen Mary's Disability and Dyslexia Service (DDS) offers support for all students with disabilities, specific learning differences and mental health difficulties at Queen Mary from application through to graduation.
Our highly experienced team of staff offer advice, guidance and support in the following areas:
- Finding out if you have a specific learning difference like dyslexia
- Applying for funding through the Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA)
- Arranging DSA assessments of need
- Examination Access Arrangements
- Accessing loaned equipment (eg, digital recorders)
- Specialist one-to-one study skills tuition
- Assistance with access to course materials in alternative formats (eg, Braille)
- Providing non-specialist human support workers (eg, note-takers, lab assistants, readers)
- Specialist mentoring support for students with mental health diagnoses and conditions on the autistic spectrum.
Support for staff
Queen Mary University of London is committed to creating an environment where disabled staff can achieve their full potential.
If you have any queries about support available for disabled staff, please contact the Diversity Team. Your queries will be dealt with in confidence.
Disability and Dyslexia Service
Room FB 3.06, Francis Bancroft Building
Queen Mary University of London
Mile End Road
T: +44 (0)20 7882 2756
F: +44 (0)20 7882 5223
For more information, please visit the Disability and Dyslexia Service pages.