Roles and Responsibilities: Digital Accessibility Policy

The University of Kent Digital Accessibility Policy describes the University's approach to meeting its requirements under the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Overview of section 6

Section 6 of the policy covers roles, responsibilities, and policy compliance.

Digital accessibility management framework


A proposed management structure for digital accessibility is outlined below to support the statements set out in this policy. 

Roles and responsibilities


This section is broken down by role at Kent, as detailed below.

Executive Group


The Executive Group is accountable for ensuring that the University adheres to The Regulations.

Accessible Information Team


The Accessible Information Team oversees matters of compliance with the technical web standards set out in The Regulations, including compliance of accessibility statements. These may be reported to the Head of Assurance and Data Protection for resolution. 

The Accessible Information Team develops a suitable strategy and framework to support the University in meeting its accessibility goals and monitor its implementation. They will ensure that good practice is applied and support the Divisions and Professional Service Departments in their digital plans. This includes raising awareness of relevant legislation and of actions needed, as set out in this policy, to ensure compliance.

Governance and Assurance Teams


The Governance and Assurance Team will advise and support the Accessible Information Team to resolve issues where incidences of non-compliance with standards are identified across the University.

Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy Group


The Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy Group support the maintenance of the framework and the monitoring of the University’s overall adherence to the legislation through Equality Impact Analysis (EIA). There should be regular EIAs (Equality Impact Analysis) on how changes are affecting staff in different equality groups and positions within the University.

Directors of Divisions and Professional Service Departments


Directors must appoint to a role responsible for accessibility in the service (the Divisional and Professional Service Department Accessibility Champion) and take responsibility for digital accessibility compliance within their division.

Divisional and Professional Service Department Accessibility Champions


Each division and professional service department will have an Accessibility Champion to  support colleagues in meeting the accessibility regulations. To do this, Champions will be fully supported by the Accessible Information Team, and the Executive Group. Divisional and Professional Service Department Accessibility Champions will: 

  • raise awareness of accessibility within their division, so that staff understand their roles in making systems and content digitally accessible. This includes sharing all guidance, communications, and training opportunities within the division. 
  • create and maintain a list of systems in scope of this policy within their division, including each system's compliance status.
  • support System Owners within their division in their pursuit of compliance by liaising with the Accessible Information Team to schedule audits and plan remedial actions. 
  • support Procurement/Contract Managers to ensure that all systems (both existing and newly procured) have the University’s accessibility requirements built into contracts with the supplier. 
  • explore opportunities to centralise websites within their division under the domain.

System owners


The University’s system owners will ensure that the digital systems under their control remain within the standards of WCAG 2.1 AA and relevant legislation. To achieve this, they must: 

  • ensure their digital system or mobile application is fully compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA; 
  • ensure their digital system or mobile application lists a current accessibility statement which matches the requirements set out in the University’s Accessibility Statement Template (and accompanying guide for completion); 
  • put procedures in place to only publish accessible content on their system. If other services are providing content to the system owner, the system owner should make the service aware that they must only provide accessible content and can refuse to publish non-accessible content depending on their risk appetite. 
  • identify and monitor known accessibility issues in the form of a remedial action plan. Issues should be prioritised and resolved as part of this plan. If deadlines are provided as part of a monitoring process, the system owner must resolve the issues by the stated deadlines; 
  • work with contract managers and the University’s Accessibility Champions to incorporate accessibility requirements into new and existing contracts. This includes taking active steps to move websites into the domain where appropriate; 
  • provide information about their system’s accessibility and allow access to the system for internal and external monitoring processes if asked to do so by the Accessible Information Team; and 
  • ensure that reasonable adjustments are in place for systems, for example providing accessible formats on request. 

System owners are also responsible for the handling of any digital accessibility-related complaints associated with their system(s). They should also report all such complaints to the Accessible Information Team for corporate monitoring purposes.

Contract managers


Contract managers (or managers with contract management responsibilities) must make sure that contractors and commissioned service providers understand their responsibilities in providing digital systems that support the University in meeting its obligations regarding digital accessibility. They must also ensure that any tools used to deliver such services comply with the current standards at the time.

As part of the procurement process, contract managers should check the supplier’s conformity to accessibility requirements. Where a supplier does not meet accessibility requirements, this must be taken into consideration during the awarding process. 

To achieve this, contract managers must ensure that appropriate clauses are included in the contract. They must then actively monitor and report on the compliance with those contractual obligations by the supplier as part of contract management.

Where issues are found that need funding to resolve, the contract manager and the service owning division are responsible for managing these requirements.

Where products do not meet accessibility requirements, the supplier must provide evidence of their progress towards compliance. This must be actively monitored as part of contract management. 

Contract managers should seek support from the Accessible Information Team where they are unsure about digital accessibility compliance matters. 

Service managers


Managers, team leaders and supervisors must ensure that staff are appropriately trained to produce accessible content and that the content published (or submitted to be published) is accessible. Guidance and support can be found on the University of Kent Accessibility pages.

All staff


All staff are responsible for the compliance of any content they produce for a digital system, for example Moodle or SharePoint. This includes making sure that automatic speech recognition (ASR) is enabled for all multimedia as a minimum requirement. 

  • Any content that is aimed at all staff or students (for example campus-wide, or division-wide content) should have human-corrected captions. 
  • Any content that is publicly available on a University of Kent digital system should have human-corrected captions 

Staff should use the tools available to make their content accessible before it is published and should seek advice from Divisional and Professional Service Department Accessibility Champions and then the Accessible Information Adviser if full accessibility cannot be achieved. 

The University and College Union (UCU) advises that staff need to be given appropriate training (see 6.4) on the tools and platforms they must use. Since digital accessibility is a developing area, regular training on updated technology and practice must also be provided.  

Staff should also be given appropriate continuing personal development (CPD) opportunities to carry out this training and comply with the new responsibilities.  

In addition, any training, additional CPD opportunities or additional workload needed to use new tools and platforms should fall within staff members’ current workload allocation and should not be carried out in addition to the workload already agreed by contract. Captioning

Under the regulations we are required to offer accurate captions for any audio-visual materials that we publish on any of our digital systems. Live sessions are not in scope of the regulations, however where these sessions are recorded e.g., in KentPlayer or Teams, these recordings will be in scope and must have accurate captions. All recorded sessions will have Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) applied to them by default, however these are not fully compliant under the regulations as captions generated using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) may contain transcription errors. Students should be encouraged to seek clarification from module convenors/teachers in such cases. Student Support and Wellbeing will provide support for captioning of taught lectures where a student has an Inclusive Learning Plan (ILP) that identifies additional support requirements. 

The provision of accurate captions for audio-visual content added to any University of Kent digital system (whether internal or externally sourced) is the responsibility of the member of University staff who selected it.  

For more information about captioning compliance please see the Captions in Kent Player guide or speak with the E-Learning team

6.2.11 Students 

Students should be given appropriate training and encouragement to develop digital accessibility awareness as an important employability skill and graduate attribute.


6.3.1 Internal reporting

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) regularly reports progress towards or problems with compliance to the Executive Group and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity Strategy Group. 

6.3.2 External reporting

The University may be required to report on progress externally as part of the monitoring process or another query (such as a Freedom of Information Request). The Director of Governance and Assurance will act on behalf of the University with support from the Accessible Information Team to provide adequate and accurate information for these purposes.  

Training and awareness


All staff should feel confident that they know their personal responsibilities and can carry out their duties in respect of this Digital Accessibility policy. Appropriate training is available. Information, advice, and guidance are maintained on the University of Kent Accessibility pages.

Policy compliance


By performing a role or action detailed in the Roles and Responsibilities, you are deemed to have read, understood, and agreed to adhere to this policy.  

If you do not understand the implications of this policy or how it may apply to you, ask for advice from the Governance and Assurance and Accessible Information Team.

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