Accessible Information Policy & Guidelines
Trinity College Dublin is committed to a policy of equal opportunity in education, and to ensuring that students and staff have as complete and equitable access to all facets of College life as can reasonably be provided.
This document constitutes the current Accessible Information Policy of Trinity College Dublin published in conformity with the requirements of the Disability Act 2005, Universities Act, 1997, the Employment Equality Act, 1998-2004 and Equal Status Acts, 2000-2004. Further details of the legislative context are referenced in appendix 1.
The Accessible Information Policy of the College sets out a formal commitment by the College that information should be available in an accessible format, without discrimination against those with print disabilities.
Accessible Information is far reaching and includes printed information, web pages, presentation materials such as PowerPoint and information technology. To this end, College has developed a clear information policy and guidelines which outline how College can ensure information is accessible to all.
Accessible Information policy addresses the following areas:
- Print communication
- College web accessibility
- e-Learning accessibility
- Person to person communication
- Information Technology procurement
- College organised events
- Accessible information self-evaluation tool
- Legislative context for creating accessible information
All College publications should be written in as clear and jargon free a language as possible.
For guidelines on how to create documentation in an accessible format please see the CAPSL website at: https://www.tcd.ie/CAPSL/TIC/accessible-info/
It is not feasible for all College documents to be readily available in all formats. College will make available on request in accessible formats the following documents:
- College Strategic Plan
- Undergraduate and Postgraduate Prospectus
- Annual Report
- College Calendar and Regulations
- Guide to College Services
- Course handbooks
- Application forms for all services
- Information and Guidance leaflets on services
- Policy documents
Examples of Accessible Formats available are:
- Online accessible electronic formats available to download.
- Large Print Version (at least 16 font size point)
- Audio version in English and the Irish language.
- Video in ISL (Irish Sign Language)
College Web Accessibility Policy
College websites aims to be accessible for all users. Trinity websites must meet a minimum of W3C Level 2 compliance in line with the Web Accessibility guidelines (WCAG 1.0).
Further information can be found at: https://www.tcd.ie/Webdesign/policies/statement.php
E-Learning Tools - Accessibility statement
College will ensure that:
- All course management products such as WebCT, Moodle and course delivery mechanisms such as podcasting and i-Tunes should be accessible to all users. As these products allow academic staff to create and upload their own content, staff should be attentive to principles of accessible design when developing material.
- Electronic eLearning materials (mainly presented via the web) conform to the World Wide Web Consortium's W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and adhere to the principles of Universal Design.
- Where materials cannot be provided in an accessible format, alternatives will be provided where possible.
Good practice guidelines for E-Learning Accessibility are available on JISC Tech Dis web pages at:
Person To Person Communication
College will ensure that information will be provided in an accessible manner when speaking to a person with a hearing impairment.
Location of induction loops in public buildings will be indicated to those who require such assistance. To view the locations of induction loop systems across College please see: https://www.tcd.ie/disability/physical-access/#loop
Appropriate assistance will be provided to people with disabilities to access information on the wide range of services that are provided by the College. Sign language interpreters may be provided for public events, meetings, interviews and other events where necessary and where requested in advance to the organiser of event.
Information Technology Procurement
The increasing use of technology presents remarkable opportunities for all people; however information technology presents new accessibility challenges to those who have sensory, mobility, learning, and other disabilities.
Information technology goods and services include but are not limited to: software, electronic files, internet and web technologies, content management systems, learning management systems, computer based instructional technologies and telecommunications.
To ensure College makes technology accessible to all, the College Procurement procedures state ‘Tenderers are expected to be compliant with all statutory requirements, for example, Disability Act 2005’.
For more info on this area please see: https://www.tcd.ie/procurement/Accessible%20Procurement.php
College Organised Events
All College events should be accessible to all possible attendees and every effort should be made to ensure accessibility features are considered.
People with disabilities can face barriers when attending or participating in College organised events and it is important that organisers ensure that events are as accessible as possible.
- Wherever possible events should be held in fully accessible venues but it is recognised that older buildings do not meet this level of accessibility.
- In instances where venues are not fully accessible some accessibility issues can be addressed by having informed staff available to assist people with access issues.
- Accessibility of rooms in College can be checked via an online room checker at: https://www.tcd.ie/disability/physical-access/Building-check/
- When publicising events ensure there is a standard accessibility contact statement on all publicity, including print ads, web pages and information flyers. An example of this statement is: ‘please indicate if you have any access requirements so that we may facilitate you in attending this event’.
- Provide preferential seating toward the front of the event for attendees who are utilising sign language interpreting or real-time captioning services.
- Irish Sign Language interpreters can be booked through college preferred-supplier companies. While these companies are often able to find an interpreter at short notice, two weeks’ notice is required for some guarantee of filling a booking. Details of Irish Sign Language preferred suppliers and real-time captioning contacts can be found in this pdf document.
- Rates depend on the time required to be interpreted, and in some cases, on the subject matter. Where the time required is long and the information is dense, 2 interpreters may be required. Costs can go from a basic €120, per interpreter, per 3 hour session (minimum charge) to €340 per interpreter, (high skills charge for the same time). The cost of providing an interpreter is the responsibility of the organisers but may be covered by College; please contact the Disability Service for further information.
- Sign language interpreters should be situated in proximity to the event speaker and within the sight line of deaf attendee(s) so that both the interpreter and speaker can be viewed simultaneously. Arrange for spot lighting to be on the sign language interpreter.
- Real-time captioning. Sometimes an alternative option for Deaf/hard of hearing attendees. Real-time captioners with laptop monitors should be seated next to the attendees. Real-time captioners using projecting equipment should be situated in close proximity to the projection unit. Real-time captioners will require that some space be set aside for the placement of equipment. Details of Irish Sign Language preferred suppliers and real-time captioning contacts can be found in this pdf document.
- Check location of accessible toilet facilities, emergency exits and refreshment facilities.
Further information can be found on the College web pages at:
The monitoring and implementation of this policy is the responsibility of the Disability Service. The service reports on a yearly basis to the Equality Committee on areas colleges have addressed and where work is needed further. This policy will be evaluated and monitored on a regular basis through the following methods:
- Monitoring and updating of the Towards Inclusive College (TIC) website - https://www.tcd.ie/CAPSL/TIC/accessible-info/ to ensure relevant resources and help are available to all staff.
- Request and consider feedback received from the College community on the usefulness and benefit of providing information in an accessible format.
- Informing members of the College Equality Committee of changes in relation to legislation and policy regarding accessibility in provision of information.
- Staff are encouraged to self-evaluate accessible information responsibilities by using the Self-evaluation Tool - Towards Inclusive College (TIC).
This online tool allows users to reflect and evaluate upon the level of inclusivity within the delivery of programmes, modules or individual practices.
For more information on this area and for guidance on using the tool please see:
Appendix 1: Legislative Context
The College takes note of its obligations regarding access and equality especially those set out in recent legislation. The Disability Act (2005) requires public bodies such as College to ensure, over time, that buildings and services are accessible to people with disabilities. It places an obligation on College to integrate disability service provision with mainstream services, where this is practical and appropriate.
Disability Act accessible information requirements:
Section 28 (1) (a)
Each public body is required to ensure, as far as practicable, that information which is orally provided to the public is provided in an accessible format, where so requested by persons with hearing impairments.
Hearing impairments can range from minor difficulties with hearing normal speech or particular sound frequencies to profound deafness. Many individuals with impaired hearing can lip read; some use hearing aids, and some visual support (such as text phones or real time captioning); others may require sign language interpreters.
Section 28 (1) (b)
Each public body is required to ensure, as far as practicable, that written information and communications which it provides to the public is communicated in an accessible format, where so requested by persons with visual impairments.
Section 28 (3)
Each public body must ensure that, as far as practicable, information which it publishes which is directly relevant to persons with intellectual disabilities, is made available to them in clear language that they easily understand.
Section 26 (1) (c) Expert Advice
A public body must, where appropriate, ensure the availability of appropriate expertise and skills to advise it in relation to making its services accessible. Such expertise can be made available within the organisation, or, where appropriate, sourced externally.
The Code of Practice on Accessibility of Public Services and information provided by Public Bodies provides further information on how a public sector body is expected to meet these requirements. http://www.nda.ie/website/nda/cntmgmtnew.nsf/0/3DB134DF72E1846A8025710F0040BF3D?OpenDocument