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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 (as amended) and Equal Status Acts, 2000 (as amended). Further details of the legislative context are referenced in Appendix 1.

The Trinity Accessible Information Policy sets out a formal commitment by Trinity 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, Trinity has developed a clear information policy and guidelines which outline how Trinity can ensure information is accessible to all.

The Trinity Accessible Information Policy addresses the following areas:

  1. Print Communication
  2. College Web Accessibility
  3. Person to person communication
  4. E-Learning accessibility
  5. Accessible Procurement Guideline
  6. College Organised Events
  7. Social Media
  8. Policy Implementation and Monitoring

1. Print Communication

All Trinity publications should be written in clear and jargon free language in accordance with the following Guidelines on how to create documentation in an accessible format.

It is not feasible for all College documents to be readily available in all formats. College will make the following documents available in accessible formats on request:

  • 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

Please follow Trinity Identity accessibility guidelines when producing print communication. Trinity Identity Accessibility Guidelines 

Examples of Accessible Formats available are:

  • Online accessible electronic formats available to download.
  • Large Print Version (at least 16 font size point)
  • Braille
  • Audio version in English and the Irish language.
  • Video in ISL (Irish Sign Language)

2. College Web Accessibility

The Trinity website aims to be accessible to all users including people with disabilities. All new microsites of the Trinity website are required to be universally accessible at priority levels A and AA except in very exceptional circumstances, see Section 3.1 of the Trinity Web Policy Statement.

Additional information can be found on the full Trinity Digital Web Policy Statement.

3. Person to Person Communication 

Trinity will ensure that information will be provided in an accessible manner when speaking to a person with a hearing impairment. To ensure Trinity provides a good in-person service to people with disabilities, simply ask the individual what support they need and how you might help. The National Disability Authority have provided information on the types of assistance that you will need to arrange on request for different disabilities, see information National Disability Authority: Make your services more accessible.

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 can be provided for public events, meetings, interviews, and other events where necessary, and where such supports have been requested in advance to the organiser of the event (See Section 6 of this Policy). Please ensure to always ask attendees if they have any accessibility requirements.

4. E-Learning Accessibility 

Trinity will ensure that:

  • All Virtual Learning platform products such as Blackboard and course delivery mechanisms will 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 websites) are required to be universally accessible at priority levels A and AA except in very exceptional circumstances, see Section 3.1 of the Trinity Web Policy Statement.
  • Blackboard Ally adds value to the content provided via the VLE by academic staff. Blackboard Ally assists staff with understanding accessibility considerations and facilitates the creation of more accessible content. Blackboard Ally highlights issues and provides support as to how to improve the readability and navigation of documents uploaded to the VLE. This will allow for greater awareness of accessibility considerations and will allow colleagues to implement the practices they learn in relation to documentation/content. Guidance on the use of Blackboard Ally Module Content Accessibility Helper.
  • Where materials cannot be provided in an accessible format, alternatives will be provided where applicable. Guidance on creating online accessible materials.

5. Accessible Procurement Guidelines

Section 27 of the Disability Act 2005 requires the head of a public body to ensure that services provided and goods supplied to the public body are accessible to people with disabilities, unless that would not be practicable, would be too expensive, or would cause an unreasonable delay. 

Request for goods or services should demonstrate relevant experience of applying Universal Design principles and providing solutions that are accessible to the widest user audience, including older users and users with disabilities. National Disability Authority: Legislation about procurement and disability. 

It is essential that the tool or service fulfil the following criteria:

  • • Be technically accessible, in that it is possible for all users to access all information and functionality.
  • • Be equally usable, in that it is not prohibitively difficult or time consuming for users with disabilities to carry out normal tasks.
  • • Be capable of being adapted or configured by individual users to meet their specific needs and preferences.
  • • Be capable of interfacing with appropriate, widely available assistive technologies employed by users.
  • To ensure Trinity makes technology accessible to all, the Trinity Procurement procedures state that 'Tenderers are expected to be compliant with all statutory requirements'.
    For more information on procurement policy please see: Trinity Procurement Policies and Procedures.

    6. College Organised Events

    All Trinity events (in person and virtual) should be accessible to all possible attendees and every effort should be made to ensure accessibility features are considered.

    The following guidelines allow for organising events that are accessible and ensure responsibility lies with attendees to inform Trinity of their accessibility requirements.

    The term 'event' includes meetings, training courses, research seminars, conferences, exams, social and cultural events, and other events that a student, staff member or visitor would reasonably expect to attend. Please note online events should apply similar accessibility checks.

    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.

    Please review the following document when planning your event: Accessible Events: A good practice guide for staff organizing events in Higher Education.

    Accessibility of rooms and facilities within Trinity can be checked via the Online Room Accessibility Checker.

    When publicising events ensure that 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. Please tell us at least 2 weeks before the Trinity event. We need 2 weeks to arrange services such as sign language interpreters.'

    Ensure to check and be aware of the location of accessible toilet facilities, emergency exits and refreshment facilities for the venue.

    Further guidance is available through the Make College Events Accessible webpage.

    Sign Language Interpretation

    Provision of ISL interpretation is key to enabling the full participation of Deaf colleagues in university life, and all event organisers, including students, should familiarise themselves with the Procedures and Guidelines.

    Trinity has published Procedures and Guidelines in Relation to the Provision of ISL / English Interpretation. These procedures apply to all Trinity organised events including cultural, academic, and social events, as well as departmental meetings, where a staff member, student, or visitor requests ISL interpretation.

    Some general points to note (for full details please refer to the Procedures and Guidelines):   

    • The cost of ISL interpretation is covered by Trinity, not by the event organiser.
    • For large-scale events such as Provost's addresses, University Town Hall Meetings, etc., ISL interpretation should be provided as standard.
    • For many other events including smaller events and meetings, ISL interpretation should only be booked if it has been requested by a Deaf attendee.
    • Include an accessibility statement such as that given in the example above in all publicity material for any event you are organising.
    • Two weeks' notice may be required to book an ISL interpreter, so it is important to advertise your event well in advance.
    • If using an ISL interpreter at an event, the interpreter should be positioned close 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

    Real-time captioning is 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. Provide preferential seating toward the front of the event for attendees who are utilising sign language interpreting or real-time captioning services.


    Captions are text versions of the spoken word presented within multimedia. Captions allow the content of web audio and video to be accessible to those who do not have access to audio. Captions can be either closed or open. Closed captions can be turned on or off, whereas open captions are always visible. More information on captioning is available on the Social Media Accessibility webpage.

    Online platform Auto-captioning option
    MS Teams Closed Captions: Live auto-generated closed captions are a feature within MS Teams meetings.
    Panopto Panopto video captioning is a service that will add artificial machine-generated captions in English to all new Panopto lecture videos. More information is available on the IT Services Panooto Video
    Zoom Closed Captioning: Available from 3rd party captioning providers. The ability to assign the captioning duty to a participant is also a feature.
    YouTube YouTube creates machine-generated captions automatically for videos uploaded to the platform. These captions may be inaccurate and can be edited using YouTube's caption editor.

    7. Social Media

    Social media is an important and useful modern tool for communication, instruction, and promotion, accessibility on these platforms can be a significant issue for individuals with disabilities. Accessibility features do exist for each social media platform and the social media guidance below suggests ways to make social media posts more inclusive. Areas covered include:

    • Alternative Test Descriptions for Images
    • Captioning/Subtitling Videos
    • Context for Animated GIFs
    • CamelCase Hashtags
    • Emojis and Emoticons

    For more detailed information on social media accessibility in general and for specific guidance for each platform please visit the Disability Service Social Media Accessibility webpage.

    8. Policy Implementation and Monitoring

    This policy is owned by the Equality Committee and shall complement existing equality policies adopted by the University. Particular responsibility for the monitoring and implementation of the policy lies with the Equality Committee and the Disability Service. However, this policy applies throughout all University activities and all members of the University community play a role in making its provisions reality.

    This policy will be evaluated and monitored on a regular basis through the following methods:

    • Monitoring and updating of the Trinity Disability Service webpages to ensure relevant resources and help are available to all staff.
    • Requesting and considering 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.

     9. Contacts

    Contact the Equality Officer with any queries or suggestions regarding the Accessible Information Policy.

    Equality Officer Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2.

    +353 1896 4352

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    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 app, 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.