Accessibility

Accessibility denotes the promotion of equality. The accessibility of digital services means that anyone can easily use online services and their content. The Web Accessibility Directive of the EU and the Finnish Act on the Provision of Digital Services (in Finnish and Swedish only)  also apply to the University.

How can the accessibility of your content be improved? Instructions and guidelines pertaining to accessibility are collected on this page.

The University of Helsinki is committed to promoting equality and preventing discrimination in all its operations. Equality and, as a related factor, accessibility are essential to a diverse and multilingual University community.

Equality is an issue that affects all University staff: teachers, researchers, support staff and specialist staff. Students are also responsible for complying with common rules.

Related instructions and services are also offered to the University’s students and various partners.

Digital accessibility goes hand in hand with physical accessibility.

The helsinki.fi website, as well as all other online services operated by the University, must comply with the requirements of the Act on the Provision of Digital Services by 23 September 2020. Accessibility statements describe the accessibility of our services and provide information on how to give feedback on accessibility. Accessibility statements are available in conjunction with each individual online service.

Accessible online services have technically error-free implementation, a clear and easily perceivable user interface and understandable content. Challenges remain in the production of accessible content, since there are thousands of content producers at the University.

For example, the accessibility of the helsinki.fi website has been continuously improved with the help of audits carried out by experts and automated tools. Content producers have been oriented in producing accessible content.

Further information (login in with your University credentials):

Ac­cess­ib­il­ity_info.mp4

In a digital environment, accessibility means the act of considering the community’s diversity. Each content producer can promote accessibility.

The Act on the Provision of Digital Services applies to most of the features and content of websites and applications. According to the supervisory authority, only a handful of content and services are not required to comply with accessibility requirements:

  • Live video and audio streams
  • Content in temporary use by a restricted group in teaching
  • Certain tests (e.g., listening comprehension or testing of visual skills)
  • Maps and map services (excepting online maps for navigation)
  • Archived websites or content
  • Content produced by a third party (e.g., social media feeds)

Instructions pertaining to the accessibility of other content are available in the accessibility section of the content production guide (log in with your University credentials). Complying with accessibility requirements requires learning new things. When updating existing or creating new content, make sure that at least the following criteria are fulfilled:

  • Heading levels are in logical order.
  • Images and infographics have alternative texts.
  • Link titles are clear.
  • Starting from 23 September videos to be stored have captions, and podcasts have text equivalents.
  • Attachments are accessible as well.

However, language that is clear and understandable is key to the accessibility of the content.

The accessibility section of the content production guide contains also detailed instructions targeted at the Drupal content producers of the helsinki.fi website as well as individuals producing content for Flamma. Separate instructions are available on Flamma for those producing content for the Instructions for Students and Instructions for Teaching websites (log in with your University credentials).

In addition to the accessibility section of the content production guide, instructions targeted at teachers are available on the Instructions for Teaching website (will be published also in English).

Moodle (moodle.helsinki.fi) and our Moodle-based MOOC environment (mooc.helsinki.fi) are teachers’ primary publishing channel for digital material. MOOC areas must always be made accessible, while closed Moodle areas need not, unless they are intended for recurring use. 

The instructions for teachers in Moodle contain information on how to create, transfer or combine three types of content or services in Moodle areas: 

  1. Content to be made accessible in Moodle (texts, links, tables, images)
  2. Content to be made accessible outside Moodle (e.g., self-produced documents, videos and recordings)
  3. Third-party content or services (e.g., documents, videos, recordings, websites or online services)

In addition to the accessibility instructions, teachers are supported by the specialists of Educational Technology Services.

The accessibility of videos continues to present challenges. In addition to the development of existing systems, the University is currently testing and piloting new tools and services with which accessibility requirements can be met even better in the future.

Teaching is accessible when students have easy access to the classroom, can easily use the IT services employed in instruction and in communication about it, and are able to fully participate in instruction.

Sometimes accessible teaching requires special arrangements or equipment. Read more on the special arrangements instruction page.

The content produced by students for Moodle areas need not comply with the accessibility requirements, with the exception of content to be used recurrently. For example, a video produced by a student that remains in use as learning material must be captioned.

Theses published in Helda should be made accessible. In fact, instructions on the accessibility of thesis files are drawn up for students.