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Cambridge LibGuides

Find out more about our library services, facilities and resources

Accessibility and inclusivity: Cambridge libraries toolkit

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 is a UK legal framework designed to ensure that, as far as possible, people have equal opportunities. The Act brings together a number of previous pieces of legislation. There are specific sections on 'Adjustments for disabled persons', 'Services and Public Functions' and 'Further and higher education'.

Please click here to access the full Equality Act online, with a link to the original document in pdf form.

Guidance and policy from IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions)

The guidelines below have been developed by IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. The more theoretical aspects are important in terms of providing the justification for action and the implementation of accessible and inclusive library services. IFLA also provide practical advice on accessibility in libraries.

  • Access to libraries for persons with disabilities - CHECKLIST

  • Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dyslexia – Revised and extended

  • Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dementia

  • Guidelines for Easy-to-Read Materials

  • Guidelines for Library Services to Deaf People (2nd Edition)

  • Library Services to People with Special Needs Section - Glossary of Terms and Definitions

Our duties at Higher Educations Institutions

Our duties: The Equality Act (2010)

The Equality Act places a duty upon Higher Education Institutions to make reasonable adjustments for staff, students and service users in relation to:

  • a provision, criteria or practice
  • physical features
  • auxiliary aids

Education providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled people do not face ‘substantial disadvantage.’

The duty is anticipatory.

Equality Act 10.25: The duties in relation to the provision of education and access to a benefit, facility or service cover all of the services, facilities and benefits, both educational and non-educational, that an institution provides or offers to students. This includes:

  • libraries, learning centres and information centres and their resources

[Source: Equality Act 2010, Technical Guidance on Further and Higher Education]

Our duties: The UN Convention on the rights of disabled people

The Convention stresses that persons with disabilities should be able to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life. To this end, States Parties should take appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access, to the physical environment, to transportation, and to information and communications technolog

Our duties: EU Directive on Web Accessibility

The European Union (EU) Directive on the Accessibility of Websites and Mobile Applications requires EU member states to make sure their websites and mobile apps meet common accessibility standards. The Directive will be transposed into the laws of each EU member state by September 23 2018.

The Directive uses the four principles of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, requiring that public sector organisations across the EU take steps to make sure their websites are “Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust”.

The Directive references EN 301 549 as the standard which will enable websites and apps to fully comply with the law. EN 301 549 is a set of Functional Accessibility requirements broken down into chapters, and chapter 9 on Web Content cites WCAG 2.0 Level AA as the expected standard.

APPGAT Report recommends Universities:

  • Establish working groups to develop a digital accessibility strategy
  • Audit the accessibility of VLEs and establish an action plan
  • Set targets for training and raising awareness
  • Establish and promote a clear Accessibility Statement
  • Have a clear procedure for students to raise issues concerning inaccessible content and make requests for accessible materials

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