Accessibility means the consideration of human diversity in digital services. In other words, it corresponds to accessibility in the physical world.
Accessible digital services can be used regardless of any functional restrictions, be they permanent or temporary. For example, people with a hearing disability require captions for videos, but captions are useful also to a student travelling in a rush-hour bus.
In Finland, accessibility is required also by the Act on the Provision of Digital Services, which applies to the online content and services produces by universities and other authorities.
How does accessibility concern students?
The law applies to certain public digital documents produced by students, particularly master’s theses, which are stored in the E-thesis system and made available to the customers of Helsinki University Library.
At the same time, content produced on a specific course does not need to be accessible (e.g., essays and presentations stored in a Moodle area), 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. Also in other course-related work, accessibility should be considered whenever possible.
Further information and instructions pertaining to accessibility are available (in Finnish and Swedish only) on the saavutettavuusvaatimukset.fi website of the supervisory authority.