The Cambridge SU Disabled Students’ Campaign Accessibility Pledge is a pledge for any and all groups in Cambridge, such as J/MCRs, University and College clubs & societies, campaigns and activist groups, social and discussion groups, etc., to sign and adhere to.
By signing the Pledge, your group will demonstrate to its disabled members and potential members that it is committed to considering their access needs, and to creating a positive, accessible environment!
Pledged groups for 2022/23
Get your group’s name here!
How to sign the Pledge
- Read through the Pledge (PDF here or plain text further down this page)
- Discuss with your committee or group
- Sign the Pledge either digitally (e.g. on the PDF using Adobe Reader) or by hand.
- Submit via our form and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you’ve filled out the form
Guidance on accessibility
At least one of your group will need to complete DSC training, either via our online resources or at an interactive training session. The training covers how to improve accessibility for online and in-person events, and for websites and social media.
Some resources you may also find useful:
- DSC Access Statement Generator for in-person events
- Cambridge Access Wiki to crowdsource info on room accessibility
- University of Cambridge AccessAble for access information for faculty and university owned buildings
- DRC Building AccessGuide for access info in colleges
- Guide to web accessibility
- Writing good alt-text so that users of screen readers can access your images
- Why and how to write alt-text and plain text image descriptions
- How to check for alt-text
- How to add alt-text (image descriptions) on Twitter
- How to add alt-text on Facebook (N.B. you should also include any image text in the post itself for non-screen readers who may need to copy or adapt the text, see examples below)
- How to add alt-text on Instagram
- Descriptions of visual elements via text and audio
- Captioning pre-recorded videos including on YouTube
- Adding captions on pre-recorded Facebook video
- Manual captions on YouTube live
- DRC Sensus Access file converter into different formats
- DRC guidance on making accessible materials
- Dyslexia-friendly style guide
- Colour contrast checker
- No need to reinvent the wheel – Google has so many answers!
If at any point you aren’t sure how to do something accessibly, please feel free to contact DSC at any time with questions! Please also let us know if you find a resource you think should be listed here.
Text of the Accessibility Pledge
We will make sure at least one of our group has undergone DSC training, which is freely available on the DSC website and which explains how to meet the commitments within this pledge.
The commitments below cover access needs that we can anticipate and therefore will aim to address. When an unanticipated access need or a request is raised with us, we will do everything we can to accommodate and make that person feel welcome, getting advice from DSC if necessary.
In-person and virtual meetings/events
- We will have:
- Short access breaks (5-10 minutes every hour), and it will be made clear that people can leave at any time if necessary.
- Detailed access statements (including both what we can and cannot provide) made available everywhere the event is advertised, including a designated point of contact who can be consulted for further access information.
- Content notes (where relevant) in event descriptions
- We will aim to hold a range of events that cater to different access needs.
In-person events and meetings
- We will have:
- Unobstructed step-free/ wheelchair access where possible.
- Seating available and these will be padded, comfortable chairs where possible.
- A separate, designated quiet space at larger/more noisy events.
- Detailed instructions about how to find the venue, including any alternative step free routes if necessary.
- Live minutes (where relevant) and/or other means of virtual attendance to allow for virtual attendees, and contributions invited in advance.
- Wheelchair accessible and gender neutral bathrooms where possible.
- If food and drink is provided, we will provide non-alcoholic/ sugar-free/ gluten-free/ vegan/ halal/ kosher etc. options where possible and with allergen information/ packaging available to check ingredients.
- Any food and drink provided will be separate from the seating area so attendees can avoid food-related anxieties.
- We will check whether a hearing loop is available (e.g. from Porters).
Virtual events and meetings
- We will have automatic closed captions (these are automatic via Meet/Teams, and must be enabled by host on Zoom), manual captions, or live minutes (e.g. via Google Docs).
- We will let people know that they are free to have their video or mic off and to contribute via the chat function.
- We will make meetings accessible to those who cannot attend, e.g. via recording, livestream or live minutes where appropriate.
- Virtual meetings will invite contributions in advance and provide minutes afterwards to those who couldn’t attend live.
Social media and web content
- All images will have an image description, including any image text, as a plain-text description and in the alt-text field.
- Printed or digital documents with text will either be available as a DOC, text-selectable PDF, or will have a plain-text version available wherever the document is advertised.
- All video content with speech will have a transcript of the speech (e.g. in the video description) and, where possible, also closed captions.
- All video content with text embedded will have a transcript of this text.
- All video content with important visual features (e.g. a graph) will have this described in the transcript and, where possible, also in audio.
- We will have content notes where relevant.
Examples of accessible practice
The DSC access statement generator is a simple way to create access statements for your in-person events. You can then copy-paste the statement into your event description, for example on Facebook, on Eventbrite or in an email.
Example access statements
In-person event 1
DSC Forum in the SU lounge at the University Centre. The lounge has wheelchair & step-free access via a lift. There is a variety of seating including armchairs and sofas. There are gender neutral bathrooms, including a wheelchair accessible bathroom. There isn’t a hearing loop, a BSL interpreter, general car parking, or blue badge parking. There will be snacks and drinks, including vegan and gluten-free options. Forum is a relaxed event; you may move around the room, lie down, arrive or leave whenever you wish, etc. Forum will be live-minuted into a google doc to enable remote attendance. For any other accessibility info, please email email@example.com
In-person event 2
We will meet on Christ’s Pieces, by the Memorial Garden, which is in the centre with flowers and benches. Message an organiser if you would like any help finding us! The park is directly by Emmanuel Street bus station, and there is wheelchair access via a path. We will sit on the floor and bring some blankets, cushions and snacks (fruit), but feel free to bring your own; we will be 2 metres apart and there will be hand sanitiser available. You are welcome to choose whether or not to wear a mask; if you find it hard to communicate with people who are wearing a mask please let us know and we can help explain this to others. There will not be an interpreter or hearing loop, and the nearest toilets are the public toilets (including a partially accessible toilet, which also serves as a gender neutral toilet) by the bus station, which take 20p coins. The partially accessible toilet has a radar key to access. You are free to move to a quieter area or leave at any time and we will take regular breaks in the discussion. Anonymised notes will be available afterwards. For any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our meeting will take place over Microsoft Teams at [link]. There will be automated captions and minutes will be available afterwards. You can contribute in advance by adding to our agenda [here]. You are free to attend with camera and mic off, contribute via the agenda, chat or out loud in the meeting. We will take access breaks on the hour. Please let us know your access requirements and contact email@example.com with any queries!
Example social media posts
Colour contrast is good; text large with a plain sans-serif font. Image has alt-text “Medical Evidence Information updated for Michaelmas 2020. Cambridge SU Disabled Students’ Campaign”. Link directs to full series of images which have alt-text and plain text image descriptions.
Applying to the central uni for exam access arrangements, course extensions or intermission? Whether you’re undergrad or postgrad, we’ve brought together the information that’s currently available on what medical evidence you will need: https://t.co/DMD5E5ReM7 pic.twitter.com/2ssGs7j0Ji
— Cambridge SU Disabled Students’ Campaign (@CambridgeDSC) August 25, 2020
Twitter video with captions (but no transcript or description of visual features):
Congratulations to everyone receiving their #gcseresults today! Are you unsure on whether to go to University and want to try it out? Or know someone who might? Find out more about the Cambridge SU Shadowing Scheme in this video! #GCSEResultsDay #GCSEResults2020 @SU_AEPUG pic.twitter.com/xsbmsjo2Af
— Cambridge SU (@CUSUonline) August 20, 2020
Link to Facebook post. Colour contrast is good; text large with a plain sans-serif font. Image has alt-text and image description: “I spent 2 yrs without exam adjustments … When I finally got them, my grades improved massively, and I got into my Master’s program!”
Sound familiar? All sorts of health problems can count as a disability. Equality Act 2010 entitles you to adjustments in public services, at uni and work – more info, advice and support at: [Cambridge SU] Disabled Students’ Campaign“
Facebook video with captions (but no transcript or description of visual features)
CamNeuroDiversity talk ‘Autistic People, not Gendered Minds‘ with audio and transcript available