Closing access to information on the Internet. Access limitations. Blocking a resource on the Internet

Accessibility in Digital Communication Higher Education Curricula

by Anastassia Zabrodskaja, Tallinn University, Estonia.

In a world where more and more people are generating and consuming information in digital formats, the need for this content to be accessible has become more apparent. The COVID-19 pandemic, with public authorities often providing crisis information digitally, has further highlighted the importance of accessibility. Digital content should be accessible to all citizens, leaving no one behind.

The importance of digital accessibility

Publishing accessible content means creating information that can be used by people with the widest range of user needs, characteristics and capabilities. As of the 23 September 2020, the EU Web Accessibility Directive requires public sector websites, applications and documents to comply with common minimum accessibility requirements. Despite the implementation of this Directive in national legislation across the EU, most digital content is still not accessible to all users. This stricter legislation regarding accessibility will increase the demand for communication professionals with accessibility skills in the near future. However, there is not yet an adequate supply of qualified professionals to meet this demand, as accessibility is not usually included in communication higher education curricula.

What does ADORE aim to achieve?

The ADORE project aims to respond to these needs and bring accessibility to the forefront of higher education curricula related to communication. The project, which began in November 2021, is led by Tallinn University and will establish a partnership between higher education institutions, training organisations and the private sector. The main objective is to mainstream accessibility skills in higher education curricula for communication disciplines and to train teaching staff on how to publish accessible content on the internet for all users. The project will also aim to:

  • analyse the current situation and bridge the gaps with regards to accessibility training needs of university staff in the field of communication.
  • identify the issues faced by people with disabilities, immigrants and older adults when accessing content on the internet.
  • identify higher education courses and programmes related to the field of communication where there is an opportunity for accessibility to be included in the curricula.
  • improve the accessibility knowledge of university teachers and trainers in the field of communication.
  • prepare students of higher education courses in communication for the demands of the labour market.
  • increase the uptake of accessibility in the higher education communication curricula in European universities.

With funding from the ERASMUS+ programme, the project will create an accessibility training toolkit that responds to the accessibility learning needs of university teachers and trainers in the field of communication. Part of this toolkit will also focus on how training on accessible communication can be given in an inclusive way. The project will also generate recommendations on the inclusion of accessibility in curricula for higher education communication programmes throughout the wider European community.

These activities will generate impact at the local, regional, national and European levels including:

  • Increased accessibility knowledge and capacity of university teachers and trainers in communication programmes.
  • More accessible communication publishing.
  • More inclusive teaching and learning environments in higher education. communication programmes.
  • Enhanced employability of communication students.
  • A wider uptake of accessibility training within higher education communication curricula.

The project “Accessibility in Digital Communication Higher Education Curricula” (ADORE) is supported by Erasmus+ and the European Solidarity Corps Agency under the Erasmus+ programme. The partners involved include Tallinn University (Leader), Funka, INUK, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg, University of Maribor (Partners).

For additional information about the ADORE project visit project website.


Anastassia Zabrodskaja, Professor of Intercultural Communication at Tallinn University, Estonia

Disclaimer: This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.