Digital accessibility

Under the Finnish Act on the Provision of Digital Services (306/2019), higher education institutions have a legal duty to ensure their digital services and content meet accessibility requirements. This also applies to publicly shared learning materials.

Why is digital accessibility important?

Digital accessibility is important to provide everyone equal and easy access to digital content regardless of, for example, disability (such as a hearing or vision impairment or reading, learning or cognitive difficulties) or personal abilities (such as the level of proficiency in the Finnish language). Accessible content improves usability.

What types of learning materials must be accessible?

Accessibility benefits all users. Therefore, it is always worth paying attention to the accessibility of learning materials. In many cases this is also a legal obligation.

All learning materials that are publicly shared must meet the accessibility requirements. This applies to all types of learning materials, including, for example, PowerPoint presentations, videos, Word documents and PDF files.

In this context, the term “publicly shared” means that content or materials are made available via a digital service that requires no login. As the intranet of Tampere Universities can be accessed by a large number of users, materials published on the intranet are also considered to have been publicly shared. However, content shared on Moodle is not publicly shared if users must log in to access the content.

The accessibility requirements do not apply to all learning materials:

  • If you share learning materials via Moodle with a limited number of users on a short-term basis, the materials do not have to meet the legal accessibility requirements. If the use of the materials continues for a longer period, they must meet the accessibility requirements.
    • Short-term use is generally thought to be 12 months, but can be interpreted as longer or shorter on a case-by-case basis.
    • Limited number of users = users must log in to access the materials.
  • Video content published before 23 September 2020 does not need to be made accessible.
  • Live streams do not need to be made accessible.

Please note that students who have a particular need for accessible content, for example because of a disability, must have a possibility for accessible studying regardless of the law and its exceptions.

How do I ensure my learning materials are accessible?


When you publicly share a video, you must make it accessible within 14 days of posting the video. In practice, you usually need to add captions in the same language as the spoken audio . Subtitles in other languages are not required. If the audio track of the video does not provide all the essential information, an audio description must be added to the video.

  • Panopto, Screencast-O-Matic and YouTube are equipped with a speech recognition tool that you can use to automatically create captions for your video.
  • However, you must check the automatic captions for accuracy and make the necessary revisions before publishing them.

Information on accessible videos on the intranet lock

Read the instructions on the intranet for creating video captions lock

PowerPoint presentations and Word documents

As editing existing documents to ensure they meet the accessibility requirements takes a great deal of work, we recommend copying the content to the accessible document templates of Tampere Universities lock.

  • Copy the original content and paste is as plain text to the document template; then you can edit the document by using the formatting styles. 
  • End by checking your document using the accessibility checker available in MS Office.

Instructions for creating accessible MS Office files lock

eOppiva’s tutorial video for creating accessible documents (in Finnish)

PDF files

  • You can use the PAVE tool to check whether your existing PDF documents meet the accessibility requirements.

Accessible colours

Accessibility of colours means, for example, that the contrast between text and background colours is sufficient and that colours are not used exclusively to present information. The Word, PowerPoint and Excel templates of Tampere Universities comply with the accessibility requirements. When you draw up charts and figures, make sure the colours you use are accessible.

Read more about accessible colours lock

Clarity of text and language

Understandable and clear language improves the accessibility of learning materials. It is also important to pay attention to the size and font of the text: the font should be large and clear enough. As a general rule, it is best to use sans-serif fonts (e.g. Arial).

Guidelines for writing for the web on the intranet lock

More information for Staff

Instructions for creating accessible materials are available on the intranet. lock

You can discuss accessibility and ask questions via Teams on the Saavutettavuus (Accessibility) channel of the Verkkosivut ja intra (Websites and the intranet) group. Join the group with the code a wxhhrbq.

Take a look at the accessibility courses offered by TACCU (Tampere Accessibility Unit) on FiTech’s website. The courses are continuously on-going and free-of-charge. For example, the course “Accessible documents” contains information relevant to learning materials.