This statement is about the Panopto system run by the University of Oxford (the “Replay Service”). Panopto is used to deliver our lecture capture system, record and make available audio-visual content to our students and staff, and to livestream specific events. The University of Oxford’s installation of Panopto is a third-party platform, so some aspects of its accessibility are outside of our control.
Accessibility features in Panopto
Panopto has a range of accessibility features, as set out in the Replay Service accessibility page, including:
The Panopto accessibility page outlines further accessibility features.
The University of Oxford is committed to making its websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
The Replay Service is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.
The Panopto accessibility conformance report WCAG edition identifies known issues with Panopto accessibility, in particular:
1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (WCAG Level A) - Panopto does not currently provide audio description or full-text alternatives for videos.
1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) (Level AA) - most elements of the pages and the interactive viewer meet this standard but some links on the homepage have insufficient contrast.
2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts (Level A) – partial support.
In addition, we have identified the following areas where content may be non-accessible:
1.2.2, 1.2.4 Although all video content has captions by default, these captions may contain errors.
1.2.5 Audio description (Prerecorded) (WCAG level AA) Videos may not have audio or alternative text description available for visual content.
2.1.1 Keyboard only operability (level A) – Some interactive elements not focusable using a keyboard and some interactive elements not responding to a keyboard (identified by AbilityNet audit).
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
At the University of Oxford, we aim to ensure that our digital content is easily accessible to as many people as possible. As such, we are committed to implementing the internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). A Web Accessibility Working Group has been established to oversee the University’s implementation of the guidelines. The group will undertake a review of the University’s digital accessibility practices, define and share a framework of best practice across the institution, and work with service owners to apply the framework to our digital services and content. Oxford also uses accessibility as an important consideration in the tendering process when engaging third-party suppliers.
Since 1 September 2020, all video content within Oxford’s Replay Service has been automatically captioned. In the summer of 2020, we conducted an audit of the accuracy of automatic captions in Panopto using lecture recordings from across the disciplinary range at Oxford. The audit found that accuracy can be as high as 99%, although we have found that accuracy on some recordings (especially where audio quality is lower or the speaking voice is rapid) can be lower (the lowest found was 92%). These error rates are also subject specific. STEM and mixed language content is more severely affected than other subjects (e.g. errors in the captioning of equations). This audit led to the launch of a caption editing service in January 2021 (see progress made in 2020-21).
In addition, we have increased awareness and knowledge about how to create accessible content among content creators. We have raised awareness in training sessions and in guidance materials of the need to
- Check the audio and video quality of recordings
- Speak clearly, and in a measured way, at a consistent distance from the microphone for clarity, and so that automatic captioning can achieve a higher accuracy rate
- Describe purely visual content as fully as possible
- Produce slides in an accessible format with slide titles
- Display content on whiteboards so that it can easily be seen in the recording
Progress made in academic year 2021-21 and future plans
Feedback to third-party supplier and Panopto Roadmap
We work proactively with Panopto on accessibility issues:
- The Replay Service made several feature requests to Panopto in 2020-21 relating to the accuracy of automated captions, the utility of the in-browser captions editor, caption file download and related functionality. The feature requests arose from what was learned from establishing a caption-editing service based in the Disability Advisory Service in January 2021.
- The Panopto roadmap includes regular improvements to automatic captions accuracy and dictionary updates; easier clean-up of captions, with highlighting of low-confidence words and find and replace functionality for common errors; easy to read transcripts with smart paragraphing.
- AbilityNet carried out an accessibility audit of Oxford’s Panopto platform in the summer of 2021. The audit identified 2 high priority issues (relating to WCAG 2.1.1) and 25 medium priority issues. The issues arising out of the audit will be the focus of meetings between Panopto and Oxford from September 2021 with actions in response to the audit to be agreed in 21-22.
The Disability Advisory Service launched a caption editing service in January 2021. This is a central service to provide accurate captions, and text description of visual content for lecture content for disabled students who require this as a reasonable adjustment (see “How to report accessibility issues” below). It also provides a route for departments to request support where they identify substantially inaccurate captions on specific content. The Service will continue to be available during the academic year 2021-2022.
Training for content producers
- Panopto staff training sessions (Beginner/Advanced) have been updated to include explicit accessibility sections to facilitate production of accessible content and also to raise awareness of accessibility needs so departmental staff have the knowledge they need to provide accessible content to students who need this as a reasonable adjustment.
- The Oxford Replay website has been re-launched to provide clearer guidance for staff, including a revised accessibility section
- a new Captions overview video has been produced to cover commonly asked questions on captions and editing for accuracy.
How to report accessibility issues
If you would like to report any accessibility issues with the Replay Service, please email the Centre for Teaching and Learning via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you within five working days. If you require manually edited captions for increased accuracy, or text description of visual content as a reasonable adjustment, please contact the University Disability Advisory Service via email@example.com.
Enforcement of Accessibility Regulations
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). Users can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) to report non-compliance with the regulations.
This statement was prepared on 23 September 2020. It was last updated on 6 October 2021.