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Jisc still 'committed to accessibility'

Jisc still 'committed to accessibility'

BATA has received this statement from Pete Scott, director Jisc group customer services:

Jisc is currently reshaping its existing grant-funded services so that it is able to sustain its activities in a range of areas, including accessibility and inclusion.

The new operating model for customer services is anchored firmly across the four nations of the UK, with Jisc delivering on its promise to realise Jisc Scotland, Jisc Wales and Jisc Northern Ireland, and a regional structure across Jisc England.

Each region will be led by senior Jisc managers and will enable us in better deliver locally. Every college, university and lead skills providers will have a named account manager who will be their first port of call for all things Jisc. These 44 account managers will be supported by a team of 23 national subject matter experts, covering a wide range of topics and issues. On top of this, each region will have its own community engagement officer to harness Jisc's contribution to a wide variety of regional partnerships and community groups.

Supporting these teams will be a unified web platform with self-serve capabilities and guidance to empower people to help themselves. Replacing the current 35+ individual help desks and phone numbers, we will introduce a single customer contact centre staffed with people capable of resolving issues directly, or otherwise quickly putting you in touch with the right person for the enquiry. I must emphasise that, contrary to some comments, this customer contact centre is in addition and complementary to all other direct support opportunities we provide, not a replacement for them.

Whilst the model represents a radically different organisational structure for Jisc, it is predicated on retaining as much of the experience, skills, and people currently employed by the Jisc advisory services (including Jisc TechDis), and Regional Support Centre teams.

When it comes to the accessibility and inclusion agenda specifically, each account manager will be equipped to be able to have supportive conversations with all their customer organisations on this topic, and highlight Jisc products and services that might be suitable as well as offerings from elsewhere. There will be three subject matter experts in position who are specifically skilled and knowledgeable in accessibility and inclusion, and available to engage and support organisations across the UK.

We will also build the Jisc web presence to reflect products and services as well as good practice from across the UK. Jisc is in active discussions with the Higher Education Academy to ensure key sector products such as Xerte Toolkits (and related hosted resources), inFolio and inBook continue to be made available to the education and research communities.

Jisc is also committed to signpost and support uptake of existing tools such as TechDis Voices and Publisher Lookup. Additionally, we will continue to engage and support partners and organisations both nationally and locally, working to bring them in closer to our innovation work and give active support where we can.

Although things are changing this does not represent a change in our commitment to support and advance the accessibility and inclusion agenda.