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Accessibility statement for University of London

The University of London is committed to providing an accessible web presence.

Our accessibility statement applies to the University of London website under the domain https://london.ac.uk. It does not include those accessible via a sub domain, for example https://jobs.london.ac.uk, http://sits.london.ac.uk and other sub domains which may exist.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • Zoom in up to 400% without the text spilling off the screen
  • Adjust line height and word spacing using browser plugins like ReaderView for FireFox or ReaderView for Chrome
  • Navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • Navigate efficiently through the site using breadcrumb trails, consistent menus or the search features
  • Navigate long pages by headings/subheadings using assistive technology tools or plugins
  • 'Skip to main content' using tab on your keyboard
  • Listen to most of the website using assistive technologies – for example text to speech tools and plugins, screen readers, and inbuilt phone and/or tablet functionality
  • Navigate most of our online forms using just a keyboard

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

The website incorporates the ReciteMe accessibility tools that allow users to:

  • personalise the website in terms of font size, type and colours,
  • listen to page content,
  • mask areas of the screen to help reading/notetaking focus
  • define unfamiliar / technical terms
  • change the language
  • download content as an audio file for listening to on the move.

Find out more information about the ReciteMe Accessibility toolbar.

The website contains downloadable documents in PDF format. Our newer PDFs are best viewed in the free Adobe Reader tool, allowing you to to magnify (with reflow to fit the page), navigate via the bookmark bar, change colours via preferences and listen using Adobe’s inbuilt text to speech or any other 3rd party tool.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability. AbilityNet is a UK charity that exists to change the lives of disabled people by helping them to use digital technology at work, at home or in education.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website aren't fully accessible:

  • Most older (and some newer) PDF documents experience accessibility problems including:
    • Lack of bookmarks in the bookmark panel, making it hard to skim a document’s content
    • Unpredictable reflow behaviour when viewed in Adobe Reader – this applies mainly to documents with a mix of text and images
    • Unpredictable reading order and/or headers and footers being read along with the main text.
  • Some of our older videos don't have captions
  • Some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • Some of our pages don’t have the correct heading structure

What to do if you can’t access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF or large print etc:

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. Please contact us using our email address above if you:

  • Need information on this website in a different format 
  • Can’t view the map on our ‘contact us’ page

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 10 working days outside of our scheduled University closure days. If you can’t view the map on our contact us page, please email us for directions.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact: web.accessibility@london.ac.uk

When contacting us, please provide: 

  • Page URL (web page address)
  • Issue encountered (and if on mobile or desktop)
  • Any particular software or assistive technology being used (for example browser, screen reader)

We will aim to respond as quickly as possible and, if applicable, add a fix to our website bug fix schedule.

Enforcement procedure

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’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

University of London is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Issues with technology

There are a number of technical accessibility issues with our website that are being addressed as part of ongoing website development and enhancement programme. We are taking an agile approach to the ongoing development of our website and as such these issues will be identified and fixed through continuous updates.

Issues with link descriptions

Some link text doesn’t make sense when ready on its own (for example, ‘click here’). We plan to fix the existing links by September 2020. When we publish new content, we’ll make sure that link text meets accessibility standards.

Issues with PDFs and other documents

London.ac.uk contains many documents dating back several years. Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be marked up so they’re accessible to a screen reader, they may not work well with text to speech, they may not reflow when magnified and they may not be navigable by headings in the bookmark panel. Some may have colour contrast issues.

We expect important documents and those in current use to be replaced as part of various projects at University of London to update policies and governance documents.

All new documents uploaded from September 2019 will be tested for accessibility using the appropriate tools provided by Microsoft and Adobe, for example, before being uploaded to the website. 

The accessibility regulations don’t require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. We’ll consider this as we review and update all our content and will make every effort to replace existing documents with accessible versions where possible.

Issues with interactive tools and transactions

  • The visual heading structure does not always match the heading structure revealed by assistive technologies. This may make navigation more difficult for screenreader users.
  • Menus may not open with the spacebar and submenus may not be communicated to screenreaders.
  • Background videos cannot be paused, stopped or hidden. (This was fixed on Thursday 4 June 2020)
  • On some pages the tabbing order can be improved.
  • Some search functionality (such as autocomplete and categorised results) is not available to screenreader users.
  • Forms currently pose some accessibility challenges to screenreader users and may not always.
  • Some interactive components such as carousels can be tricky to navigate with a screenreader.
  • Accordion panels and search filters can be accessed by screen readers but are potentially confusing to use.
  • The colour contrast on some parts of our website are too low. We also have some issues with colour contrast on our old page layouts that will be fixed as part of our wider website redevelopment. (This was fixed in March 2020)
  • We are aware of accessibility issues with a number of our third party tools and systems (for example jobs.london.ac.uk). We will be working with these third party suppliers to identify and correct accessibility issues as soon as possible.

How we tested this website

Our website was tested as it was built in 2017. Since then, the WCAG guidelines have changed, and new pages and functionality added.
Our website is tested weekly using an automated accessibility tool.

This tool tests our whole website (under the primary domain of https://london.ac.uk/) and it provides a report on accessibility issues. We are working with our internal and external resources to address any accessibility issues as soon as is realistically possible.

We tested:

  • Our main website London.ac.uk 

Other sites within our domain

The University of London’s web estate consists of many related sub-sites with the london.ac.uk or sas.ac.uk domain, including various divisions and departments, museums and libraries, administrative sites and more. Accessibility statements for such sub-sites should be found locally on each site.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We will be working with a specialist accessibility agency, AbilityNet, to conduct a thorough accessibility review and implement any necessary changes to content, website design and structure.

We are committed to improving accessibility across our websites, apps and other digital platforms. An accessibility working group will be established by the University to ensure a continuous improvement of accessibility of digital content. In addition, we will be:

  • Running additional training sessions with website editors that are coordinated centrally.
  • Upskilling website editors and content contributors before access is given website editing privileges. 
  • Establishing a new website publishing model to check the accessibility of content before it is published to the live website.
  • Ensuring that owners of content removal inaccessible content in a timely manner.
  • Improving our procurement processes and work with third party suppliers to improve the accessibility of other digital platforms and services. Standard accessibility statements have been added to our procurement documentation when dealing with new service providers.
  • Implementing an accessibility toolbar to improve on-site accessibility.

This statement was prepared on 20 September 2019. It was last updated on 5 June 2020.