Accessibility

We have built the University of Exeter website to comply with internationally accepted web standards, including accessibility guidelines, in order to make it accessible to as many people as possible, regardless of personal disability or browsing software.

Standards Compliance

  • Valid XHTML and CSS: Our corporate pages are written in valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional and styled using valid CSS2 code. We validate our pages regularly to ensure this standard is maintained.
  • Accessibility: The University recommends compliance with the WCAG 1.0 AA standard, and this is the standard we apply to the corporate webpages. Some of the guidelines require interpretation and we have used informed judgement to implement them with the needs of users foremost in mind. We have working methods in place to try to maintain this level of accessibility.
  • New web content guidelines: We are currently planning our transition to WCAG 2.0. We are reviewing our pages to assess what needs to be done to conform to the new guidelines and to devise an implementation plan.

Standards and guidelines do not necessarily address all accessibility problems, so we particularly encourage anyone having difficulties using our site to contact us directly so we can fix any outstanding problems. Comments on any matter concerning the University home pages, including the accessibility of our pages, can be sent to the Web Editor.

Navigation Aids

We have incorporated the following features into the University site to help you find your way around:

  • Search box
    • A search box allowing you to type in search terms and search the University site is available on every page using the standard University page design.
    • Advanced search options are available from the search results page.
  • Site map
    • If you are having any trouble locating the information you are looking for, a full site map is available from the top right-hand menu on every page.
    • This currently only includes the new pages that incorporate the new site design and have been built in our new content management system. All pages in the former corporate template have a link at the top right of the page to an A-Z index, and this includes pages across our whole site.
  • Breadcrumb trail
    • We provide a breadcrumb trail feature above the main content of each page to show you the path from the home page to where you are in the site.
  • Links
    • We try to ensure all our link text is written to make sense out of context.
    • We have used title attributes where appropriate to give further information about the target of a link.
  • Access Keys
    • Due to the current lack of a consistent standard for the implementation of access keys, and the resulting unreliability in the way they work, we have decided at this stage not to include them on our pages. We do however feel that they are a useful idea in principle, so we will monitor developments on this issue and hope that in due course a standard will be agreed within the Web community, at which point we will be willing to adopt it. In the meantime we will be happy to hear any views you may have on this subject.

Visual design

  • Presentation
    • We use stylesheets for visual layout combined with structured markup of headings, paragraphs and lists to separate content from presentation.
    • The content of our pages is still readable if stylesheets are turned off or unavailable.
    • We have used relative font sizes on our pages to ensure text is resizeable in visual browsers. See instructions for how to resize text in different browsers.
  • Images
    • All content images have alt text providing equivalent text to describe their function.
    • Purely decorative images have empty alt text, i.e. alt="", which means screen readers ignore the images completely.

Browser compatibility

We test our pages to ensure the information they contain is accessible in a range of different browsers as well as with screenreading software. By adhering to web standards we avoid the use of features specific to one browser. If you experience problems whilst using assistive software to access our site, please do let us know.

Information for University of Exeter Staff

For advice and guidance on web accessibility, please see the Web Team pages.