Accessibility statement for the University of Exeter website
- Plain English accessibility statement
- How to contact us if you can’t access part of the site
- Technical accessibility information
- About this statement
This accessibility statement applies to the University of Exeter website (“the website”) hosted at these domains: www.exeter.ac.uk, as.exeter.ac.uk, biosciences.exeter.ac.uk, business-school.exeter.ac.uk, cedar.exeter.ac.uk, emps.exeter.ac.uk, geography.exeter.ac.uk, humanities.exeter.ac.uk, lifesciences.exeter.ac.uk, medicine.exeter.ac.uk, psychology.exeter.ac.uk, socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk, sport.exeter.ac.uk and sshs.exeter.ac.uk.
It does not currently apply to project sites or blogs hosted at blogs.exeter.ac.uk, sites.exeter.ac.uk, or projects.exeter.ac.uk.
This website is run by the University of Exeter. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website.
We aim to make the website text as simple as possible to understand. Because we are an academic institution, some of our research-focussed pages require an advanced reading level.
You should currently be able to:
- Make the text larger or change the text colour
- Zoom in up to 170% without the text spilling off the screen (on most responsive, non-legacy pages)
- Access text alternatives for non-decorative images
Most of the site can be accessed using:
- Speech recognition software
- A screen reader
- A keyboard, including skipping to the main content on a page
- A range of different browsers
We are working to fix known issues with accessing the site using assistive technology. If you encounter a problem with using the site, please let us know: email@example.com
- A search box is available on every page using the standard University page design. Advanced search options are available from the search results page.
- We provide a breadcrumb trail above the main content of most pages to show you the path from the site landing page to where you are in the site.
- At deeper levels of the site, pages have sub-navigation menus
- A site map is available for the main exeter.ac.uk website.
See About our site for more on accessing our site in different ways.
We know some parts of this website are not yet fully accessible:
- The colour contrast on some page elements is not sufficient to be easily discernible for all users
- You can't zoom in up to 400% without text disappearing off the screen
- Some of our oldest pages are not responsive, so you can’t zoom in without text spilling off the screen
- You cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
- Some of our pages and online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
- Cookie banners are not accessible using a keyboard
- On some older pages you cannot skip to the main content when using a screen reader
- Some pages, forms and search fields are difficult to access using a screen reader
- Some links are missing alternative text
- The purpose of some links cannot be determined from the link text or its context alone
- A few pages are missing headings which makes them more difficult to navigate
- Our subject websites, such as biosciences.exeter.ac.uk, don’t currently have site maps
Audio and video
- Not all videos on the site have captions
- Not all videos have an audio, text or closed caption description of information that is only presented visually
- Not all audio recordings have an alternative way of delivering the same content
Access using assistive technologies
- Most PDF and Word documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software. For example, they are missing alt text for images or table headers.
- WAI-ARIA tags are not used consistently throughout the site
- On some pages, you can’t pause or hide animations
Find out what we’re doing to fix these problems and make the site more accessible in the technical information below. If you have suggestions to improve the site's accessibility, please contact us.
The website also contains a range of third-party content and functionality, such as forms and pop-ups. This may direct you to a related service, or partner we work with, where we are not able to control the accessibility of this content. However, if you experience difficulty accessing this content, please let us know. We are working on an accessible procurement process to make sure new third-party content on the site meets accessibility standards.
- experience problems whilst using assistive software to access our site,
- need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF or Word document, audio recording or braille
- have any other feedback
Please contact the digital team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If possible, please include a link to the page you need in a different format or where you have experienced a problem.
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 accessibility-related issue, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
The University of Exeter 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.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons. For each area of non-compliance, we have estimated a timeframe within which we aim to fix the issue.
Some elements of pages, such as banners, radio buttons and forms, cannot be accessed using a keyboard (WCAG 2.1.1: Keyboard). We have fixed the most common elements, such as dropdowns, and plan to review the elements that are still inaccessible and implement solutions by the end of 2023. The only exceptions are third-party content.
On some pages, there is not a visible border around elements such as buttons and links when they have the keyboard focus (WCAG 2.4.7 Focus visible), or the order of elements in focus is not logical (WCAG 2.4.3: Focus order). We plan to fix this for all in-house content by the end of 2023.
On some pages, the same link text is used for multiple different destinations, which makes the links inaccessible to people using a screen reader (WCAG 2.4.4: Link Purpose (In Context)). We have identified the pages this applies to and plan to fix them by the end of 2022. We are also developing web content training to maintain this good practice.
The purpose of each link cannot always be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context (WCAG 2.4.4: Link Purpose (In Context)). We plan to fix these by the end of 2023.
The social media icons in some page headings are missing alternative text (WCAG 1.1.1: Non-text Content). Timeframe for fixing this: end of 2023.
Some microsite homepages and gateway pages are missing headings, which makes them difficult to read (WCAG 1.3.1: Info and Relationships). We have identified the pages this applies to and fixed many of them. We plan to fix them all by the end of 2022.
Some tables are missing clearly-defined headers so are inaccessible to people using a screen reader (WCAG 1.3.1:Info and Relationships). We have identified the pages this applies to and plan to fix them by the end of July 2022. We are also working on training to maintain this good practice.
There are a few places in the site where HTML is used to format content, instead of CSS. This could lead to information about the hierarchy of information being obscured (WCAG 1.3.1: Info and Relationships). We have identified the pages this applies to and plan to fix them by the end of 2022.
A few of our scrolling image galleries are missing ‘role’ attributes (WCAG 4.1.2: Name, Role, Value). We plan to fix this by the end of 2022.
Most PDFs don’t have titles, so are not accessible using a screen reader (WCAG 2.4.2: Page Titled). We are in the process of fixing this and will have done so by the end of 2022. We are also developing PDF training resources to maintain this good practice.
Most PDFs are missing alt text for images and are not fully accessible to screen readers (WCAG 1.1.1: Non-text Content). We plan to either fix these or replace them with html pages by the end of 2023.
In forms and search functionality, some input fields are missing descriptions or unique IDs, so are inaccessible to people using a screen reader. (WCAG 1.3.1: Info and Relationships). Timeframe: we plan to fix this for in-house forms by the end of 2023.
Some of our in-house forms contain checkboxes with empty <label> tags, or <label> tags that aren’t connected to an element (WCAG 4.1.2: Name, Role, Value). We plan to fix these or provide alternatives to the forms by the end of 2022.
Where in-house forms contain a set of radio buttons for users to select from, these buttons are not grouped. This makes them inaccessible to people using a screen reader (WCAG 1.3.1: Info and Relationships). We plan to fix this by the end of 2022.
Some of our interactive elements don't have the required WIA-ARIA descriptive tags and labels. (WCAG 4.1.2: Name, Role, Value) We are working to standardise this and correct existing errors. Timeframe: ongoing.
Where forms are built using third-party software, we are working with the third parties to make them as accessible as possible. In some cases, we are not able to fix accessibility issues in these forms – see the disproportionate burden section.
The colour contrast on some page elements is insufficient to be easily discernible for all users: for example, the menu at the top of the Biosciences site (WCAG 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)). Timeframe for fixing this: end of 2023
Link text in some parts of the site is identified only by colour, so may not be discernible for users with vision or cognitive disabilities (WCAG 1.4.1 Use of Color). We are working to make link text identifiable by an underline as well as colour. Timeframe for fixing this: ongoing
On some of our responsive pages, users can't zoom in more than 170% without loss of content or functionality (WCAG 1.4.4 Resize text and 1.4.10 Reflow). We plan to fix this by the end of 2023.
Some of our oldest pages are not responsive, so users can’t zoom in without text disappearing off the screen, and column widths don’t adapt to fit the screen size (WCAG 1.4.10 Reflow). We aim to move all non-archived sites into our responsive design by the end of 2023. All new sites we create will meet this criterion.
Content that is presented as pre-recorded audio-only does not always have an alternative way of accessing the content (WCAG 1.2.1 Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded)). We plan to fix this by the end of July 2023.
Not all videos have an audio, text or closed caption description of information that is only presented visually (WCAG 1.2.1 Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded) and WCAG 1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded)). We plan to fix this by the end of 2023.
Not all videos have captions (WCAG 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded)). We are training our staff to use captions on newly published videos, and plan to fix existing videos without captions by the end of 2023.
Not all videos have an audio description of content that is only presented visually (WCAG 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded)). We plan to fix this by the end of 2023.
The website contains a large body of content built up over many years, and because of the size of our digital team, it is a disproportionate burden to update this all at once.
We therefore intend to prioritise fixing the issues where we can make the biggest impact on the site's accessibility within a short timeframe. For example, we are fixing issues on our most-used pages, and key pages within user journeys, ahead of pages with low views.
Some of our forms, pop-ups and widgets are built and hosted through third-party software. We are working with our suppliers to improve their accessibility as far as we can, but in some cases the cost of doing so represents a disproportionate burden. For example, we are changing our pop-ups asking users for feedback on the website to fix its inaccessible buttons, but we can’t change the code for the cookies banner pop-up. We will instead provide alternative versions of this content to any users who request it.
We are also developing accessible procurement guidelines to ensure that any future third-party software we purchase meets accessibility standards.
Our older, non-responsive news pages are not responsive up to 200%. However, we are in the process of moving these pages into our new, responsive design which will resolve this issue by the end of 2023. We do not plan to move archived news stories into this design, because they get very limited views, so the cost in staff time of doing so would outweigh the benefit.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.
Most of our PDFs and Word documents are not the only way to access information about our services. However, a few of these documents do contain essential information, such as the EU Qualifications Equivalency Guide. By the end of 2022, we plan to either make these accessible or replace them with accessible HTML pages.
From January 2023, any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.
The regulations do not require us to add captions to pre-recorded videos published before 23 September 2020. However, we have some videos published since this date with only auto-generated captions. We are training our staff to use captions on newly published videos, and plan to fix existing videos without appropriate captions by the end of 2023.
We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
Our archived websites are those that are no longer being updated and do not contain information that is essential for accessing our services. These have not been included in our accessibility plans because they are exempt.
We do not plan to update content on our intranet server published before 23 September 2019 because this is exempt from meeting the regulations. If we make any major revisions to this content we will ensure these are accessible in line with our plans described in the Non-compliance section of this statement.
We do not plan to update third-party content and functionality outside of the website, because we are not responsible for the accessibility of this content.
Other actions we are taking to improve accessibility
Alongside fixing the non-compliances described above, we are developing a training programme for all staff who write and edit web content. This will include advice on descriptive link text, writing concisely, use of headings and alternative text.
This statement was prepared on 11 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 25 July 2022.
This website was last tested on 30 June 2022. The test was carried out using the SiteImprove web accessibility tool and the Axe browser extension. All pages at www.exeter.ac.uk were included in the test.
All non-archived pages were included in the previous test on 19 August 2021.