University website accessibility statement

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed in the 'What isn't accessible' section below.

What is accessible

We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. You should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader

We also try to make the content as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

What isn't accessible

We know some of the content within the University website isn't fully accessible and therefore does not meet the accessibility standards:

  • Some links do not make sense when read out of context with a screen reader (for example “Read more”).
  • Some pages have multiple links with the same text (e.g. “Read more”) but different destinations.
  • Most older PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to a screen reader.
  • Some virtual tours and interactive videos can’t be used with a keyboard.
  • Some videos don’t have captions.
  • Some audio files don’t have transcripts.
  • Some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard.

Further details are shown below.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Links

  • Some link text doesn’t make sense when read on its own (e.g. 'Read more').
  • On some pages there are multiple links with the same link text but different destinations on one page.
  • Some links don’t provide text describing their purpose (e.g. content is an image, the link triggers a Javascript function, or link is generated automatically even when there's no content).
  • Some links have an empty or missing 'href' attribute.
  • Some older PDF files contain broken links which do not resolve - we do not intend to resolve these as it is a disproportionate burden for files which are no longer in active use.

This doesn't meet WCAG success criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) and 2.1.1 Keyboard.

We scan the site weekly for broken links, and look to fix them as soon as they are identified.

The content editors are working through the links which don't make sense on their own, and we aim to have fixed these by September 2020.

Images

Some images don’t have a text alternative, so the information in them isn’t available to people using a screen reader.

This doesn't meet WCAG success criterion 1.1.1 Non-text Content.

We plan to add text alternatives for all images by September 2020. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Videos

  • Some of our videos don’t provide captions, so they are not accessible to people with impaired hearing.
  • Some videos use automated captions that are sometimes inaccurate.
  • Some of our videos don’t provide transcripts to describe what’s happening. This means they are not accessible to people with impaired vision.

This doesn't meet WCAG success criterion 1.2.1 Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded) and 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded).

Live video

Most of our live video streams (e.g. graduation ceremonies) will not have captions.

Where possible we will encourage presenters to use live captions and subtitles, but we don’t intent to enforce the addition of captions to all live video streams at this stage.

Adding captions to live video is exempt from the accessibility regulations.

PDFs and other documents

Titles

Some PDF documents do not have descriptive titles.

This doesn not meet WCAG success criterion 2.4.2 Page Titled.

Where the PDF is current, we aim to update them to include titles by September 2020. We do not intend to update older PDFs.

Language

Some PDF documents do not specify the default language of the document.

This doesn not meet WCAG success criterion 3.1.1 Language of Page.

Where the PDF is current, we aim to update them to include a language entry by September 2020. We do not intend to update older PDFs.

Bookmarks

Some PDF documents do not provide bookmarks within the document.

This doesn not meet WCAG success criterion 2.4.5 Multiple Ways.

Where the PDF is current, we aim to update them to include a language entry by September 2020. We do not intend to update older PDFs.

Text and content

Styles and structure

Some content includes inline styles, combining presentation and structure. Alternatively some non-tabular content uses tables for layout.

This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships, 1.4.5 Images of Text, and 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum).

Where possible for current content we will remove these style manually or automatically by September 2020. We will also improve training for content authors. Where content is historical, no longer maintained or kept online for historical or reference reasons, we do not intend to go back and improve it.

Navigation

Some pages do not include links to skip repeated content such as navigation, or don’t identify regions of the page.

Where such pages are current, we aim to migrate them to compliant page templates by September 2020. We don’t intend to update archive content that is no longer maintained, and will either remove such pages or clearly mark them as archived.

Headings

HTML headings are used inconsistently on our web pages, and our content is not always organised into well-defined sections. This makes it harder for users to get an overview of our content and how it is organised.

This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 2.4.6 Headings and Labels.

We continue to revise our content to improve our use of headings. We will also improve training for content authors. Where content is historical, no longer maintained or kept online for historical or reference reasons, we do not intend to go back and improve it.

Element IDs

Some pages have id attributes that are not unique.

This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 4.1.1 Parsing.

Interactive tools

Forms

Some of our forms provide field sets without a corresponding legend.

This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships, 2.1.1 Keyboard, and 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions.

We aim to add a legend to all existing field sets on our current content by September 2020.

Some forms are generated by third party applications, such as our Customer Relationship Manager.

We do not intend to fix these and the form generation is outside of our control.

Google maps

Some pages use Google maps. These are not accessible to users of assistive technology such as screen readers.

Where a map is being used, we will add a description of the location for the landmark in question.

360 interactive panoramas (virtual tours)

Some pages use 360-degree interactive panoramas which can’t be used with a keyboard. You can find examples on our accommodation and business pages.

These features don't meet WCAG success criterion 2.1.1 Keyboard, and in some cases also fail to meet 2.1.2 No Keyboard Trap.

We will either remove these features or update them to be keyboard-operable by September 2020.

Disproportionate burden

Forms

Some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard or screen reader (e.g. because some form controls are missing a 'label' tag). These forms are built and hosted through third party software and 'skinned' to look like our website.

This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships.

As this is software outside of our direct control we believe this presents a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will make another assessment when the supplier contract is up for renewal.

PDFs and other documents

Our site contains a number of PDFs created in previous years that don't meet accessibility standards.

We do not intend to reproduce existing PDFs in accessible versions as this would be a disproportionate burden. 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.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Content that isn't within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

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.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Live video

Live video streams don’t have captions.

This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions - live).

We don’t plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

How we tested this site

We test our main website nightly using an automated tool that scans every page for problems (Funnelback).

The reports are checked at least weekly by the website development team to identify areas for improvement and monitor site trends.

We aim to fix high priority issues within two weeks of identification.

Our core website is produced by a Content Management System (CMS) that enables content editors to create pages based on building blocks.

We test each individual building block to ensure it meets accessibility requirements in isolation using a variety of techniques including automated tools and manual testing using keyboard and screen readers.

We also test the empty page container within which these building blocks are placed.

Plans for improvement

We aim to ensure that all CMS-managed ‘core content’ is migrated to accessible content styles by September 2020.

Where inaccessible content is produced outside of the CMS system, we will encourage content owners to migrate to using the CMS by September 2020.

Our accessibility roadmap shows how and when we plan to improve accessibility on this website.

This statement was prepared on 4th September 2019. It was last updated on 4th September 2019.

Contacting us for help

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

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please email webmaster@lancaster.ac.uk.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website / service

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 the requirements of the accessibility regulations, please email webmaster@lancaster.ac.uk.

What to do if your problem isn't dealt with satisfactorily

If you have contacted us about an accessibility problem (e.g. because you needed information in a different format, or you think we're not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations) but you feel that this has not been dealt with satisfactorily we want to know.

The first stage would be to raise your concern informally. The aim of this stage is to achieve a quick and easy solution for you. It would be appropriate to take the concern through the relevant contact listed above for reporting an accessibility problem.

But if we do not deal with your concern satisfactorily you can take it through to a formal complaint. See our Concerns, complaints and enforcement information.