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Website Accessibility Statement

Scope and ownership 

This accessibility statement applies to www.uos.ac.uk which is owned by the University of Suffolk. It is designed to be used by as many people as possible. The site should be clear and simple to understand. 

We have built our website so that:

  • You can zoom in up to 300% on pages without the text spilling off the screen 
  • It has responsive design viewable on a range of desktop and mobile devices 
  • Pages have a ‘skip to content’ link 
  • Pages have appropriate colour contrast 
  • Pages use heading levels so assistive technologies like screen readers and browser plugins (like HeadingsMap for Chrome or FireFox)  can show you the page overview and let you skip to any section of the page.  
  • Most images have text descriptions where appropriate 
  • The site can be navigated using just a keyboard 
  • You can listen to the website using a screen reader. Webpages are coded so screen reader users can quickly navigate between page regions using ARIA landmarks. 
  • Videos are used across the site to provide additional information.  All videos uploaded after 23 September 2020 will have accurate captions. 

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

How accessible this website is 

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible: 

  • The Homepage banner carousel text is often hard to read. 
  • The Homepage banner controls are not correctly read to screen readers 
  • Heading levels jump from H1 to H3 on Landing pages (such as About the University). Headings are otherwise in the correct order.  
  • Generally videos published prior to 23 September 2020 do not have captions or audio description. These features will be included in videos published after 23 September 2020 where required. 
  • Some images on our website don't have appropriate alternative text. 
  • PDFs lack accessibility tags meaning the headings and structure are not accurately communicated to screen readers correctly. This also means they can’t be browsed via the Bookmark view in Adobe Reader. Images within these PDFs are also not marked with alternative text. 
  • Web based forms on the website only display one error at time meaning that users may need to submit the form multiple times for all validation errors to be identified. 

Feedback and contact information  

If you are unable to access a certain part of this website or require something in a different format please email infozone@uos.ac.uk 

In your email please include your contact details, the web address (URL) for the page you are trying to access and what information you were trying to get. 

Alternatively you can call 01473 338833 or visit the Infozone in person at the Waterfront Building. 

Our Infozone Team will respond to you in the first instance and will be able to advise you on options and timeframes. 

Reporting accessibility problems with this website 

We actively seek to maximise the accessibility of our website so if you find barriers that we’ve not covered in this accessibility statement please inform us and we will add the issue to our improvement plans where appropriate. 

Please email any issues, comments or observations to infozone@uos.ac.uk who will acknowledge your email within three working days and give an indication of the potential workarounds. In the email please provide your contact details, the web address (URL) of the page and details of the issue. 

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). 

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person 

Different people have different accessibility needs. You can contact us in a number of different ways: 

Phone: 01473 338833 
Email: infozone@uos.ac.uk
Live Chat: www.uos.ac.uk 
In person: Infozone, Ground Floor, Waterfront Building. 

Our buildings are accessible for wheelchair users and accessible parking (for permit holders only) is located behind the Waterfront Building, accessed via Coprolite Street. The closest accessible parking for visitors is at Duke Street Car Park. 

Technical information about this website’s accessibility 

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

Compliance Status 

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. We are actively working to fix these issues. 

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations 

Some Heading Levels are skipped 

The homepage and landing pages are missing a secondary heading and skip a level meaning they are not nested correctly making the page difficult to navigate for screen reader users as they are unaware of the visual hierarchy of headings. 

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.3 (Info and Relationships) 

We plan to resolve this issue by 31 December 2020. 

Some decorative images have alternative text 

There are decorative images used within call to action boxes which have alternative text. Decorative images should not have alternative text as this creates ‘audio clutter’ for screen reader users. We plan to remove these as the alt text is not needed in these cases. 

On some pages the main header image has a yellow background implemented as an image with alt text. e.g. on the site search page. We plan to replace these to use CSS instead. 

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.1.1 (Non-text Content) 

We expect to resolve these issues by 31 October 2020. 

Some Images have meaningless alternative text

Some images within the content do not have a text alternative or have meaningless alternative text, preventing screen reader users from accessing the information.  

We are working to add text alternatives for all relevant images. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards. 

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).  

We expect to resolve these issues by 31 October 2020. 

Course search filter option is selected 

After a user has selected the filter options on course search pages they must navigate back to the search button in order to apply the filters. When the after a search is submitted the user must then navigate back through the page to get to where they were. This can make the search more fiddly to use for keyboard users. Filtered results are also not announced to screen readers. 

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.3 (Focus Order: Level A) 

We plan to resolve this issue during our next planned major redevelopment of the website scheduled for summer 2022. 

Web form fields do not use autocomplete 

Not all personal information entered into fields on forms autocompletes meaning users must re-enter frequently requested information. We plan to use these going forward and update the existing forms on the site.   

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.5 (Identify Input Purpose) 

We plan to resolve this issue by 31 December 2020. 

Homepage Carousel 

Text and controls are located on top of the carousel images 

The text on the slides sits on top of the image. This can be hard to read on some of the slides if there is insufficient contrast between the image and text. Similarly the carousel controls also sit on top of the image which can make them hard to see on some background images. This also means that focus on these controls is not always clear. We are working to redesign this carousel in order to accommodate this. 

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.4.3 (Contrast(Minimum)) and 1.4.11 (Non-text Contrast) 

It is not possible to pause, stop or hide the carousel  

The carousel plays automatically and can be distracting to users. We are looking to redesign the banner in order to incorporate a pause button allowing the user to pause this. 

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.2.2 (Pause, Stop, Hide) 

The carousel pips are not communicated to screen reader users 

When the carousel pips receive focus, they are not read out to a screen reader user unless the pip is active. This means it’s not clear when navigating the pips where a user is on the page.  

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.4.11 (Name, Role, Value) and 1.1.1 (Info and Relationships) 

The carousel pips are communicated as a ‘tab control’ 

When navigating the carousel pips a user is told the carousel pips are a ‘tab control’. These are added as part of the carousel library which is currently used.  

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships) 

When text is resized it is difficult to control the carousel 

When text is resized to 200% the carousel pips overlap the text on some slides. This makes it difficult for the user to operate the link. As part of a redesigned banner we plan to resolve this. 

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.4.10 (Reflow) 

We plan to launch a new version of the carousel that meets accessibility guidelines by 31 December 2020. In the meantime, all pages promoted in the carousel are also available via the site search or main menu. 

Click4Assistance chat widget 

The fields on the Click4Assistance chat widget have an incorrect tabbing order when controlled via the keyboard. There is also insufficient colour contrast when hovering over the ‘Start Conversation’ button. We are working with our chat provider to resolve these issues and we expect to be able to provide timescales by 30 September 2020. 

Some office documents are not compatible with screen readers 

Some office documents on the website (especially PDF) lack the correct tags and do not have the ability to reflow meaning these documents are not compatible with screen readers. We are working to migrate these documents over to accessible formats such as HTML and where this is not possible we are working an external supplier on bulk remediation of these documents.    

We expect to have this work completed by 31 October 2020. 

Disproportionate burden

We don't categorise any of the accessibility issues on www.uos.ac.uk as a disproportionate burden to fix within the meaning of the regulations.

Content not within the scope of the accessibility regulations 

Videos published prior to 23 September 2020 do not have captions or audio description. 

What we’re doing to improve accessibility 

The university has created training and reference resources for all website editors to ensure this is embedded into website content update and development processes. Proactive monitoring will also be set up and the university is in the process of procuring accessibility monitoring tools, allowing oversight of ongoing accessibility compliance. (Little forest go live date TBC)      

Preparation of this accessibility statement 

This statement was prepared on 22 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 22 September 2020. 

The university commissioned AbilityNet to undertake a review of the website’s templates in February 2020. The majority of the issues uncovered by this report have now been resolved. 

Further to this an internal site audit has been performed by the External Relations team to review all pages in the main menu and pages that are two levels below this. Google analytics data has also been used to identify other commonly accessed pages for audit that do not fall into the previous category.