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Accessibility – University of Reading

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The University of Reading is committed to providing an inclusive environment, and to ensuring digital accessibility for as many users as possible. Digital accessibility is about removing and reducing barriers to enable users to engage with our digital services and content. Accordingly, we are committed to making our websites and mobile applications accessible in accordance with The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 No.952, and specifically WCAG 2.1 AA standards.

Accessibility statement

This accessibility statement covers our main website platform (and in due course will cover all our websites and mobile applications). You may also find specific statements on individual pages or other University of Reading websites, where more detail is helpful. They will each link back to this page and should be read in conjunction with this general accessibility statement.

Advice on accessing our content

To adapt website content and functionality to your needs and preferences you can:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 200% 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 (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver).

The University Library has produced an inclusive technology guide which includes details of assistive technologies and free features in browsers, Windows, and Microsoft Office applications that can support you working online.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability (My Computer My Way).

How accessible is this website?

This website is operated by the University of Reading. We know that some parts of this website aren't yet fully accessible. For example:

  • The text will not reflow in a single column when you change the size of the browser window.
  • You cannot modify the line height or spacing of text.
  • Some older PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software.
  • Live video streams do not have captions.
  • Some multimedia content doesn't yet have audio, captions or text description.
  • Some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard.
  • You cannot skip to the main content when using a screen reader.

 If you would like to learn more about web accessibility, please contact our Web Accessibility Team.

Third party tools

Our website includes third party content and functionality.

Depending on the University's relationship with the third party, we cannot always guarantee its accessibility.

Where we choose to feature third party content or functionality on our website, we are responsible for taking steps to make sure that it meets accessibility standards.

However, where we are legally required to feature third party content or functionality we cannot reasonably accept responsibility for ensuring it meets accessibility standards. And where the University links to third party websites that may offer benefits to the University's users, we are not responsible for the accessibility of these or any other websites that the University doesn't manage. However, where it is within our control, we will make every reasonable effort to work towards meeting accessibility requirements.

Certain third-party tools, content and/or functionality are integrated/featured on our website, and these have their own accessibility statements.

If you would like to access third-party accessibility statements, please use the free searchBOX Finder service.

What to do if you are experiencing accessibility issues

If you have any problems accessing our website, or related tools and functionality, please contact the IT Service Desk:

If you need content featured on our website in a different format, and you are having problems accessing the necessary format(s) (such as tagged PDFs, large print, easy read, audio recording or electronic braille), please contact the Web Accessibility Team at:

If you cannot view the map on our 'contact us' page, call or email us for directions. You can find the contact details on our contact us page.

If you find any problems that aren't listed in this statement, or think we're not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, please contact:

Compliance status

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

Non-accessible content

We work to achieve and maintain the AA standards of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.

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

Partial compliance with the accessibility regulations

We know that some parts of our website are not fully accessible.

The full list of known issues can be found on our accessibility hub website.

PDF Documents

Our site contains 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.

Work is ongoing to fix PDF documents that are essential to our providing our services. These will be converted to accessible pages, or an accessible alternative will be made available on request. We will aim to ensure that the top 10% most viewed documents on our website are accessible as explained in our disproportionate burden assessment. This is an ongoing process. Some of our content across the site will need to remain in PDF format where a durable format is needed (for legal reasons or otherwise).

Disproportionate burden

We are currently auditing our website and, if relevant, will list here any areas that we believe it would be a disproportionate burden to make fully accessible. This section will be updated by 28th February 2021.

Navigation and accessing information

There's no way to skip the repeated content in the page header on some of our websites (for example, a 'skip to main content' option).

It's not always possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it more difficult to view the content.

It's not possible for users to change text size without some of the content overlapping.

Interactive tools and transactions

Some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a 'label' tag.

Our forms are built and hosted through third party software and 'skinned' to look like our website.

We've assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions and believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will make another assessment when the relevant supplier contracts are up for renewal.

Content that's not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

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.

The University will work to achieve and maintain WCAG 2.1 AA standards, but it is not always possible for all our content to be accessible. Where content doesn't appear to be fully accessible, please contact the web accessibility team at to request an alternative format.

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Special collections and archives

Our historical library collections are exempt from the accessibility regulations.

What we are doing to fix accessibility issues

We are actively updating and improving our web presence from the technical, design and user experience aspects. We are working on two digital programmes to remediate all websites created on Activedition CMS and Sitecore 7.2 CMS. Most of those websites will be transferred to new accessible templates built on a new CMS by July 2021. All of them will have been transferred (and will be WCAG 2.1 AA compliant) by July 2022.

Staff responsible for content on the website, are undertaking training in producing more accessible content and improving content already on the site.

In addition, we are working with our suppliers to fix issues relevant to the accessibility of content and systems and we are including accessibility requirements in our procurement processes.

If you would like more detailed information on the steps we are taking to fix a particular issue please contact our Web Accessibility Team.

How we tested this website

We are currently auditing our websites per platforms. The test is carried out internally on a sample of pages using automated tools as well as manual testing with users with disabilities.

This statement was prepared on 26th September 2019. It was last updated on 19th January 2021.

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