SITE DOCUMENTATION

Accessibility statement - Corporate website www

Accessibility

This accessibility statement applies to this website, www.essex.ac.uk

This website is run by the University of Essex. We want as many people as possible to be able to use our website and we’re committed to providing an accessible web presence, by making the information and resources we provide accessible to all web users.

We aim to achieve the recommended government standard for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and follow general principles of usability, which should help all visitors to our website. 

The University of Essex intends to continue improving our accessibility and we are working towards improving our digital services. By taking this approach we hope to make our site as inclusive as possible.

Making changes to your operating system

Please find advice from AbilityNet, showing users how to make full use of accessibility settings in browsers and operating systems.

To find more information please see an overview of the Web Accessibility Initiative.

This accessibility statement applies to this website, www.essex.ac.uk

How accessible is this website(s)?

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

  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams do not have captions
  • some of our videos do not have captions
  • some of our online forms can difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • some of our pages can be difficult to navigate with a screen reader
  • not all of our images have alternative text added to them
  • on some pages our headings are not nested correctly.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website/s in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:

  • email - wedm@essex.ac.uk
  • call +44 (0)1206 873333
  • Web Editing and Digital Media Team, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 10 days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website/s

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact the University Web Editing and Digital Media Team: wedm@essex.ac.uk

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

Information on how to contact the University can be found on our contact us webpages. Alternatively, information on visiting us in person can be found on each of our three campus pages:

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The University of Essex 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.

 

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

  • Some images do not have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). We plan to add text alternatives for all images by December 2022. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.
  • Some of our images have text on them, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.5 (Images of text). We plan to remove all images with text on them by December 2022. When we publish new images we'll make sure they're free of text.
  • Some of our videos do not have a captions, so some people will be unable to access the information or content. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.2 (captions (pre-recorded)). We plan to add captions for all our video media by December 2022. When we publish new content we’ll make sure all our videos contain captions.
  • Some of our iFrames are missing their title tag, this makes it hard for screen readers to tell what the purpose of the frame is. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). We plan to ensure all iFrames have a title tag added by June 2023. When we publish any new iFrames we'll make sure they include a title tag.
  • Some of our input fields are missing their descriptions. This means it is hard for some assisted technologies to know what the field is for. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships) 3.3.2 (labels or instructions),  4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). We plan to ensure all input fields have descriptions by June 2023. When we publish new input fields we'll make sure they have descriptions.
  • On some of our pages HTML has been used to format content rather than CSS. This can make reading text with some assisted technologies confusing. This fails WCAG 2.1. success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships). We plan to ensure all content is formatted with CSS only by June 2023. When new content is added, we'll make sure it is not formatted with HTML.
  • Some of our link text is the same but used for multiple different destinations on the same page. This makes it difficult for some people to know where the link points to without further explanation. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4  (Link purpose (in context)). We plan to ensure all of our link text is unique for each new destination by March 2023. We'll make sure any new links added are unique.
  • In some areas, the functionality we have used has added in 'Heading tags', but we have not added a heading in its place. This can be confusing for assisted technologies as they will not understand why the heading is empty. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships). We plan to ensure all heading tags are either removed or text is present by June 2023. Where possible, we'll make sure all heading tags have complete text when new content is added.
  • On some of our webpages, the functionality we have used has added local link (anchor links) but the destination does not exist. This makes it confusing for assisted technologies to navigate the site. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships). We plan to ensure all local links have destinations on the page by June 2023. In future, when we add any local links to a web page, we'll be sure to include the destination on the page too.
  • On some occasions the link text we have used is too generic in its current context. This means it isn't clear where the user will reach when clicking on the link. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion  2.4.4 (Link purpose (in context)). We plan to ensure all our links are clearly described so it is apparent to the user where they are navigating through by December 2022. In future we'll make sure that all of our links are descriptive and not too generic.
  • Some of our tables are missing their description, which makes it hard for screen readers to understand the purpose of the table. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships). We plan to address all tables and their descriptions by June 2023. 
  • Sometimes we have used the HTML <small> element on our website to change the size of our text. This can make it confusing for screen readers as they may read this text. Text should be altered in size by CSS and not HTML. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships). We plan to remove all use of the 'small' tag by June 2023. Any new content that is added, we'll make sure not to include the 'small' tag.
  • Some of our navigation menus are very long, and there is no logical order to how they are shown. This makes it hard to navigate. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships). We plan to resolve all navigation issues and implement an order to our navigation by June 2023. In future we'll make sure there is a logical order to all our navigation going forward.
  • Some of the tabbing sequences on our pages are not logical. This makes it hard for users who rely upon a keyboard to navigate our website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.3 (Focus Order). We plan to resolve tabbing and navigation issues by June 2023.
  • Some of our images should be marked as decorative This makes it confusing for screen readers to know whether the image is of value to the content on not. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1  (non-text content). We plan to ensure all decorative images are marked as such by June 2023.
  • Some of our form elements are not grouped with a field-set to make them easier to navigate through. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion  1.3.1  (Info and Relationships) 3.3.2 (Labels or instructions). We plan to address all form issues, and ensure elements of a similar nature are grouped together by June 2023.
  • Some of our text areas on forms do not have descriptions. This makes it hard for uses of assisted technologies to know what the area is for. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion  1.3.1  (Info and Relationships) 3.3.2 (Labels or instructions) 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). We plan to address all forms and text area descriptions by June 2023.
  • On some of our pages, there is no option to skip repeated content. This means that users of assisted technologies have no option to skip this content. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (Bypass Blocks). We plan to address this, so users can skip repeated content by June 2023.
  • On some of our pages there is content that cycles automatically without any way for the user to pause, stop or hide it. This can be a severe distraction for certain users, making it difficult for them to use the page. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.2.2 (Pause, Stop, Hide). We plan to provide the functionality for users to be able to pause moving, flashing or automatically updating content by August 2023.
  • In some places we have used icon images as links without providing an accessible link name. This prevents certain users from knowing the purpose of the link. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 (Link Purpose - In Context). We plan to add accessible link text to all hyperlinked icons by August 2023.
  • In some places we have button links that do not have accessible names detailing the purpose of the button. This prevents users of assistive technologies from understanding the context of the button. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). We plan to add accessible link text to all hyperlinked icons by August 2023.
  • When using HTML5, not all of our content is included in landmarks. It is best practice to include all content on the page in landmarks. In this way users of assistive technologies can use the landmarks for navigating the page without losing track of content. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion  1.3.1 (Info and Relationships). We plan to ensure all our content is included within landmarks when using HTML5 by June 2023.
  • On some of our web pages we have used the HTML <i> or <b> tags to format text. These tags should only be used when there is not a more appropriate semantic element. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships). We plan to address use of the <i> and <b> tags by December 2023. When we publish new content from now on we'll make sure not to use the <i> or <b> tags and use a more appropriate semantic alternative instead.
  • On some pages, when navigating by keyboard, focused components cannot be visually identified. If the focused component is not somehow highlighted, the user cannot be sure which component has focus. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.7 (Focus visible). We plan to address this issue to ensure all areas are clearly highlighted when in focus by June 2023.
  • On some of our webpages there are components which cannot be accessed via the keyboard. This makes it difficult for some users to navigate our website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard). We plan to address this issue to ensure all components can be accessed via the keyboard by August 2023.
  • On our takeover burger menu some of the links are not accessible via the keyboard. This makes it difficult for some users to navigate our website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard). We plan to address this issue to ensure all components can be accessed via the keyboard by August 2023
  • For some, our left-hand menu found on most pages is not always accessible via the keyboard. This makes it difficult for some users to navigate our website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard). We plan to address this issue to ensure all components can be accessed via the keyboard by August 2023
  • On the majority of our webpages, text scaling and zooming is disabled on touch screen devices. This prevents users scaling text or zooming into the page without the use of assistive technologies such as a screen magnifier. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.4 (Resize text). We plan to address this issue to enable text scaling and zooming on touch screen devices by August 2023.
  • On some pages, in certain areas the colour contrast is insufficient. This can present a problem for users with low-vision or colour-blindness. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (Contrast minimum). We plan to address all contrast issues by August 2023.
  • On all of our student pages (/students) the contrast between our logo and the background is insufficient. This can make it tricky for users to see clearly. This fails WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.11 (Non-text contrast). We plan to fix this by December 2025.

Other non-compliance content

External websites

In addition to the above issues, there are number of other University websites which sit outside of the main University infrastructure and are managed locally by individual teams or employees. These sites have not been audited and are as such assumed to be non-compliant with the guidelines. These websites will be audited, retired, or migrated onto the main University website, and therefore be included within the above list by September 2025.

The following statement applies therefore to all the below websites:

This website is not compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard.

Disproportionate burden

We currently have no items we would classify as disproportionate burden. This may change as regulations and content changes, or if items are discovered that we would classify under this heading.

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

PDFs and other documents

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. By September 2025, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

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.

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

Live video

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

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 20 September 2019. It was last reviewed on 8 August 2022.

This website was last tested on 4 August 2022. The test was carried out by the University's Web Editing and Digital Media Team.

We use a third-party company Siteimprove to continually monitor our website and highlight accessibility issues. Siteimprove's method and policy can be found on their website and also use a range of accessibility checker tools and manual checks.

Additional Accessibility statements on the University of Essex online infrastructure

Please see our accessibility statements hub