The University of Leeds 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:

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

The following is a detailed list of the parts of our website that are not compliant with the accessibility regulations. We are developing a plan to improve these parts of our website and will endeavour to resolve as many of the accessibility issues listed below by September 2020. We will update this statement by December 2019 to reflect the detailed outcome of our planning work.

  • Some images and multimedia 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 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). 
  • Text alternatives for images will be part of our remediation plan. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.
  • Some of our content can’t be presented in different ways without it losing information or structure. This means it does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA Success criteria 1.3 (adaptable).
  • Some headings, regions, lists, and tables are not coded appropriately. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships).
  • The reading order and navigation order of all of our pages is not logical and intuitive. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.3.2 (meaningful sequence).
  • The instructions we give sometimes rely on visual and audio cues. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.3.3 (sensory characteristics).
  • Some of our web pages are restricted to portrait or landscape orientation. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.3.4 (orientation).
  • Some of the input fields in our forms don’t contain appropriate autocomplete answers. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.3.5 (identify input purpose).

We plan to look at our websites and applications to make sure that our headings, tables, and lists are coded correctly, and that the navigation order of our pages makes sense. We will make sure that our instructions don’t rely on you being able to see shape, size, colour or location on the page, or hear an audio cue. We will also make sure our pages can be viewed in portrait or landscape, and add in autocomplete answers where needed. 

  • Some of our content is hard to see and hear. This means it does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA Guideline 1.4 (distinguishable). 
  • Colour is sometimes used as the only way we highlight different content or links. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.4.1 (use of colour).
  • You can’t always stop, pause, mute, or adjust volume for audio that lasts longer than 3 seconds. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.4.2 (audio control).
  • Our text and image contrast ratio is not always high enough. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.4.3 (contrast – minimum).
  • Our pages aren’t always readable and functional when you zoom in to 200%; This doesn’t meet criterion 1.4.4 (resize text).
  • Sometimes we use images to present information when text alone would do. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.4.5 (images of text).
  • Sometimes you lose content when you reduce the screen size. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.4.10 (reflow).
  • We don’t have a consistent contrast ratio of 3:1 for elements like buttons, images and links. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.4.11 (non-text contrast).
  • Sometimes you lose content and functionality when line spacing, paragraph spacing, font size and letter spacing are increased. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.4.12 (text spacing).
  • Sometimes you can’t control when you dismiss or keep new or revealed content. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.4.13 (content on hover or focus).

We plan to review all our pages to make sure that the content is distinguishable. We will make sure content and links are highlighted in ways other than by using colour. We will make sure that all audio that lasts for longer than 3 seconds can be paused, muted or adjusted. We will adjust our contrast ratios for texts and images, buttons, links and other elements. We will make sure our pages are readable and functional when you change the zoom level, screen size, and text spacing. We will also make sure content that appears and disappears when you hover or focus on it is easy to control. 

Some of our website and application is not all available from a keyboard. This means it does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA Guideline 2.1 (keyboard accessible).

  • Not all of our page functionality is available just through using a keyboard interface. This doesn’t meet criterion 2.1.1 (keyboard).
  • Some of our pages do not allow you to move away from one part of the page using the keyboard, even if you used a keyboard to get there. This means it does not meet criterion 2.1.1 (no keyboard trap).

We plan to make all our functionality available just by using a keyboard. 

  • Some of our automatically moving content can’t be paused or stopped. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 2.2.2 (pause, stop, hide). 
  • Some of our page content flashes more than three times per second. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 criterion. 2.3.1 (three flashes or below threshold). 

Some of our content is hard to navigate. This means it does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA Guideline 2.4 (navigable). 

  • It isn’t always possible to skip elements that are repeated across all our web pages. We don’t always use a clear heading structure on our pages. This doesn’t meet criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks).
  • Our pages don’t always have descriptive and informative titles. This doesn’t meet criterion 2.4.2 (page titled).
  • The navigation order of links, form elements and similar parts of our webpages isn’t always logical and intuitive. This doesn’t meet criterion 2.4.3 (focus order).
  • The purpose of each link isn’t always clear from the text or its context alone. It isn’t always easy to distinguish similar text items that link to different pages. This doesn’t meet criterion 2.4.4 (link purpose – in context).
  • There isn’t always more than one way to reach other important pages on our site. We don’t always have two links to a list of related pages or table of contents, our site map, our site search, and a list of all our available web pages. This doesn’t meet criterion 2.4.5 (multiple ways).
  • Our page headings and form labels aren’t always informative, and sometimes more than one label has the same name. This doesn’t meet criterion 2.4.6 (headings and labels).
  • It isn’t always clear which element of the page has the current keyboard focus. This doesn’t meet criterion 2.4.7 (focus visible).

We plan to make sure that our content is navigable and this is part of our remediation plan for accessibility. We will adjust our heading structure, make sure we have descriptive and informative titles, logical and intuitive link orders, and links with clear names and purpose. We will make sure every page clearly shows where the keyboard focus is at any moment, and that there are at least two ways to reach our most important sites on every page. 

Some of our content is hard to navigate. This means it does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA Guideline 2.5 (input modalities). 

  • Some of our web pages don’t have the right functionality when operated using only a pointer. This doesn’t meet criterion 2.5.2 (pointer cancellation).
  • Some of the accessible names given to links and buttons do not include the same wording as the visible text on the screen. This doesn’t meet criterion 2.5.3 (label in name).
  • Some functionality related to device and user motion does not work correctly. This doesn’t meet criterion 2.5.4 (motion actuation).

We plan to make all of our pages functional using a pointer and motion activation, and name all of our buttons and links accessibly. 

Some of the text content on our pages isn’t completely readable and understandable. This means they do not meet WCAG 2.1 Level AA Guideline.3.1 (understandable).

  • The page language is not always identified using HTML. This doesn’t meet criteria 3.1.1 (language of page) and 3.1.2 (language of parts). We plan to make sure all our pages are readable and understandable.  

Some of our pages do not always appear and operate in predictable ways. This means they do not meet WCAG 2.1 Level AA Guideline 3.2.

  • Some page elements cause significant changes to the page when they receive focus. For example, some cause pop-up windows to appear, which can be disorienting. This doesn’t meet criterion 3.2.1 (on focus).
  • Some changes, such as pop-up windows appearing, happen when you interact with a control or input information. This doesn’t meet criterion 3.2.2 (on input).
  • Navigation links that are repeated across our pages sometimes change order when you navigate through a site. This doesn’t meet criterion 3.2.3 (consistent navigation).
  • Components that have the same functionality within a set of pages are not always identified consistently across websites. This doesn’t meet criterion 3.2.4 (consistent identification).

We will endeavor to ensure that disorienting pop-up windows do not appear and that navigation links do not change their order. 

Some of our pages do not help you to avoid or correct mistakes. This means they do not meet WCAG 2.1 Level AA Guideline.3.3 (input assistance).

  • We don’t always tell you that information you give us needs to follow a specific format, and we do not always help you to identify and fix any errors. This doesn’t meet criterion 3.3.1 (error identification).
  • We don’t always provide sufficient labels or instructions to help you interact with our website. This doesn’t meet criterion 3.3.2 (labels or instructions).
  • We don’t always provide suggestions for how to fix any errors in a quick and accessible way. This doesn’t meet criterion 3.3.3 (error suggestion).
  • Submissions are not always reversible and confirmable when pages requiring input relate to legal or financial commitments. This doesn’t meet criterion 3.3.4 (error prevention).

We plan to edit our pages which allow for user input, to make sure that errors are easy to identify, we provide sufficient labels and instructions, and suggestions for how to fix errors quickly and in accessible way. 

  • Some of our pages are not always set up to be compatible with current and future assistive technologies This means they do not meet WCAG 2.1 Level AA Guideline 4.1 (Compatible).
  • Not all page elements have been coded in ways that are compatible with assistive technologies. They may contain duplicate information or errors in the code, for instance. This doesn’t meet criterion 4.1.1 (parsing).
  • Some page mark-up has not been used in ways that make the page more accessible. For instance, not all labels and titles are used appropriately. This doesn’t meet criterion 4.1.2 (name, role, value).
  • When messages appear on a page, they aren’t always presented to you when using an assistive technology unless they receive specific focus. This doesn’t meet criterion 4.1.3 (status messages). 

We plan to review the code across all of our websites to ensure that they are compatible with assistive technologies, that page markup has been used in ways that make the page more accessible, and the messages are always presented clearly to users even without receiving specific focus. 

We will also make sure that all new content published on our site conforms to the WCAG 2.1 Level AA Guidelines. 

Disproportionate burden

PDFs published since 23 September 2018

Some of our content across the site is in PDF. We will be reviewing all PDF documents that are essential for our services and converting these to accessible pages.

We have considered documents published after 23 September 2018 and the cost of fixing these documents. We believe that doing so would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.

IRIS and revisions for use in 2019

This internal application has undergone significant revision to support a one-off internal process in Autumn 2019. There would be disproportionate burden to remediate the system for this one off process on the basis of effort and the impact on the externally set deadline for the process to be completed. 

This system fails on the following WCAG 2.1 AA criteria:

  • Contrast images does not meet the standard WCAG 1.4.11
  • Some icons could be presented using text WCAG1.4.5
  • User is automatically logged out after 45 mins with no options to extend WCAG 2.2.1
  • Limited mechanism to skip content WCAG2.4.1
  • Insufficient alternative text and labelling WCAG2.5.3

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

PDFs and other office file formats 

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with important course information, and forms published as Word documents. 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. For example, we do not plan to fix our art trail. 

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

Media content

Pre-recorded time-based media 

Some of our pre-recorded time-based media does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA success criteria 1.2 (alternatives for time based media – live and pre-recorded audio and video) which makes it inaccessible.

  • Some non-live audio and video content does not have a descriptive text transcript or audio description. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.2.1 (audio-only and video-only - prerecorded)
  • Some non-live video does not have synchronised captions. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.2.2 (captions - prerecorded).
  • Some non-live audio doesn’t have a descriptive text transcript or audio description. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.2.3 (audio description or media alternative – prerecorded)
  • Some live multimedia that contains audio does not have synchronized captions provided. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.2.4 (captions – live)
  • Audio descriptions are not provided for all video content. This doesn’t meet criterion 1.2.5 (audio description – prerecorded). 

We do not plan to add text and audio alternatives to all our time-based media published before September 2020 because it is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.  

Live time-based media

Live video streams do not have captions. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions - live).

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

Online maps

Our online maps are not all accessible. Online maps do not need to comply with the regulation, as long as the essential information they contain is provided in an accessible format. You can find information about access on campus in our information for disabled visitors.

Third-party content

We know that some of the third-party content included in our websites and applications is not accessible. The following third-party content is not WCAG 2.1 AA compliant, and fails across a range of different standards:

The accessibility regulations do not apply to third party content that is not funded, developed, or controlled by the University, and many of these sites have their own accessibility statements. We will work with our suppliers to make sure they know about any accessibility issues we find. 

Reproductions of heritage items

Our Library website has lots of images of our archives that have not yet been transcribed, and we do not yet have a way to extract the text from all our manuscripts and other heritage items efficiently. Our online archives are not fully accessible, and fail almost all testing with accessibility tools. The accessibility requirements do not apply to heritage items that cannot be made fully accessible for this reason. However, we are working to make sure our online library and archive websites are fully accessible and have enough data to help you find what you need. We also work with the RNIB to provide a transcription service.     

How we tested this website

This website was last tested between 5 August and 6 September 2019.  The test was carried out by a third-party auditor. 

We host over 2,000 websites and applications. To test our compliance with the WCAG 2.1 Conformance Level AA Guidelines, we chose a sample of these websites and applications by asking these questions: 

  • How many people use the website / application, and how often?
  • How important the website / application is to a person’s work or study?
  • Do the websites / applications cover every stage of the student journey, from applying to graduating?
  • Do the websites / applications tested include those used by staff, students, and members of the public?
  • When was the website / application created? Was it created after 23 September 2018?
  • Is the website / application in use, and can it be accessed?

We tested:

Our main website platform,

A range of websites, applications, and mobile applications. Read a more detailed list of tested websites and applications.

Our testing process

We assessed each webpage against the WCAG 2.1 AA Standard based test model. We supplemented this with additional testing using automated tools where possible.

For large third party applications we have sourced their accessibility statements which document their compliance levels.

We have also assessed websites and applications with assistive technologies including Jaws, Dragon and ZoomText.

We selected 61 applications, and tested a subset of pages (2, 3, or 4) from each application. 

We selected 82 websites. We tested each website’s home page and a subset of pages within each website. 

We also tested 7 mobile applications. 

We tested them against the WCAG 2.1 AA Guidelines, and using three assistive technologies:

  • JAWS Job Access With Speech – a screen reader
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking – voice recognition software
  • ZoomText – a screen reader and magnifier 

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are in the process of fully detailing our accessibility roadmap which will show how and when we plan to improve accessibility on this website.

This statement was prepared on 12 September 2019. It was last updated on 23 September 2019.