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.

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.

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 applying our web accessibility plan to improve these parts of our website and will endeavour to resolve as many of the accessibility issues listed below as soon as possible.

  • 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 are looking at our websites and applications to make sure our headings, tables, and lists are coded correctly, and that the navigation order of our pages makes sense. We are ensuring 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 are also making sure our pages can be viewed in portrait or landscape, and adding 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 are reviewing all our pages to make sure the content is distinguishable. We are ensuring content and links are highlighted in ways other than by using colour. We are ensuring all audio that lasts for longer than three seconds can be paused, muted or adjusted. We are adjusting our contrast ratios for texts and images, buttons, links and other elements. We are ensuring our pages are readable and functional when you change the zoom level, screen size, and text spacing. We are also ensuring 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 are applying a 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 are applying a plan to make sure our content is navigable as part of our remediation plan for accessibility. We are adjusting our heading structure, making sure we have descriptive and informative titles, logical and intuitive link orders, and links with clear names and purpose. We are making 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 are applying a plan to make all our pages functional using a pointer and motion activation, and name all 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 are ensuring 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 are applying a 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 are applying a plan to review the code across all 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 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 are reviewing all PDF documents essential for our services and converting these to accessible pages where appropriate. 

We considered documents published and due to be published between 23 September 2018 and 22 September 2020 and the cost of fixing all these documents. We believe that doing so would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. 

However, we are working towards making our PDF content more accessible.

  • We are minimising use of PDFs while encouraging the creation of accessible HTML pages.
  • Our remediation plan includes re-assessing live PDFs published after 23 September 2018. We may make some documents accessible, or available in an accessible form, based on user need and/or whether the information is used for active administrative processes relating to the tasks performed by the University.
  • To improve our future compliance with WCAG 2.1 guidelines around PDFs we have provided staff with guidance on how to create accessible content

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 WCAG 1.4.5.
  • User is automatically logged out after 45 mins with no options to extend WCAG 2.2.1.
  • Limited mechanism to skip content WCAG 2.4.1.
  • Insufficient alternative text and labelling WCAG 2.5.3. 

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

PDFs and other office file formats 

Documents published before 23 September 2018

Our website contains thousands of PDFs and other documents created over several decades. These include things like past exam papers, posters intended for printing and forms.

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 are either fixing these or replacing them with accessible HTML pages. Inaccessible PDFs may remain live where an accessible web page version is also available.

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. 

Documents published after 23 September 2018

We are taking steps to reduce the number of PDFs and other office file formats we provide digitally – opting to create web pages instead where possible. 

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards. We have provided guidance on how to create accessible content to help staff meet accessibility standards when publishing new PDFs or Word documents. 

Teaching staff also have access to Blackboard Ally, which helps them provide more accessible learning materials through Minerva and automatically gives students access to files in multiple formats, such as html, mp3 audio and braille.

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 haven’t added text and audio alternatives to all our time-based media published before 23 September 2020 because this is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. 

We are working to ensure pre-recorded media published from 23 September 2020 includes or is provided with transcriptions, captions and/or audio description as appropriate. 

Recordings of teaching provided via digital education systems offers some capacity for closed captions. For example, video captures of timetabled lectures conducted via Mediasite are sent for automated closed captioning. Those closed captions will be made available should they meet a quality threshold. 

Closed captions can be added to recordings of sessions conducted via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and recordings of ad-hoc teaching through Mediasite. Disability Services can support students with disabilities who require closed captions on recordings. Disability Services can be contacted via phone, email, or in person:

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.

However, automatic closed captioning is available on live Microsoft Teams meetings.

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 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. The searchBOX finder tool allows users to search for third-party 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.

Archived websites and web pages

Our web estate contains many websites and sections of websites we consider to be archived. Government accessibility regulations define an archived website as one that only contains content not needed for active administrative processes and is not updated or edited after 23 September 2019. The regulations state we do not need to fix archived websites.

Websites and sections of websites we consider archived, so will not be making accessible at this time, are:

  • http://www.leeds.ac.uk/writingbritishasiancities/
  • https://www.leeds.ac.uk/subjectstocitizens/
  • http://www.leeds.ac.uk/strikingwomen/ 

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We developed a plan in 2019 to address the University’s web accessibility issues. This plan established staggered dates for the creation and implementation of a new, accessible design system along with moving and remediating on-page content to meet WCAG 2.1 AA guidelines. 

The plan is applied to 67 core subdomains and sections of the University of Leeds web estate. The selection focuses on web-based not system-driven sites (e.g. it.leeds.ac.uk). 

The plan came into action in February 2020 and the bulk of the work is intended to be complete by spring 2021.

Work streams

Our web accessibility plan has been divided into three main work streams:

  • Creation of new web user interface components (the design system) to replace inaccessible page elements.
  • Implementation of these design system components.
  • Migrations and remediation of the on-page content and Word and PDF documents. 

Division of the web estate

The 67 selected subdomains and sections of the University of Leeds web estate have been divided into delivery groups to help organise effort. 

  • Pilot
    • Wellbeing, Safety and Health - wsh.leeds.ac.uk 
  • Foundation elements
    • Campus Developments - campusdevelopments.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (CentreCATH) - centrecath.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Changing the Story - changingthestory.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Priestley International Centre for Climate - climate.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Communications - comms.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Conferences, Workshops, Exhibitions, and Colloquia - conferences.leeds.ac.uk 
    • The Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds - confucius.leeds.ac.uk 
    • A Practical Guide To Delivering Results - deliveringresults.leeds.ac.uk 
    • The Digital Education Service - digitaleducation.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Centre for Disability Studies - disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Equality Policy Unit - equality.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Estates and Facilities - estates.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Facilities Directorate - facilitiesdirectorate.leeds.ac.uk 
    • A Good Life For All Within Planetary Boundaries - goodlife.leeds.ac.uk 
    • International Medieval Congress - imc.leeds.ac.uk 
    • IT Inductions - itinductions.leeds.ac.uk 
    • LOGIK (Learning Opportunities for Gaining Information and Knowledge) - logik.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Centre for African Studies (LUCAS) - lucas.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Print and Copy Bureau - pcb.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Organisational Development and Professional Learning - peopledevelopment.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - ref2014.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Student Talent Spotting - studenttalentspotting.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Sustainability - sustainability.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence - teachingexcellence.leeds.ac.uk 
    • water@leeds - water.leeds.ac.uk 
    • The Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing - writingchinese.leeds.ac.uk  
  • Faculties
    • Arts, Humanities and Cultures - ahc.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Biological Sciences - biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Business School - business.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Engineering and Physical Sciences - eps.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Environment - environment.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Medicine and Health - medicinehealth.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Social Sciences - essl.leeds.ac.uk  
  • Corporate
    • University of Leeds - leeds.ac.uk  
  • Task based
    • For students - students.leeds.ac.uk 
    • For staff - leeds.ac.uk/forstaff 
    • HR - hr.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Student Education Service - ses.leeds.ac.uk  
  • Other
    • Alumni - alumni.leeds.ac.uk/home 
    • Campaign - campaign.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Finance - leeds.ac.uk/finance 
    • Leeds Child Development Unit - leedscdu.org 
    • Secretariat - leeds.ac.uk/secretariat/index.html 
    • SWJTU (Southwest Jiatong University) Leeds Joint School - leeds.swjtu.edu.cn/info/1120/1435.htm 
    • The Unbundled University - unbundleduni.com 
    • iamagraduate.com/leeds/index.html 
    • snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=155914149772  
  • External services
    • Accommodation - accommodation.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Coursefinder - courses.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Library - library.leeds.ac.uk 
    • Masters scholarships - masters-scholarships.leeds.ac.uk 
    • PHD - phd.leeds.ac.uk   

Prioritisation

Remediation of each group is planned at different, staggered times within each work stream.

Completed and in-progress work

  • Pilot
    • Design system creation 
    • Design system implementation 
    • Content migration and remediation  
  • Faculties
    • Design system creation 
  • Corporate
    • Design system creation 
    • Content migration and remediation 

 We will update this statement to reflect our progress when appropriate.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 12 September 2019. It was last reviewed on 22 September 2020. 

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

We chose a sample of websites to test based on a set of criteria. You can learn the reasoning for the approach and which pages were tested on the following page, How we tested this site for accessibility and what we tested.