Accessibility statement

This website is built using the Oxford Mosaic Web Platform, which is the central web publishing platform for the University of Oxford. This statement applies to this website and the Moscia platform as a whole.

The University of Oxford is committed to providing an accessible web presence that gives members of the public and members of the University community full access to University information, courses and activities offered publicly through the web.

Our Equality Policy outlines our commitment to a culture which ‘maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected’.

The Mosaic platform provides the publishing toolkit and hosting for more than 500 websites published by Oxford University. This statement explains the accessibility compliance factors common to all those sites, due to their hosting on the Platform.

Our aims

The Oxford Mosaic Web Platform is run by the IT Services department at the University of Oxford. We want as many people as possible to be able to use Mosaic websites. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% 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 NVDA and VoiceOver)

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability. In addition, major operating systems produce the following guidance:

Guidance is available for content editors of Mosaic websites to help them maintain accessibility standards.

How accessible Oxford Mosaic websites are

We know some parts of the websites published by Oxford Mosaic are not accessible:

  • Page headers need to be improved to correct the ordering of elements for screen readers and keyboard users and remove duplication
  • ARIA landmarks need to be added in some places to better support screen reader rendering
  • Interactive carousels cannot currently be paused
  • Submission of webforms often relies solely on the use of visual CAPTCHAs
  • In a small number of specific instances, the treatment of text in links or titles is not sufficiently clear

Individual Mosaic websites may also have accessibility features and issues relating to the specific content they publish and 3rd party tools they make use of. Details of these are given on individual sites, where applicable.

We may also identify further issues as we proceed with the ongoing accessibility audit of the Platform (see ‘Preparation of this Accessibility Statement’ below).

Information in alternative formats

Students and staff of the University may make use of the free SensusAccess tool on the Bodleian website to convert certain types of files into a more accessible format, such as accessible text, audio, e-book or digital braille. Content editors may also make use of this tool on behalf of website users.

If you need further information or wish to discuss provision of an alternative format, please contact the editor of the site you are viewing using the site's Contact information, or contact the Mosaic Platform team.

Reporting issues with website accessibility

If you have any questions or concerns about the accessibility of any Oxford Mosaic webpages, please contact the editor of the site you are viewing at the Contact information given in the first instance. If you have difficulty finding this information, or to escalate concerns or comment on this statement, please contact the Mosaic Platform team. Please give the website name or URL web address of the page you are viewing.

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).

Other accessibility resources

If you’d like more information about accessibility and resources for students, staff and visitors in Oxford more generally, please visit our Equality and Diversity pages.

If you’re looking for information on building accessibility, please try the Access Guide or the University’s interactive map.

Technical information about our websites’ accessibility

The University of Oxford is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. As part of this commitment, we are required to publish known issues with our website.

Oxford Mosaic websites are 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

We are currently in the process of auditing the Mosaic platform – see ‘Preparation of this accessibility statement’ for more information. So far, we have identified the following issues.

Issues with navigation and operability

ARIA landmarks need to be defined for Search, Banner, Nav, ContentInfo and Complementary content, to assist Screen Readers to read out content appropriately (WCAG 2.1 1.3.1 and 2.4.1). These will be implemented in October 2020.

Improvements to the standard page header are required to fix multiple issues:

  • The Search box is read out to Screen Readers first, instead of the order of the header elements being consistent with that of the visual layout (WCAG 2.1 1.3.1)
  • The tab order for navigating the header with a keyboard is not consistent with that of the visual layout (WCAG 2.1 2.1.1)
  • There is duplication of the logo, search and navigation menu elements for Screen Readers. This is due to the rendering of desktop and mobile versions not being handled correctly when CSS is disabled (WCAG 2.1 2.4.4, 3.2.3 and 4.1.1)

We plan to reimplement our page Header to address these issues by December 2020.

Interactive carousels cannot currently be paused (WCAG 2.1 2.2.2). We will address this by December 2020.

In some instances, the focus colour for the Search box is not sufficiently contrasted with the header background colour, so that it’s difficult to see when you have navigated to the box (WCAG 2.1 2.4.7). This will be corrected in October 2020.

The labelling of the Search button does not persist when CSS is turned off, so that this button may be unlabelled for some users (WCAG 2.1 3.3.2). This will be corrected in October 2020.

There are a few cases of obsolete or redundant mark-up in the web-page code that need to be removed to ensure that page rendering is reliable (WCAG 2.1 4.1.1). This will be corrected in October 2020.

Webforms currently rely solely on the use of visual CAPTCHAS without alternative forms of CAPTCHA, for different types of sensory perception, being provided (WCAG 2.1 1.1.1). We aim to correct this by January 2021.

Issues with text

The Platform Privacy notice is missing captions for its tables listing cookies used. A brief description of the tables’ contents is therefore not available to Screen Readers before reading out the whole table content (WCAG 2.1 1.3.1). This will be corrected in October 2020.

Link text is not always identified in ways other than colour (WCAG 2.1 1.4.1). We will assess this, aiming to correct it by December 2020.

The text of titles used on accordions is not always sufficiently contrasted with their background colour (WCAG 2.1 1.4.3). We will correct this by December 2020.

Resizing text above 150% causes the Search box icon to overflow its context, so that it’s less clear where to click to submit a Search (WCAG 2.1 1.4.4). We will address this when we rework our page Header by December 2020.

Some text is used in the ‘Powered by’ Platform brandmark in the footer of all Mosaic website pages. We will recreate this brandmark using text and CSS styling, with images only used for the graphic elements (WCAG 2.1 1.4.5). This will be corrected in October 2020.

Other content issues

Individual Mosaic websites may also have accessibility features and issues relating to the specific content they publish. These usually relate to image, audio and video content, PDF and other document formats, and embedded 3rd party tools. Details of these are given on individual sites, where applicable.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We want our websites to offer the best experience possible for all of our users. In addition to our plan to complete a Platform audit and implement fixes for the issues identified, we are working in several other ways:

  • we have revised our code development workflow to implement an updated Accessibility testing step to ensure all future Platform enhancements are fully accessible before release
  • we plan to work with the University’s IT training team to improve content training for website editors
  • reviewing module updates to the Platform as they arise to see where they may offer new accessibility features

A Digital Accessibility Working Group has been established to oversee the University’s implementation of the WCAG 2.1 guidelines. The group is working to provide clear guidance, recommendations, expertise and experiential knowledge to departments and colleges who will be adopting inclusive digital practices to meet the requirements of the accessibility regulations. 

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 20 September 2020. It was last reviewed on that date.

The Platform was last tested on 11 September 2020. The test was carried out by the internal CMS and Web Platform Team, within University of Oxford IT Services. This test was part of an ongoing accessibility audit of the Oxford Mosaic Web Platform. We expect to complete the audit in November 2020 and aim to have implemented the improvements required by early 2021.

Other sites within the domain

This statement does not cover the University of Oxford’s main website Please refer to the accessibility statement for if your query concerns that site.

Some larger Mosaic sites also publish their own accessibility information, detailing content compliance. In particular, a statement for the key group of University Administration and Services websites is available.

A large number of other websites (Mosaic and non-Mosaic) exist, including those of various divisions and departments, museums and libraries and more. Accessibility statements may be found locally on each site.