Accessibility

Find out how to navigate the University of Sussex website and see our accessibility statement.

Accessibility statement for The University of Sussex

The University of Sussex is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This accessibility statement applies to the University of Sussex website, Student hub and Staff pages.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • access most of the information found on the site.
  • zoom most pages 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, and navigate, most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver).
  • access all video content, either visually, or through accessible technology.

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand. Within our content management system (CMS), we have a built in readability score tool. This generates a score which tells us if our content is readable.

How accessible this website is

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

  • Some video content does not have captions
  • Some video content does have captions but the colour contrast does not meet accessibility standards
  • Some video content does not have a transcript
  • Some PDFs are not accessible to screen reader software
  • Some user interface elements do not meet colour contrast standards
  • Some of our third party applications, such as our chatbots, may not meet WCAG standards (these are currently being audited)

Feedback and contact information

If you are having trouble accessing content on this site, or wish to provide feedback, please contact us: web-accessibility@sussex.ac.uk

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

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:web-accessibility@sussex.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).

Technical information about this website

The University of Sussex 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 and the exceptions listed below. Some areas of the website which were developed before September 2018 may not meet the AA accessibility standard.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations.

  • some images do not have alt tags
  • some pdfs and other files may not be optimised for screen readers
  • some video embeds may not have captions
  • some video embeds have captions that do meet colour contrast standards
  • some video embeds do not have transcripts
  • some video embeds do not have an audio described option
  • some video embeds do not have a title
  • some user interface elements do not have sufficient colour contrast
  • many of the pages in the older templates do not meet accessibility standards, particularly around colour contrast and the use of some web components, including video embeds. An example of this is the Department of Education website. Work is underway to move all pages and sites out of this template, for example the School of Media, Arts and Humanities now use the newer, more accessible, template.
  • many of the internal focussed staff pages do not meet accessibility standards, particularly around colour contrast. We have a new, accessible, template and are starting to migrate content to this template starting with the staff homepage early in 2022. In the meantime we plan to implement an updated style to replace the colours with poor contrast by July 2022 (this work has been done).
  • Our chatbots, that are supplied by third parties, may not meet WCAG standards. These are produced by Zendesk, Olark, Unibuddy and Cirrus. We are currently undertaking an audit with AbilityNet to investigate the accessibility of these.
  • 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. Some are pre-2018 and some are in the Archive. We plan to either fix post 2018 ones or replace them with accessible HTML pages. This is an ongoing process, we have created accessibility guides for staff and we are raising awareness across the University.

    If you require access to a PDF that does not meet accessibility standards then please email web-accessibility@sussex.ac.uk and we will provide an accessible version to you.
  • the campus map is a pdf file and is not screen reader friendly - we do have an alternative with AccessAble and a page on how to travel to the University.
  • Some list elements are not compliant and do not meet the criteria: WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships. A fix has been identified and the issues stem from the website's template framework. They have been fixed on the staging site and will be fixed once the audit, currently being carried out by AbilityNet, ends on the 3 August. The work will take place asap after the audit.

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

PDFs and other documents

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).

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 old pdfs which are in our archive.

Live video

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.

What we're doing to improve accessibility

We are currently working on improving the accessibility of our core templates and our components library. We are training our devolved editors to use the new components and create accessible web content whilst raising awareness across the University on the importance of accessibility.

We are training staff to create accessible documents, including PDF files, and produce video with appropriate captions, transcripts and audio descriptions where necessary. We have created how to guides to be used for training and the creation of content.

We are currently working with AbilityNet to audit our site and provide guidance to staff. We shall publish the results of this audit along with an updated plan to amend any issues identified. The audit will finish on August 3 2022, we will analyse the findings of the audit and update this statement during October 2022.

Preparation of this statement

This statement was prepared on 20 September 2019. It was reviewed on 16 May 2022 and will be updated regularly as we move forward with our actions and research.

This website was tested in-house in 2020 and had a further in-house audit in May 2022. It is currently being audited by AbilityNet which was started on July 21 2022 and will finish on August 3 2022.

Further information about our website

  • Finding your way around

    There are a variety of techniques you can use to navigate our site.

    You can use the top-level drop-down navigation and the site search, both of which give you access across our website and resources contained within. On most sections of the site you can use the page navigation (which appears to the left of this content) and the breadcrumb trail (which appears just above this content).

  • Text resizing and page zooming

    Most modern browsers support some form of built-in text resizing or page zooming. Changing the text size or zoom varies depending on the browser you are using.

    Resizing a page depends on the browser you are using:

    • PC / Internet Explorer 11

      From the 'Tools' cog icon in the top right corner, select 'Zoom' and then choose your setting

    • PC / other browsers

      Hold down the CTRL key and press + to increase the text/zoom
      Hold down the CTRL key and press - to decrease the text/zoom

    • Mac / all browsers

      Hold down the Command key and press + to increase the text/zoom
      Hold down the Command key and press - to decrease the text/zoom

  • Known browser support for the site

    Our site supports:

    • Internet Explorer 11 and above
    • Firefox – latest version
    • Safari – latest version
    • Chrome – latest version
  • Get advice

    Refer to the following websites to get information relating to accessibility matters such as how to adjust your browser, computer, keyboard and mouse settings to suit your individual needs

  • How accessible is this website?

    The website has been developed following guidelines which are aimed at achieving a good level of accessibility – we endeavour to meet with WCAG 2.1 AA standards.

    We have taken the following accessibility and usability guidelines into consideration when developing the site:

    • providing simple, consistent operable site navigation.
    • providing easy to percieve and understand content.
    • using style sheets for visual layout, the content can still be read with style sheets turned off or with a different style applied by your own browser set-up.
    • using an easy-to-read font type.
    • endeavouring to provide suitable foreground and background colour contrast.
    • providing text equivalents for images, where appropriate.
    • using semantic HTML to improve readability by screen readers.
    • ensuring javascript degrades gracefully, so content is accessible without javascript wherever possible.
    • using accessible alternatives where necessary to ensure the website is robust - such as with the modified html version of the virtual campus tour.
  • Staff training

    We have delivered training on accessibility to a number of our devolved web editors. This is an ongoing task.

    We have developed our accessible web components library and are in the process of training all web editors to use these.

    We have develped a series of "How to" pages for creating accessible documents and are currently preparing to deliver a series of training sessions for all staff who produce online documents.

  • How we tested this website

    This website is tested for accessibility whenever we develop new web conponents. We also crawl the site regularly to find issues such as where images without alt tags are located. Tests are carried out with users and via automated software.

    We have tested the website using the following methods so far:

    The pages the components library cover and the ones we have tested are:

    How we tested PDFs:

  • What else are we doing to improve accessibility

    We have set up an accessibility working group which will oversee digital accessibility improvements. The group will form part of wider accessibility group within the University. 

    Members of our development team have taken training courses provided by W3 and WebAIM to enable them to provide a more accessible experience for our visitors.