Accessibility statement

This page explains how accessible our website currently is and how we plan to improve it.

This website is run by the University of York. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. 

On most pages on our website you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 500% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate using just a keyboard
  • navigate using speech recognition software
  • listen to content using a screen reader. 

AbilityNet’s My Computer My Way pages have advice on adjustments you can make to your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone to make it easier to use.

We use Siteimprove to monitor the accessibility of our website. We currently score 88 out of 100 for accessibility, based on the automated tests it carries out.

Parts of this website that are not fully accessible

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

  • Some information is only available in PDF format, and hasn’t been designed for accessibility.
  • Carousels can’t be operated using a keyboard alone.
  • Live video streams do not have captions.

There are several different templates in use across our website. Some pages use older or non-standard templates which do not have the same accessibility features described on this page. These pages are mostly found in the following sections:


Other accessibility statements

Some parts of our website run on different systems, which may have different accessibility features or issues.

We will link to further statements as they are developed.

Alternative formats

University of York staff and students can use Sensus Access to convert PDFs and other files into an ebook, text file, audio or braille.

Reporting accessibility problems

If you find any problems not listed on this page, or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, you can report an accessibility issue.

If you are not happy with our response

University of York students and applicants can follow our complaints 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).

Detailed information about this website’s accessibility 

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, because of the issues below.

Issues with text

  • Some pages have incorrect heading structures.
  • Some links do not make sense when read out of context, using text such as ‘click here’.
  • Some pages contain multiple links which use the same link text but point to different destinations.
  • Some pages contain text which is not as simple as possible to understand.

Issues with images

  • Some images which need a description do not have any alternative (alt) text, or have blank alt text.
  • Some decorative images have alt text which should be blank.
  • Some images have inappropriate alt text, such as copyright information for the image. 

Issues with PDFs and other documents

  • Some information is only available in formats such as PDF or Microsoft Word.
  • Not all PDFs have been designed for accessibility.

Issues with tables

  • Some pages contain tables which do not have headers.
  • Some pages use tables for layout purposes.

Issues with audio and video

  • Some videos do not have captions.
  • Some videos use automatically generated captions, which may be inaccurate.
  • Some audio content (such as podcasts) does not have a transcript or other text equivalent.

Issues with keyboard navigation

  • Image galleries and carousels cannot be navigated with a keyboard.
  • Some elements which reveal hidden content – such as tabbed content – may be difficult to use, particularly when used with a screen reader.

Issues with interactive tools

Some of our pages contain content from systems provided by an external supplier. We are aware of accessibility issues with some of these tools. We will be reporting such issues to suppliers and working with them to improve the accessibility of their tools.

How we tested this website

We tested our website over several periods throughout 2019. We used a combination of methods to check our site:

  • Automated testing: we used Siteimprove, which scans our pages for accessibility errors, and lets us know which ones are the highest priority to fix. We also used other automated testing tools including WAVE and axe.
  • Manual testing: we used an accessibility checklist to manually check a representative sample of pages from across our website. This included checking that our pages can be navigated using only a keyboard, and testing any colour contrasts that could not be automatically checked.
  • User testing: we’ve been talking to people who have access needs, asking them to show us how they use the York website and the problems they face. 
  • External review: we asked Jisc to carry out a review of our website. Their report highlighted what we’re already doing well and where there are things we need to improve. 

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

  • Our testing identified a range of issues with our templates that were affecting large numbers of pages across our website. Most of these issues have now been fixed.
  • We will be using Siteimprove more widely to identify and fix content issues which affect individual pages. 
  • We are adding accessibility guidance to our training and documentation for staff who edit the website, including checklists to follow. Training on creating accessible documents is also available to staff. 
  • An e-accessibility working group has been formed, with representation from services from around the University. The group is leading on several initiatives to make digital content easier for everyone to use. 
  • We are moving our web content into newer templates which have accessibility features built into them from the start.
  • External suppliers of our online systems have been asked about the standards that their systems meet, and when they plan to meet the required standards if they do not already do so. All new system procurements will ask suppliers to provide information about accessibility standards.
  • We are ensuring that our development processes include accessibility considerations and testing as standard. 

This statement was last updated on 15 May 2020.