CLOSER Discovery accessibility statement

This accessibility statement applies to the CLOSER Discovery website.

The CLOSER Discovery website is run by CLOSER, the home of longitudinal research. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website.

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 JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

There are a number of customisation options for your browser and device that could help you use this website and other websites more effectively. AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

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

  • you cannot navigate all of our website using a keyboard and it's not always obvious where you are on the page.
  • some of the headings are not properly structured.
  • you cannot utilise the user-generated tables using screen reader software.

Feedback and contact information

Please contact us if you have an accessibility query including:

  • If you are experiencing issues with accessing information or using the website.
  • If you find an accessibility problem not listed on this statement.
  • If you have positive feedback on the accessibility considerations made. 

When you contact us if there is a process in place that will acknowledge your contact, tell you who is dealing with it and give you a timescale by which you can expect a reply.

We aim to respond to all contacts within 10 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We formally test the accessibility of key user journeys that represent the breadth of content across our website on a regular basis against WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.1 AA standards.

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, please contact us.
Read tips on contacting organisations about inaccessible websites.

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's accessibility 

CLOSER is committed to making this 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 (WCAG) 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • Some active images are missing appropriate alternative text or roles, such as our home page logo. This fails WCAG 2.1 AA 1.1.1 Non-text content. We have notified our developers and they are working to resolve this when there is capacity to do so.
  • The website does not have a ‘skip to content’ mechanism to bypass blocks of content that are repeated on multiple web pages. This fails WCAG 2.4.1 AA Bypass Blocks. We have notified our developers who are looking to see whether this is possible. If they are unable to resolve this, we will address this when the CLOSER Discovery website undergoes redevelopment.
  • The placeholder text in the search box on the home page overlaps when zoomed to 300%. This text is still visible when zoomed up to 250%. The rest of the web functionality works up to a zoom of 300%, with a single column of content. Once you zoom to 400%, a scroll bar appears. This fails WCAG 2.1 1.4.4. Resize Text. We will address this when the CLOSER Discovery website undergoes redevelopment.
  • The ‘Questionnaires’, ‘Datasets’, ‘Variables’ and ‘Questions’ hyperlinks on the home page are not styled to make it clear that they are hyperlinks. This fails WCAG 1.4.1 Use of Colour. However, users can also navigate to these pages via alternative menus.  We have notified our developers who will style these accordingly as soon as there is capacity to do so.
  • Some headings are not properly labelled on the home page and help pages. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 Info and relationships (A). We have notified our developers and they aim to re-style this content accordingly it as soon as there is capacity to do so.
  • The drop-down menu of the search bar on the home page is not made visible when you navigate the home page with a keyboard. The menu can be activated without a mouse but you cannot see where you are when you reach this drop-down. This fails WCAG 2.4.7 Focus Visible. We do not believe that we can resolve this within the third-party platform that we use to host the Discovery website. We will aim to address this when the CLOSER Discovery website undergoes future redevelopment.
  • The dynamic user-generated tables that display user-selected variables, questions and sweeps in the Explore section are not marked up to enable them to be read out be screen readers. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships. The third-party platform that provides the web template does not enable these tables to be marked up appropriately, but we will aim to address this when the CLOSER Discovery website undergoes future redevelopment. If you wish to receive information on specified variables or questions in an accessible excel spreadsheet, please specify the parameters and contact our Communications team who will endeavour to assist you.

If you find an issue that we have yet to identify, please contact us using one of the routes described in the ‘Reporting accessibility problems with this website’ section of this statement.

Disproportionate burden

At this time, we have not made any disproportionate burden claims.

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

This section covers issues that we do not need to fix right now. The law calls these exemptions.

PDFs and other documents

Some of our older PDFs and Word documents may not be fully accessible. 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. We commissioned an external designer to create a suite of accessible Word, PowerPoint and InDesign templates and the Communications team is working through older documents to update and fix accessibility issues when identified, prioritising those that are more essential to providing our services, subject to capacity.

Third-party content

Our websites contain third-party content. We do not have control over and are not responsible for the accessibility of this content, but we make best endeavours to work with the third-party to improve its accessibility. This may include:

  • links to non-UCL websites.
  • content/functionality on our website.
  • content hosted on other websites, such as social media sites.

To help accessibility compliance across the sector, University College London supports searchBOX , a centralised, independent directory of third-party accessibility information. 

searchBOX catalogues the contact information and accessibility statements of third-party suppliers, enables the sharing of community-generated accessibility statements, and allows users to map their supplier ecosystem. 

Users can access third-party accessibility statements using the free searchBOX Finder service. 

University College London encourages all our partners and suppliers to support this effort by ensuring that their accessibility information is included in the searchBOX directory. 

Our testing processes

The test was conducted using a combination of manual checks, the WAVE Accessibility plug-in and other accessibility tools, such as HeadingsMap.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 16 August 2023. It was last reviewed on 7 September 2023. The test was carried out by the CLOSER Communications team with assistance from UCL's Digital Accessibility team.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

CLOSER are working to fix or provide alternatives for all issues that we are made aware of and as identified by our periodic internal testing and auditing processes.