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Website accessibility statement

This accessibility statement applies to the UCL website. This website is run by University College London (UCL).

The UCL website (www.ucl.ac.uk) is run by University College London (UCL).

It is designed in line with recognised good practice, and training in creating accessible content is provided to all site owners and editors.

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 can see a full list of issues we currently know about in the non-accessible content section of this statement.

  • Some elements are not keyboard accessible
  • Some elements do not receive focus visibility
  • There is no skip to content function
  • Some video and audio content may not have captions, transcriptions, or audio descriptions
  • Some images do not have meaningful alternative text
  • Some pages do not have sufficient colour contrast
  • Some elements do not have accessible names
  • PDFs (Portable Document Formats) and other documents are not fully compatible with screen readers
  • Moving content does not always have controls to pause, stop or hide it
  • Links are not always clearly described

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF (Portable Document Format), large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please contact us:

The IT (Information Technology) Services Service desk aims to respond to emails within one business day. 

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, please contact us:

Read tips on contacting organisation 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).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

University College London is committed to making its websites 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 exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

This section covers issues that we need to fix and are working to do so. 

On our main site

Search filters do not indicate focus visibility and are not navigable with keyboard. For example, there is no clearly visible keyboard tab focus indicator on the 'What are you looking for?' radio buttons or 'Find degrees, short courses and more' search bar and button. This fails WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard (A) and 2.4.7 Focus visible (AA). 

Carousel controls are not keyboard accessible. The user cannot keyboard tab to both the ‘Discover how our research changes the world’ slider and the ‘Study at UCL’ slider arrows. This fails WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard (A). 

The ‘Research transforms lives’ podcasts only present information audibly with no obvious alternative. This fails WCAG 1.2.1 Audio-only and video-only (prerecorded).

The menu on the UCL home page also has navigational issues for keyboard users. At 200% and above the menu becomes a 'burger' (three-line) icon. This is accessible by keyboard however once clicked on and expanded the focus remains behind the menu and you then must tab multiple times until you can navigate the menu itself. This fails WCAG 2.4.3 Focus Order (A). 

The hero banner on the home page does not have controls to pause, stop, hide moving content, in addition the banner video only presents information visually with no obvious alternative. This fails WCAG 1.2.1 Audio-only and video-only (prerecorded) and 2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide (A). 

There is no skip to content function. This fails WCAG 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks (A). 

The podcasts iframe does not have accessible text. This fails WCAG 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks (A) and 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (A). 

Across the site there are multiple elements with invalid ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) attribute name: aria-role. ARIA attributes must conform to valid names. This fails WCAG 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (A). 

There are numerous examples of links that are not effectively described. For example, the use of arrow images that are described only as ‘view event.’ This fails WCAG 2.4.4 Link Purpose (A). 
 
The Search UCL websites user input field does not have a persistent label. This fails WCAG 2.4.6 Headings and Labels (AA) and 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions (A). 

Progress indicators are not conveyed non-visually. This fails WCAG 1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics (A). 

There is no obvious alternative to indicate that the link to the 'Discover UCL' video is a link to video for non-visual users. This fails WCAG 1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics (A). 

We identified some validation errors across the website with the W3C html validator. This fails WCAG 4.1.1 Parsing (A). 

Cookie settings have insufficient colour contrast. This fails WCAG 1.4.3 Contrast minimum (AA). The Go button has insufficient colour contrast. This fails WCAG 1.4.3 Contrast minimum (AA). 
  
Features that support web editors to login and edit content are navigable to all users but not functional and do not have an accessible name. This fails WCAG 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (A). 

The green elements that show UCL’s rankings etc are not conveyed very well to screen reader users. This fails WCAG1.1.1 Non text Content (A) and 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (A). 

Prospective student pages

The filter courses option is not keyboard accessible unless first clicked with a pointer. This fails WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard (A).  

The menu is not keyboard accessible either at standard zoom or when reflowed. This fails WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard (A). 

Some pages do not have a clear and sequential heading structure.  This fails WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (A). 

At higher levels of zoom the filter courses element takes up a disproportionate amount of screen estate. This fails WCAG 1.4.10 Reflow (AA). 

Across the site, for example in some of the event cards, there are images of text. This fails WCAG 1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics (A) and 1.4.5 Images of Text (AA). 

Some images duplicate links making the tab order especially long for keyboard users. The link descriptions for the images explain what the image is of but not where the link leads. Other links are not descriptive enough for example the Twitter link is just described as ‘Follow us.’ This fails WCAG 2.4.4 Link Purpose (A). 
 
The Search UCL websites user input field does not have a persistent label. This fails WCAG 2.4.6 Headings and Labels (AA) and 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions (A). 

With some elements the blue border to indicate focus is not distinctive enough. This fails WCAG 2.4.7 Focus visible (AA). 

Clinical Trials MSc  

Some elements are not read clearly by screen readers e.g., ‘modifier letter down arrowhead’ for accordion controls.  This fails WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (A).
 
Page titles are not always clear. This fails WCAG 2.4.2 Page Titled (A). 

Law LLM   

The video does not have audio descriptions or media alternatives.  This fails WCAG 1.2.3 Audio Descriptions or Media Alternatives (A) and 1.2.5 Audio Descriptions (AA). 

Dutch BA    

The user cannot keyboard tab to the hamburger menu, 'UK Students | International students' options or the accordions e.g., 'Show details' and 'Full time'. This fails WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard (A). 

The course data animation automatically updates and cannot be paused, stopped or hidden. This fails 2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide (A).  

Apply online form    

The user cannot keyboard tab to the ‘Normal view’ and ‘High contrast view’ options. This fails WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard (A). 

There is no visible keyboard tab focus on the search bar and button in the header. Visible keyboard tab focus is lost after the links in the footer, and before and after the ‘Cookie settings’ button (when minimised). Visible keyboard tab focus is lost before the logo. This fails WCAG 2.4.7 (A) Focus Visible. 

‘Search UCL’ search bar, ‘Enter keyword(s)’ input form, ‘Select department,’ ‘Programme type,’ ‘Full time, part time, etc’ and ‘Start year’ drop down elements do not have labels or accessible names. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (A) and WCAG 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (A). 

Horizontal scrolling is required when the page is zoomed in at 400%. This fails WCAG 1.4.10 Reflow (AA). 

The <html> element does not have a lang attribute. This fails WCAG 3.1.1 Language of Page (A). 

The button after ‘Contact us’ in the footer is missing accessible text. This fails WCAG 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (A). 

The breadcrumb text is white which fails against the white page background. The white text for ‘Cookies settings’ fails against the button’s background. This fails WCAG 1.4.3 Contrast minimum (AA). 

Frequently asked questions    

The user cannot keyboard tab to the hamburger menu or the accordions. This fails WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard (A). 

Contact us page

Grey ‘Copyright’ text in the footer fails against the grey background. This fails WCAG 1.4.3 Contrast (minimum) (A). 

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

PDFs and other documents

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. We are currently working on fixing these essential documents or replacing them with accessible html web pages. 

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.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Video content

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. We also have some existing pre-recorded video content that was published before the 23rd of September 2020. This content is also exempt from the regulations. All new video content we produce will have appropriate captions, audio descriptions and transcripts, as necessary.

Online maps

Our service includes the use of online maps to show certain geographical information. These are not used for navigational purposes and are exempt under the regulations. If you require the information presented in an online map in a different format, please contact us to discuss reasonable adjustments.

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
  • documents which are sent to us and uploaded, or comments left on pages by members of the public

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

UCL 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

We selected a prioritised sample of UCL websites based on their usage, criticality to the student experience and how representative they were of other pages using similar templates or covering related processes. 

For third-party applications we have sourced accessibility statements from suppliers directly (wherever possible) and added these to searchBOX (a centralised, independent directory of third-party accessibility information) and documented this in our accessibility statements.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

UCL is building a digital accessibility team to ensure that our digital systems are as accessible as possible, we have created a Digital Accessibility Policy to help us embed accessible by design approaches to our own development as well as externally procured digital systems and we are actively engaged in processes to assess and prioritise remediation of existing systems.

In addition, accessibility is at the heart of our new Design System that will underpin all future digital system development. 

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 3 May 2022. It was last reviewed on 7 June 2022.
This website was last tested on 11 March 2022. The test was carried out by UCL.