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Essential coronavirus info
We can’t wait to welcome our new and returning students from 19 October 2020. Your safety is our first priority.

Accessibility statement

This website is run by University of the Arts London (UAL). This accessibility statement applies to this website. Other websites and browser based systems on the arts.ac.uk domain have their own accessibility statements.

This website uses HTML 5 (HyperText Mark-up Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to render content. We have also used other technologies including JavaScript on certain areas of the website.

We commit to ensuring this website is as accessible as possible and we want as many people as possible to be able to use it. This means that you should be able to:

  • access the website regardless of the device and browser you are using
  • 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 have also tried to make the website text as easy to understand as possible although we recognise we have more work to do on this.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

Recite Me

We use Recite Me on the website, which is a cloud based accessibility and machine translation tool. Recite Me allows you to customise our website content so that you can consume it ways that work for you. It includes:

  • a screen reader
  • a ruler
  • a screen mask
  • colour contrast options
  • text re-sizing
  • the option to download text as an audio MP3 file
  • alternative font options including OpenDyslexic
  • a language translation tool

A user guide is available on the Recite Me website.

Recite Me works by placing cookies on your device. Information about these cookies is available on our Cookies page.

The Recite Me translation tool uses machine translation and text that is translated on the site may not be entirely accurate.

Recite Me doesn't remove the need for an accessible website and we want to make our website as accessible as possible so you can easily find and access the information you need.

We want you to have the best possible experience while navigating around our site and realise we have more to do to achieve this.

How accessible this website is

We know that some parts of the website are not fully accessible:

  • While you should be able to navigate most of the site using a keyboard, in some cases the keyboard focus behaviour is not correct and some image caption controls are not accessible.
  • Some images may not have alternative text descriptions while other decorative and spacer images may not have appropriate alternative text.
  • In some cases, text has been styled to look like headings.
  • Some information is presented in tables which are not accessible.
  • Some links need more descriptive accessible names.
  • Some of the text on the website is not written in Plain English.
  • Some of our embedded forms may not be accessible.
  • Some of our legacy videos embedded on the site do not have subtitles or closed captions.
  • Some of our downloadable documents are not accessible to screen readers users.
  • Embedded maps (such as Google Maps) and virtual tours may not be fully accessible.
  • Social media content that is fed into the website may not always be accessible.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in an alternative, more accessible format please contact our Digital Team at ualdigitalteam@arts.ac.uk.

Please include details of the content you need and the required format or the service you are trying to access. We will then work with the team who own the content or the service to get you what you need.

We aim to provide you with an initial response within two working days and will provide clear information about how we will deal with your request.

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 our Digital Team at ualdigitalteam@arts.ac.uk.

We aim to provide you with an initial response within two working days and will provide clear information about how we will deal with your enquiry or complaint.

If you feel we have not answered your enquiry or complaint satisfactorily, please contact us again. We will escalate your enquiry or complaint to the Assistant Head of Online Services who will work with the team who provides the service/content to get you a response.

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

For information about contacting us by phone or to arrange a visit to our offices please visit the Contact us page.

More information about accessing our buildings is available from AccessAble.

Our commitment and legal obligations

We commit to ensuring the communications we produce are clear and accessible to the widest range of people.

We recognise our obligations under The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 and the Equality Act 2010.

Technical information about this website's accessibility

UAL 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 exemptions below.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • Linked images don’t have appropriate alt text while some decorative images have descriptive alt text. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.1.1 Non-text Content (Level A).
  • Some of the images in our Stories and in Virtual Tours are missing alt text altogether. In addition, our tracking pixel images are missing alt attributes. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.1.1 Non-text Content (Level A).
  • Social media links need more descriptive accessible names. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.1.1 Non-text Content (Level A).
  • Course specification documents in PDF format are auto-generated and are not fully due to issues with the reading order, bullet points and tables. These documents fail WCAG success criteria 1.1.1 Non-text Content (Level A) and 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A).
  • Incorrect ARIA roles have been used in the header menu. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A).
  • Some text is styled to look like headings but has not been coded as appropriately. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A).
  • Some form fields on the site have not been labelled in an accessible way. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A).
  • All gallery images are exposed to a screen reader even when gallery is closed. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A).
  • The meaningful sequence of custom drop down menus  is not logical. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence (Level A).
  • Some link text is not styled. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.4.1 Use of Colour (Level A).
  • Some colour combinations not not have a sufficient colour contrast ratio. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) (Level AA).
  • Some content is cropped and it cannot be scrolled to at 320 pixel width. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.4.10 Reflow (Level A).
  • Some caption controls are not keyboard accessible and neither are our virtual tours. This fails WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard Accessible (Level A).
  • The Keyboard focus behaviour not correct for search filters nor is it correct for tab panels on our course pages. This fails WCAG success criterion 2.4.3 Focus Order (Level A).
  • In some cases the keyboard focus outline is not visible or is cropped in places meaning not all four sides are visible. This fails WCAG success criteria 2.4.7 Headings and Labels (Level AA).
  • The site has some code structure/parsing errors. Additionally, non-unique ID values are also present in the code. This fails WCAG success criterion 4.1.1 Parsing (Level A).
  • Some iFrames are missing a title attribute. This includes tracking, YouTube, Google Maps and Virtual tour iFrames.
  • Some caption controls have no accessible name nor do some buttons in Virtual Tours. This fails WCAG success criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Level A).
  • Some controls in the image galleries are unlabelled. This fails WCAG success criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Level A).
  • Search courses tab panels don’t have the correct semantics. This fails WCAG success criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Level A).

Disproportionate burden

Our embedded videos are hosted on third party platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. These platforms do not yet fully support audio description so we are unable to provide this separate audio track. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.2.5 Audio Description (Pre-recorded).

Content that’s not within scope of the accessibility regulations

  • Time-based media published before 23 September 2020 may not be fully accessible. This includes our video content published on platforms such YouTube or Vimeo and audio content published on platforms such as SoundCloud that is embedded on the website.
  • Documents that were published on the website before 23 September 2018 that are not needed for active administrative processes relating to tasks performed by UAL.
  • Embedded maps on the website may not be not be fully accessible. We aim to provide navigational information in an alternative format where relevant.

What we're doing to improve accessibility

Accessible components

We have implemented a new design system on the website and have released a number of new components for our editors to use. Components are the building blocks of our website, including buttons, cards and banners, which can be combined in various ways to create our webpages. These components were designed and built with accessibility in mind and every component has gone through or will go through further accessibility testing.

In some areas of the site, old components are still in use and these may not be accessible. We are in the process of updating all pages on the site so that they use our new components.

Documents

We recognise we have a lot more to do to ensure that all the documents on the website are accessible.

We have audited the website for PDFs and are working with our content editors and helping them to fix the accessibility of our documents.

Course specification documents are available as PDF downloads. These documents generated by a system called Akari Software and are partially compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA. The company that has developed this software is also called Akari Software and they are working towards improving their software so that the PDFs it generates are compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA.

Please contact us if you have difficulty with any of the documents on the site and we will work to provide you with the content in an alternative, more accessible format.

Content reviews

We regularly review the content on our website and work with our content editors to ensure that the content is meeting user needs and follows best practice.

Training

Our website editors go through compulsory basic training which includes basic digital content and accessibility best practice. Our developers have also had technical accessibility training.

We are developing further accessibility training for UAL staff which includes accessible content and accessible documents training. There is also an accessibility information hub on our intranet that staff can refer to.

Prioritisation of issues

We are prioritising the accessibility issues above and we're aiming to fix the high priority issues first that have the biggest impact on our users.

Short Courses and Course Manager

We use a system called Course Manager that allows users to book and pay for our Short Courses. Course Manager is being replaced with a more accessible and user friendly system in late 2020. Read the Course Manager accessibility statement.

Preparation of this statement

This statement was prepared on Monday 13 May 2019. It was last reviewed on 24 September 2020.

The website was last tested in September 2020. Testing was carried out by a third party supplier working on behalf of UAL.

The testing used the following automated accessibility tools, assistive technology and manual testing methods to test a sample of pages of our website. The pages we tested are listed below.

Content pages

Search and listings pages