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Web accessibility regulations

The 'Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018', which took effect in September 2018, mandates that all University websites and mobile applications should:

  • meet accessibility standards (some content is exempt), and
  • publish an accessibility statement that explains how accessible a website or mobile app is.

Accessibility standards

The best way to meet accessibility standards is to evaluate websites against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and fix any issues you find. Our guidance for web copy editors offers a list of basic considerations to help you meet WCAG 2.1 requirements. We also have a dedicated page to assist you in creating accessible documents and adding subtitles and alternative media to audio and video.

If you require more information, please read a more detailed explanation of accessibility principles in WCAG 2.1.

Content not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

We should endeavour to make content on our websites as accessible as possible. However, the following are exempt from the accessibility regulations:

  • Live audio/video. 
  • Heritage collections  for example, scanned manuscripts.
  • Maps – you should provide essential information in alternative format like an address.
  • Third-party content  this includes content you use on your websites that is under someone else’s control, for example social media 'like' buttons. This can also apply to third-party platforms that you use to host your content eg YouTube. In this case, we are responsible for ensuring the accessibility of the content we produce, however, we have no control over the accessibility of these platforms (please note we should be using accessible platforms as best practice).
  • Archived websites (if not needed to access a University service and they are not updated).

Accessibility statement

Each University website/mobile app will ideally publish a local statement that explains how accessible it is. Please download the statement template below, customise as needed and publish as HTML page on your website (for example

A link to the webpage with the accessibility statement is often placed in the footer of the website. For mobile apps, make sure the statement is in an accessible format and can be downloaded from the app store or a website.

If a website/mobile app has no local statement, it should still link to the University's general accessibility statement until one is published.

How users can raise an issue

The statement should include information on who to contact in case users need to report an accessibility problem.  If the website/mobile app already has a way to gather feedback from users, this could be used also for accessibility issues if preferred; otherwise, have a dedicated email inbox or add a contact form for this purpose. Example of email accounts can be:

  • (sample)
  • (sample)

Social media guidelines

We are not responsible for the accessibility of third-party platforms but, as best practice, we should make sure that the content we publish in those platforms is accessible. Please follow these guidelines for creating accessible content used in social media .

More information

For information on accessibility guidelines and further guidance please contact your Faculty/department digital team.