Scope and ownership
Birmingham City University is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. This accessibility statement covers the pages that sit on the Birmingham City University corporate website (www.bcu.ac.uk).
Using the website
We strive to create a website that can be used by as many people as possible and we understand the importance of creating content with accessibility in mind.
This means you should be able to do the following:
- Zoom in up to 300% without impacting the functionality of the website
- Navigate most of the website using just a keyboard, and when tabbing through content your current location will be indicated by a clear visual change
- Listen to most of the website using a screen reader
- Use ‘skip to content’ links to skip over some repetitive information
- Control the embedded media player (YouTube) to play videos
- Use high plugins such as Chrome HiContrast
How accessible is our website?
We know that some parts of this website are not fully accessible:
- Link text is used for multiple destinations
- Some heading text is missing
- Some anchor links are missing or broken
- Alternative text is sometimes used to describe decorative images
- Live streams do not have captions or transcripts
What to do if you can’t access parts of the website
If you are unable to access content on our website, we will try to provide an alternative format to mitigate this. We are unable to provide content in every available format but we will aim to try and make our content as accessible as possible based on your needs. We review our available formats on an annual basis and our next review will take place in September 2021.
Requesting an alternative format
If you require information in an alternative format, please contact our web team at firstname.lastname@example.org, providing the following details:
- The content required
- The issues you are experiencing
- The changes you require to the format
Your email will be acknowledged within three working days and we will provide a timescale for resolution.
Alternative formats available:
- Digital (online PDF) prospectus
- Printed prospectus (posted)
- Written content provided as a word document
- Large print documents (for requested content)
- Video transcripts
Please note, we are currently unable to provide content in the following formats:
- Videos with British Sign Language (BSL)
- Videos with audio description
Reporting accessibility problems
While we review and audit our pages frequently there may be issues that we are not aware of. If you find pages that contain accessibility issues that we have not listed above, please let us know and we will look into this.
Please contact our web team at email@example.com, providing the following details:
- The URL of the page
- The issues you are experiencing
Your email will be acknowledged within three working days and a resolution timescale will be provided if we can resolve your issue.
If you are unhappy with the response you have received from the university about your accessibility-related issue, you can make a complaint to the university by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org providing the following details:
- Website address
- Details of initial contact with the university including who you contacted and the information you provided
- Reason for escalation
Your email will be acknowledged within 1 week and we will provide details of the next steps and how the complaint will be dealt within 3 weeks.
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
If you are visiting the university in person and would like more information about our buildings, go to our ‘visiting campus’ webpage for more information.
If you would like to talk to someone on the phone you can call the university switchboard on 0121 331 5000 and they will be able to put you in contact with the relevant department.
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 - AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.
Non accessible content
The content listed below is currently not fully accessible, we are actively working on these outstanding elements but have provide comprehensive details below.
On some pages structural use of headings are incorrectly authored possibly leading to some confusion over the structure and outline of the content. We are implementing software improvements and training to support content authors to avoid or mitigate this issue for new content.
Repetitive text in hyperlinks
In some content the use of non-descriptive and repetitive text in closely related links can lead to confusion. We are training out content authors to avoid or mitigate this issue in new content and are working through all instances of this to resolve this issue.
Use of alternative text
Alternative text for images is not always contextually suitable for the use of the image and on occasion has been used on presentational images. We are implementing software improvements and training to support content authors to avoid or mitigate this issue.
There may be some content that does not meet the guidelines for colour contrast between it and its surrounding content. We are working to update our presentation styling, provide software enhancements for content authors and provide training to avoid or mitigate this issue with new content.
Reflow and magnification
All new content templates are designed to reflow content across various devices and viewports to make the most use of screen real estate without requiring the user to scroll both horizontally and vertically to view content. However, some legacy content and old page templates will not be able to provide the same.
Support for keyboard users
There are some sections of our site that require improvement for keyboard users. We are working to identify, review, and implement changes to improve these areas which include:
- Main site menu accessibility
- Embedded content including features such as video controls
- Page/content scrolling
- In-page navigation (side menus and anchored links)
Some content such as carousels or other dynamic content may not meet accessibility standards. We are working to identify, review and improve their accessibility and/or provide alternative content where necessary.
The site makes use of downloadable content in the form of PDF’s in several key areas. All new PDF content will be reviewed for accessibility issues but some legacy content is not accessible. Where we are unable to provide an accessible PDF we aim to provide an alternative format upon request.
The site uses forms to assist users in submitting requests or providing information to the university through our online channels. We have identified improvements for ease of use, clarity, accessibility and visual appearance of some forms and we are working hard to improve in these areas:
- Keyboard controls
- Form element markup
- Form structure and sense
- Error trapping and display
We have prioritised work on key forms throughout our site such as the disability declaration form. Which has been updated to a custom form which has been tested using NVDA screen reader and also keyboard navigation. We have also simplified the form to improve the user experience for all end users.
Video captions and scene description
All new videos on the website will be uploaded with a transcript available on the webpage on which is sits however older videos do not currently have transcripts available. All videos are embedded using a YouTube player and have the option of turning automated captions on during the playback. We are currently unable to provided scene description for videos but will keep this under review.
Transcripts or captions of live events
It is not possible for us to provide captions or transcripts for live events however a transcript is available after the event has finished if required as an alternative format.
Non-compliance with accessibility regulations
Birmingham City University have a commitment to provide accessible web content. To ensure that we are making our existing content accessible and that all new content works for as many users as possible we have a roadmap in place that will allow us to continually improve our accessibility. Some of the key milestones are provided below.
By September 2020
For existing content we aim to have resolved the following issues:
- Colour contrast across all key areas (including navigation, sub navigation and all button links)
- Skip links for keyboard users
- Keyboard accessibility issues when using top level navigation
- Reflow and magnification
For all new content we will have the following in place:
- A content hierarchy including correct structural use of titles/headings
- Clearer and less ambiguous hyperlink text minimising/avoiding repetition
- Alternative text implemented appropriately and not included in presentational images
- Suitable colour contrast used for all new button links
- Video transcripts provided for all new videos
- Initial and ongoing improvements to support website authors in creating accessible content
September 2020 onwards
We will be prioritising the following areas:
- Colour contrast of all outstanding content
- Further keyboard accessibility improvements including additional navigation enhancements, embedded content, video controls and dynamic elements
- All new PDFs to have passed an accessibility check
In addition to this, we have a project underway which will provide all course specification documents through HTML rather than PDF as they are currently provided. This project aims to have this in place by May 2021. We understand that course specifications are a key part of the decision-making process for prospective students and this information needs to be available in a suitable format for screen readers and other assistive technologies.
There are some areas of the website that we are currently unable to resolve without significant changes to the overall platform and infrastructure that we have in place. This includes the following:
- British Sign Language (BSL) for videos
- Scene description for videos
Content not within the scope of the regulations
As some of our web pages house historical, legacy content we will not be updating all of our pages as they are out of scope of the regulation. However, if you would like to receive some of this content in an alternative format please follow the process for requesting this. (Link to alternative formats section above).
How we tested
Birmingham City University have invested in a number of expertise and tools to test the website.
We procured the services of AbilityNet to carry out an audit of the website and review key templates that are regularly used on our website. This review provided us with a comprehensive report and informed the web accessibility roadmap and action plan for the website.
In addition to the tools detailed below, we are working with AbilityNet to ensure that our web editors are fully trained to understand the regulations and also how to spot and fix accessibility issues on our website.
Our corporate content team use the Site Improve accessibility module on a monthly basis to review content, resolving where possible any issues and escalating to our development team where a bigger fix is required.
Our developers use NVDA to check that all new functionality is easy to use with a screen reader.
Our developers use WAVE to evaluate a page and focus on accessibility issues that impact end users when working on new functionality and content.
Our developers use Lighthouse to evaluate a page and focus on accessibility issues that impact end users when working on new functionality and content.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Accessibility Checker
Our design team use the accessibility checker to assess the accessibility of our PDFs to ensure that they are coherent and formatted correctly for proper screen reader usage.
Regular web checks will take place to monitor the accessibility of our webpages. This accessibility statement will be reviewed and updated as appropriate but as a minimum there will be an annual review of this document.
Date published – 22 September 2020