Accessibility Statement for

At the University of Birmingham, we want to ensure that as many people as possible can use our website, and we are working to improve our digital services.

This accessibility statement covers this website [] as the main website for the University of Birmingham.

This website is run by the University of Birmingham. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means that 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 also aim to make the website text as simple as possible to understand.

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

How accessible this website is

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

  • Most older PDF and Word documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software
  • Some form elements/controls on some pages are missing labels or don’t have the purpose of fields identified programmatically
  • The line-height or spacing of text cannot be modified by the user
  • Some of our pre-recorded videos do not have captions or do not have audio-described versions available. Live streams are not captioned.
  • Some of our pages don’t use headings appropriately.

What to do if you can’t access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please email

In your message please include the following: 

  • the web address (URL) of the content
  • your email address and name
  • the format you need.

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 10 days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website and are continuing to audit our content. If you find something that you are unable to access, or we have failed to identify a barrier, please let us know.

If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please email

Enforcement procedure

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

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

The University of Birmingham 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 listed below.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Some images do not have text alternatives for non-text content or do not correctly identify images as decorative. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

We plan to resolve this by December 2022. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Some of our PDFs and Word documents published since 2018, and older documents that are essential to providing our services, do not meet the required accessibility standards. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterions 1.3.1 (info and relationships), 1.3.2 (meaningful sequence), 1.4.3 (contrast minimum), 2.4.2 (page titled) and 3.1.1 (error identification).

We are working to resolve this in a priority-ranked order and through user training.

Some of our pages use the same link text for different destinations. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 (link purpose).

We plan to resolve this by December 2022.

A small number of pages are missing headings or they are incorrectly formatted. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships).

We plan to resolve this by September 2022.

Some pages have controls which do not change appearance when they are selected. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.7 (focus visible).

Third-party content

The site also contains a range of third-party content and functionality. This may direct you to a related service, or partner we work with. We are reviewing all such functionality and intend to work with suppliers to make that fully accessible or look for alternative solutions.

The ‘Discover Uni’ widget which appears on all course pages (we are obligated to publish these as part of our registration with the Office for Students) is not accessible due to insufficient contrast ratio and animation that cannot be paused. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterions 2.2.2 (pause, stop, hide) and 1.4.3 (contrast, minimum).

Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents published before 23 September 2018

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents published before 23 September 2018 do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2.

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 will make sure that these, and any new documents we publish, will meet accessibility standards.

Live video

Our live video streams don’t have captions. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions - live).
We don’t plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. We will add captions to any live stream recordings that we subsequently publish online.

Online maps

We will try and ensure online maps are as accessible as possible, but online maps are currently exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are in the process of developing an accessibility roadmap. Once complete this will be published here. We will:

  • Continue to deliver training and support for all members of staff who publish/edit digital content.
  • Explore setting up a community to support colleagues leading in the accessibility area.
  • Continue to provide tools to all content editors which help them to identify and fix any accessibility issues.
  • Implement a central reporting mechanism to flag any areas of concern and direct resources to address identified issues.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 5 August 2019. It was last reviewed on 24 June 2022. 

This website was last tested on 20 June 2022. The test was carried out by Silktide. We completed a scan of all pages on the website.

Change log

Update – 24 June 2022

The following changes have been made:

  • Removed issues which have now been resolved. This includes:
    • Correct focus order for users using tabbed browsing.
    • Addressed contrast minimum issues on site-wide templates.
    • Altered how the skip to content feature worked to follow best practice standards.
    • Prevented a number of keyboard traps.
  • Added more detail to explain the issues we still have.

Update - 9 November 2020 

The following changes have been made:

  • Updated the 'how accessible this website is' section to reflect recent improvements to ARIA labelling and form controls.
  • Made the statement about our level of compliance more visible.
  • Removed areas of non-compliance that have since been addressed: headings and keyboard navigation.
  • Added other clarifications to update on our progress.

Update - 19 November 2019

The following changes have been made: 

  • We have removed the reference that our skip to content links were not working, and being unable to tab through the page as this functionality now exists.
  • We have removed reference to a lack of focus on the 'search' and 'star' icons on the navigation, as these have now been introduced.
  • We have removed reference to the lack of a label/instruction on the 'UK/Dubai' switch, as this is now in place.