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Accessibility Statement

The Department is committed to providing an accessible web presence that gives members of the public and members of the University community full access to information, courses and activities offered publicly through the web.

This statement covers websites that are hosted on the Plone Content Management System (CMS), managed centrally by the IT and Communications teams, but with individual subsites having their own content editors.

This statement covers the Institute of Biomedical website and associated research group subsites

The Department has a wide variety of individual research group, academic and other websites, which fall outside of the scope of this statement and should have their own accessibility statement.

How accessible this website is

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version (WCAG) 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

We are aware that some parts of our website are not fully accessible. These include:

  • Some of our images do not have Alt text specified  (WCAG 2.1 1.1.1)
  • Some of our content does follow a logical structure, nor do subheadings break up sections correctly (WCAG 2.1 1.3.1)
  • You are unable to navigate the website using the keyboard (WCAG 2.1 2.1.1 2.1.2)
  • There is no option to skip repeated content (WCAG 2.1 2.4.1)
  • Our website is not fully device responsive i.e. on a mobile and some tablets (WCAG 2.1 1.3.4 1.4.4)
  • The colour of the text and the colour of the background on some of our pages are not in sufficient contrast to each other (WCAG 2.1 1.4.3 )
  • Some of our images contain text that is not accessible (WCAG 2.1 1.4.5)
  • Some of our pages do not properly define a main heading (H1), or may have multiple H1 defined, or may skip some heading levels (WCAG 2.1 2.4.2 2.4.6)
  • Links in the main navigation do not have focus visible on keyboard focus (WCAG 2.1 2.4.7)


What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are migrating sites on our legacy Plone CMS system to a new platform that is far more accessible to our users. We aim to move all sites to our new platform by 31 December 2020.

Making changes to your device or system

AbilityNet has advice on making your devices easier to use if you have a disability. In addition, major operating systems produce the following guidance:


Other accessibility resources

If you’d like more information about accessibility and resources for students, staff and visitors in Oxford more generally, please visit the University's Equality and Diversity pages

If you’re looking for information on our building accessibility, please contact the relevant building reception.

How we tested this website

This website was tested over a two week period, 27 July to 7 August 2020. The test was carried out by Deeson, an external digital agency.

Going forward, we will manually test new subsites before we make them live and continue to advise content owners on creating accessible content. 

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

This section covers issues that we do not need to fix right now. The law calls these exemptions.

Portable Document Formats (PDFs) and documents

Some of our PDFs that are not essential to providing our services were published before 23rd September 2018. We are implementing strategies to ensure that any new PDFs or documents we publish will meet accessibility standards. 

If you have trouble accessing these documents, please contact us by email or by telephone 01865 273000.

Disproportionate burden

We believe that fixing the accessibility problems with some content would be disproportionate because this platform will be retired soon.

Third-party content

Our website contains 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-University of Oxford/ Department of Engineering websites
  • Content/functionality on our website
  • Content hosted on other websites, such as social media sites.


Reporting issues with website accessibility, providing feedback and contact information

If you have any other questions or concerns about this statement or the accessibility of any of our webpages, or would like to request information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, you can contact us by email or by telephone 01865 273000.

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).


This statement was prepared on 31 July 2020. It was last updated on 24 September 2020. We will be carrying out further reviews of our accessibility statement as we improve our website accessibility.