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Website accessibility statement

It is important to us that as many people as possible can use Find out:

  • how you can access our website­­ in different ways
  • how you might find it hard to access our website
  • what to do if you have problems accessing the website
  • what we are doing to improve the website's accessibility
  • how we prepared this accessibility statement
  • technical information about the website's accessibility

How you can access our website

You should be able to use most of

  • with a keyboard instead of a mouse
  • with a screen reader or speech recognition software
  • while zooming in to 300%
  • with changed fonts, colours or contrast

Get advice on making your device easier to use from AbilityNet, a charity that helps organisations be more inclusive.

How you might find it hard to access our website

Find out about parts of our site you might find hard to access. These issues are all important for us to fix, with the ones on 'study' pages the most urgent, followed by those on 'research' and 'people' pages.

If you rely on using technology to listen to 'study' pages

  • We do not tell you about the search button so you cannot search for courses on the home page.
  • Some headings, like on hall of residence pages, do not give enough information for you to decide if the page will help you.
  • Headings are not always in the logical order you need to easily make your way around the page. For example, on course degree and PhD pages.
  • Some images we provide to inform you do not have alt text.
  • Some informational images, for instances on hall of residence pages, have alt text that tells you very little.
  • You're not told about some links to related pages on the postgraduate research page.

If you rely on using the keyboard to use 'study' pages

  • On the course finder page, you have to tab through every item in the long 'subject' dropdown menu before you can get to the rest of this page.
  • On the course finder page, you have to tab through every letter of the A to Z headings, including those which do not list any courses.
  • You cannot access a number of images showing study facilities. The tab key takes you away from the images and the arrow key makes them disappear.
  • On course pages, you cannot close the different pieces of information in 'entry requirements' once you've selected 'more'.

If you have low vision and use 'study' pages

The 'Compare your rooms and halls of residence' links to campuses are hard to see because they are not underlined.

If you rely on using technology to listen to 'research' pages

  • We do not tell you about the search button so you cannot use the search function on research area, research institute, centre and group, and research project pages.
  • You cannot access descriptions or 'alt text' of images images of research facilities on their pages. The controls for these are not announced to you.
  • Some informational images have descriptions or 'alt text' that tells you very little.

If you rely on using the keyboard to use 'research' and 'people' pages

  • You'll find it hard to use the 'find a person' search. You have to tab through every item in the 'all schools' menu to get to it.
  • On the 'research' institutes, centres and groups, facilities and projects index pages, you have to tab through every item in menus to get to the rest of the pages. For example, the 'all research areas' menu on the research institutes page. What's more, they are invisible.
  • You cannot access research facility images. The tab key takes you away from the images and the arrow key makes them disappear.
  • You cannot close the additional information on 'how to update your personal details' on staff pages once you select it.

Issues you may face accessing any other website page

If you visit any pages other than the 'study,' 'research' and 'people' pages, you may have problems with:

  • reading where the colour contrast between text and background is too low
  • reading because you cannot change the line height or text spacing
  • understanding where some links will take you because the text is unclear
  • accessing PDF documents using screen reader software
  • getting the information in some videos without captions
  • using some of our tables
  • using some of our maps

What to do if you're having problems accessing our website

Ask us for the information in a different way

You can request any information you cannot access in an alternative format. Email your request:

We'll consider your request and get back to you within 30 days. Alternative formats include:

  • large print
  • easy read
  • audio recording
  • braille

Complain about a website accessibility issue

You can complain to us about problems accessing information on the website or in alternative formats. Email:

The Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) can help you do this. They advise and support people on equality issues.

If you are unhappy with our response

If you are unhappy with how we handle your complaint about accessing our website or alternatives, ask EASS advisors to help you resolve the issue. Call EASS advisors on: +44(0)808 800 0082.

This service may take your complaint to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which enforces the regulations on accessibility.

What we're doing to improve this website's accessibility

We are making our website content more useful and usable. We published new pages in 2023 that are easier for everyone to read and navigate.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 29 October 2020. It was last reviewed on 27 November 2023.

This website was last tested on 21 June 2022.

Technical information about this website's accessibility

The University of Southampton 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 A standard. The non-compliances and exemptions are listed below.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

You may experience difficulties on our website due to issues we need to fix. These issues are not compliant with WCAG 2.1, some not meeting even the minimum standard (level A). The most common of these failures are:

Disproportionate burden

There are currently no issues on that we consider to be a disproportionate burden to fix.

Content that's not within the scope of accessibility regulations

Some content types are outside the scope of the regulations. We aren’t required to fix these, including:

  • older documents like PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to our services
  • interaction maps, as long as an accessible alternative is given
  • live video streams with captions

Third-party content

We often do not have control over the accessibility of third-party services and content across our website. This includes things like:

  • forms
  • timetables
  • calendars
  • social media feeds

But we’re working with vendors and reviewing our procurement processes to make sure as many people as possible can use these services.

We ask third-party suppliers to provide links to their Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR). They can do this using the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT). The template supports Section 508, EN 301 549 (PDF), and W3C/WAI WCAG.

We support the searchBOX project, which provides a database of accessibility information about third-party vendors across the public sector. You can search for third-party accessibility statements using the free searchBOX finder tool.