IT Services

OUCS Accessibility Statement


1. Web Site Accessibility Statement

Web site accessibility for disabled users is now enshrined in UK law under the SENDA (Special Educational Needs and Disability Act, Disability Discrimination Act Part 4) legislation of 2001. Under the terms of this act it is illegal for a higher education institution to treat people with disabilities less favourably or to fail to make reasonable adjustments to meet their needs.

OUCS strives to make all of its electronic resources as accessible as possible to all of our users, regardless of their particular circumstances. If you find any problems in accessing information from our site, please contact the Webmaster.

OUCS also strives to make sure that our services are fully accessible to our users. In particular, the lecture rooms and Help Centre at OUCS have a comprehensive range of enabling technology and other equipment available for use. Please see the enable section for further details.

2. Standards compliance

The OUCS web site has been written in XML 1.0 and is converted to HTML 4.01 (Transitional) when requested by a browser. The HTML output from our system aims to be at least WCAG A approved which means complying with all priority 1 guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Our pages will be brought up to level AA to meet the University's requirements and we will implement as many of the priority 3 guidelines as possible. However, there will be parts of OUCS web site that do not reach A approved standard at present. If you experience any problems with such pages please contact the Webmaster.

Presentation of the site content is achieved by using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). We use relative font sizes to allow the end user control over site text size.

3. Web Page Appearance

OUCS uses browser detection methods so that we can send the most appropriate styled page back to the user. Modern browsers that are standards compliant and can render CSS styling properly are served with a CSS, table-free page. Older browsers that cannot render CSS are provided with a tabled version of the web page instead. All versions of Netscape 4 are detected and given an alternative, simplified version of our pages. Where possible OUCS recommends all users to upgrade their favourite browser software to the most recent version.

For extra user control over the style of our pages, visitors can change the page style by using the links at the foot of every page (with the exception of the home page). The style can be switched between the following:

Font sizes used on the site are all relative. This allows the user to change the size of the text to suit themselves.

OUCS has tested its CSS pages using a large variety of browsers and platforms. A complete listing of tested browser screen grabs is available on our site:

Home Page Tested Browsers List

Standard Page Tested Browser List.

4. Access Keys

At present OUCS is not using Access Keys. This situation is under review.

5. Navigation Aids

The OUCS home page provides easy access to many sections. The home page contains a drop down menu listing links from basic information to highly specialised groups operating within OUCS. Browsers that cannot use or have Javascript switched off can still access the links by clicking the list heading. This will take you to a simplified listing of that submenu.

Users of speech browsing software will find skip link options to jump to the main content on all pages. On the home page there is an additional 'skip drop down menu' option at the head of the page. This allows screen reader users view the home page using a different stylesheet with links to the non-javascript version of the menu list.

Please note, what ever technology you use to view our pages, you will be given exactly the same information. We do not have a separate 'text only' version of our site, but we do provide text only views of our information.

6. Images

Images used in this site should include descriptive ALT attributes. Where decorative graphics are used these include null ALT attributes instead.

7. JAWS and Stylesheet Issues

The following information is taken from

Short Description:

When reading Web pages, Internet Explorer unloads the page or stops responding (crashes).

7.1. Problem:

While using JAWS to read Web pages with cascading style sheets (CSS) in Internet Explorer, one of the following occurs:

These problems are often caused by imported cascading style sheets. The page's style sheet may also cause certain text or information to be unavailable to JAWS. Usually this occurs because the page displays text or other elements at some point after the page loads.

7.2. Solution:

JAWS 6.10 allows you to control how style sheets are processed. Do the following if you experience problems with a particular Web site:

  1. In Internet Explorer, press <Insert+V>.
  2. Use the arrow keys to select [Style Sheet Processing].
  3. Press the <Spacebar> to choose [Top Level Style Sheets].
  4. Go to the Web page where you were experiencing problems. If the page is working correctly with JAWS, you can press <Insert+Shift+V> and change the Style Sheet Processing option to [Top Level Style Sheets] as well. This applies the new setting to all pages in the Web site domain. The setting is saved so you do not have to change it each time you visit the Web site.
  5. If the page still does not read correctly, press <Insert+V>, select [Style Sheet Processing], and press the <Spacebar> until you choose [Ignore All]. Return to Web site again and attempt to read the content. The "[Ignore All]" setting suppresses all style sheet information, so certain text attributes, layout information, and other details may be unavailable. If this setting allows you to read the page correctly, you can press <Insert+Shift+V> to save it as described in step 4.

8. University's Web Accessibility Policy

Details of the University's Web Accessibility Policy can be found at:

The University's Webmaster can be contacted via their web page at:

Please note problems regarding accessibility of the OUCS web site should be addressed to