Accessibility

Accessibility statement

We are committed to making this website, and the websites listed below, as accessible as possible. By this we mean making sure that our content is available to users with physical or sensory impairments and who use assistive technology like screen readers and to those users with slower internet connections.
www.the-etc.ac.uk
www.stockton.ac.uk
www.cleveland.ac.uk
www.bede.ac.uk
www.neta.co.uk
Also, SharePoint Online, which is used by us for internal applications including our Intranet and Virtual Learning Environment.

We strive to be accessible

This website is run by the Education Training Collective. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means 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’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand. AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

Accessibility tools

Every effort is made to ensure that Etc. websites are accessible across all platforms and browsers. We would strongly recommend, however, that you upgrade your browser to the latest version for optimum experience.

Website accessibility statement in line with Public Sector Body (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018

This accessibility statement applies to the collection of SharePoint sites used by the Education Training Collective. SharePoint is a third party piece of software on which we use and host content. SharePoint is supplied by Microsoft and they have published information on the accessibility of SharePoint

The collection of SharePoint Online (both Intranet and Virtual Learning Environment) sites is administered by the IT Services team within the Group, but each site is managed and maintained by separate site owners who take responsibility for the accessibility of their own sites. SharePoint Online at Etc is accessed by logging into Office 365 using a network login.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use SharePoint. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • using your browser settings to change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of Job Access with Speech (JAWS), NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) and VoiceOver). Microsoft have produced specific guidance on using SharePoint with a screen reader Advice on using a Screen Reader with SharePoint
  • use SharePoint and the websites even if JavaScript is turned off

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand. However, some of our content is technical, and we use technical terms where there is no easier wording we could use without changing what the text means.

Customising the website

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability. This is an external site with suggestions to make your computer more accessible:
AbilityNet – My Computer My Way

With a few simple steps you can customise the appearance of our website using your browser settings to make it easier to read and navigate. Here is some advice from the World Wide Web Consortium on how to do this.

How accessible this website is

Contrast
The free text on our pages conform to WCAG 2.1 AA and AAA in relation to contrast compliance for regular and large text.

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

  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most of our PDFs are hosted on www.issuu.com and may not be fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some of our videos do not have captions
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • this website has ‘skip to content’ functions, but our other websites do not (when using a screen reader).
  • the TabIndex property is set on some forms, to allow for easy tabbed navigation, but it is not yet available on all forms in scope.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format, including accessible PDF, large print, audio recording or braille please contact the Information Services Helpline

  • Email: info@stockton.ac.uk
  • Telephone +44 (0)1642 865 400

We’ll consider your request and get back to you as soon as possible.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website and our SharePoint sites. If you find any problems not listed on this page, or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact:

  • Email: info@stockton.ac.uk
  • Telephone +44 (0)1642 865 400

We’ll consider your request and get back to you as soon as possible.

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 please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) directly:
Contact details for the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS)

The government has produced information on how to report accessibility issues:
Reporting an accessibility problem on a public sector website

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The Education Training Collective is committed to making its websites and applications accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This website, our other websites listed above and our SharePoint sites are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

The full guidelines are available at:
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA standard

Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons. We know some parts of SharePoint Online at Etc aren’t fully accessible, and the complexity and volume of content available presents difficulties in identifying all accessibility issues. Users may experience issues depending on the area they are accessing. For example:

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

The following items do not comply with the WCAG 2.1 AA success criteria:

  • Information is conveyed as an image of text rather than as text itself, making it not compatible with screen readers and other assistive technology, although we do attempt to label each instance.
    1.4.5 – Images of text
  • Visual information to identify user interface components, such as keyboard focus, do not always have a sufficient contrast ratio
    1.4.11 – Non-text contrast
  • It is not possible to change the line and height spacing
    1.4.12. Text Spacing

We are actively involved in fixing as many of these issues as soon as possible, with a focus on the beginning of the next academic year (2021-2022).

Disproportionate burden

We are not currently claiming that any accessibility problems would be a disproportionate burden to fix. However, because we use a content management system for the publication of our content (websites and SharePoint), some issues can only be fixed by the developers of those applications and compliance would be out of our control.

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

PDFs

Many of our older PDFs are not fully accessible, for example, and they may not be easy to view using a screen reader. The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. Any new PDFs we publish are published on www.issuu.com. Their accessibility statement is here.

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. An example of this would be if we ran live webinars for campus Open Events, etc.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We will continue to address the accessibility issues highlighted, alongside working to deliver a solution or suitable workaround. Unless specified otherwise, a complete solution or significant improvement will be in place for those items within our control as soon as possible. Some of our PDFs (moving to Issue.com) and Word documents are essential to providing our services. Our intention is to make as much of our website and internal documents as accessible as possible and we are committed, where possible and required, to an overhaul of these items before the next academic year (2021-2022).

While we are in the process of resolving these accessibility issues, or where we are unable to, we will ensure reasonable adjustments are in place to make sure no user is disadvantaged. As changes are made, we will continue to review accessibility and retest the accessibility of this website. We intend to do further manual testing across the Group’s SharePoint estate and update this statement accordingly.

The IT Services team follows guidance from Microsoft on how to make SharePoint online accessible to all. We are committed to improving accessibility for our SharePoint online community. Activities include:

  1. Accessibility and inclusion being actively discussed throughout the Group, with an internal group actively dedicated to developing our accessibility awareness and producing advice and guidance for all staff and students on developing and accessing our compliant content.
  2. Moving the whole Group to Microsoft Edge with other browser options which better support assistive technologies, functions and features.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 15th October 2020. It was last reviewed on 13th May 2021.

This website was last tested on 26th October. The test was carried out by Etc staff. We tested navigation, readability and accessing forms.

We intend to do further manual testing across the Group’s web pages and SharePoint Online sites before the start of the next academic year (2021-2022). When this work is complete, we will update this statement.