UAS Mosaic accessibility compliance

New legislation affects UAS sites from 23rd September 2020

Government legislation has come in to effect which states that all public sector websites must meet certain standards of accessibility.

From 23rd September all UAS websites within the Mosaic project must therefore reach these standards.

  • All live sites must make necessary updates​
  • All new sites must be compliant when they launch​
  • All must do regular checks and make necessary updates​

There are three levels of accessibility - A, AA, and AAA. AA standard must be attained in order to be compliant, though UAS aims to meet AAA standards where possible.

More information is available on the Government's webpage, Understanding new accessibility requirements for public sector bodies.

UAS has met the legal requirement to publish a statement outlining how sites are compliant and efforts being made to address non-compliance. All UAS websites link to this statement in their footer​. This statement outlines how the sites meet the requirement, acknowledges where standards are not met, and outlines the timescale for the correction of these issues.

The University's guidance on accessibility

The University's Equality Policy outlines its commitment to a culture which ‘maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected’. The University has published guidance for editors and moderators to help them maintain accessibility standards.

What UAS Mosaic editors need to do

The information below outlines the actions you need to take as a Mosaic editor to ensure your website meets the accessibility requirements.

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The UAS style guide, and the templates built in Mosaic, are intended to ensure that a number of accessibility requirements are met from the start. If you adhere to the principles in the style guide then you will meet the majority of the important criteria for accessibility. 

PDF files

Please note that accessibility also relates to your pdf files as well as to your webpage content. Pdfs published before 23rd September 2018 do not need to be compliant at this stage, however any newer pdfs must be accessible, and when any older pdfs are updated they must meet these requirements. 

  • use plain English and keep sentences short​
  • provide meaningful alt text for all images​, and a title for all iframes used to embed content (for example YouTube videos, Oxmaps and Google maps) - see the Image, video and iframe management in Mosaic guidance
  • give a text alternative for all visual content (graphs, videos etc)​
    • visual content should not be used instead of text
  • use unique and descriptive page titles​
  • make link text clear, unique and descriptive​
    • don’t use​ - to find out more click here​
    • do use - to find out more visit our ABC page

Lead editors on each site have access to Siteimprove, a web-based service which regularly scans the site to check for errors, including ways in which the site, or site content, does not meet accessibility requirements.

Site editors are responsible for resolving issues relating to the content of their site.

Siteimprove categorises accessibility issues by their rating:

  • AA standard must be achieved; editors should correct A and AA issues as a priority as soon as possible on live sites, and before go-live for other sites​
  • Reaching AAA standard is a goal, so editors should fix these where/when they can​

 Siteimprove will highlight some issues which editors can currently ignore​:

  • Some will be addressed by the Mosaic development team​
  • Some are not correctly identified as a problem

The project's guidance document on Siteimprove lists issues flagged by the site which editors can currently ignore.

If there are any issues which are raised by Siteimprove with which editors need help or clarification, they should contact the the UAS communications team.

The Mosaic platform does very well in comparative terms in being compliant, but the Mosaic team are aware that there is still room for improvement.​ They will work to address some of the technical issues which are known, and will seek clarification on if/when/how other issues are to be resolved. The list in the project's guidance document of issues which editors can currently ignore includes technical matters being addressed by Mosaic.

Assistance with UAS websites


Lead editors - email uas.communications@admin.ox.ac.uk

Site editors should only contact the lead editor of their site

See information on the UAS website support process