Website accessibility: known issues
This pages gives details of the accessibility issues we are aware of for the MPLS Divisional website.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
The content listed below is non-accessible for reasons that are explained at each point.
The issues listed below can be fixed by MPLS Division’s website editors.
- Not all video content has a transcript, making the content inaccessible to users who cannot see. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.1.
All video content will have a transcript by September 2021.
- Not all video content has captions that are synchronised to the audio content of the video, making them inaccessible to people who cannot hear. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.2.
All video and audio content will have captions by September 2021.
- Not all video content has audio descriptions of important visual information that doesn’t have audio, making this inaccessible to people who can’t see. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.5.
All video content will have audio description by September 2021.
- Some video or animation content may contain content that flashes more than three times a second. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.3.1.
All video and animation content containing content that flashes more than three times a second will be removed or replaced with compliant content by September 2021.
- Some images do not have a meaningful text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1.
By September 2021, all images will have meaningful text alternative. Purely decorative images will be removed and infographics and charts will have a link to a full description of the content.
- Some images include text as part of the image, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.5.
By September 2021, all images containing text will be removed or have a suitable text alternative.
- Some links use text that is not meaningful out of context, which can result in users of screen readers not being able to understand the link without reading the surrounding text and users of speech recognition software being less able to target links accurately using voice commands. Some links are also too long. Empty or redundant links may be present, and adjacent links in a list of links are sometimes duplicated, leading to possible confusion for users of screen reader software. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4.
All links will be reviewed and fixed by September 2021
- Some links to external sites open in a new browser window and some open in the same browser window. This makes the site behaviour unpredictable and can result in the site being less accessible for people with some cognitive disabilities and people who use screen readers. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.2.2.
All links to external websites will be reviewed and will open in a new browser window by September 2021.
Issues with contrast, use of colour and visual characteristics
- Some pages use visual characteristics (shape, size, colour or location) to communicate instructions, which means that users who are unable to see or recognise information communicated using sensory characteristics are unable to perceive that information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.3.
- Underlined, justified or capitalised text may be present. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.8.
All affected pages will be reviewed and fixed by September 2021.
Issues with documents, including Word files, PowerPoints and PDFs
- Many of the documents (Word, PowerPoint and PDF) on this site do not meet accessibility standards, which could result in them not being fully accessible to users of screen readers.
Documents that are essential to the service we provide will be converted to HTML pages or replaced with accessible versions by September 2021.
- Not all page titles are unique and indicate the page’s topic or purpose, which can result in people with cognitive disabilities being unable to quickly orientate themselves within the site and identify the purpose of the page without interpreting its entire contents. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.2.
All page titles will be reviewed and fixed by September 2021.
- Not all headings are hierarchical, making the site more difficult for users of assistive technology such as screen readers to access. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1.
- Headings are occasionally used to highlight information rather than as actual headings, making the site less accessible for users of assistive technology. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 and 2.4.6.
Headings which can be fixed by website editors will be corrected by September 2021 (but see also ‘CMS issues’ below for heading issues which need a CMS solution).
The issues listed below need to be corrected by our website developers. We are working with them to implement solutions to all of them by September 2021.
In addition, the CMS code is being checked to ensure that it meets the robust accessibility criteria WCAG 4.1.1, 4.1.2 & 4.1.3. This will be done as part of an accessibility upgrade of the Haiku Content Management System to be completed in by the end of 2020.
- Some embedded images (e.g. icons in headers and footers) do not have a meaningful text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1.
Navigation and structure
- Tables do not have a table header row, making them less accessible to people using assistive technology. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1.
- Not all forms have labels indicating the purpose of the field that they relate to, which can result in people with reading difficulties having problems understanding the purpose of the content and users of screen readers being unable to easily navigate the form.
- Not all headings embedded in the CMS are hierarchical, making the site more difficult for users of assistive technology such as screen readers to access. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1.
- Carousels do not have obvious controls for users to stop the auto-rotate, which can cause people with cognitive disability that affect focus and concentration to be distracted making the site less accessible. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.2.2.
- Some menus, links, buttons, and other controls cannot be operated using the keyboard alone, which can cause problems for people who are blind, have low vision and/or hand tremors. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1.
Issues with contrast, use of colour and visual characteristics
- Some elements (e.g. category tags) have low contrast levels, which can result in text being difficult to read, especially for people with low vision, poor eyesight or colour blindness. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.4.3.
Issues with language and content
- Where the language of all or part of a page is not English, this is not defined in the HTML, which can result in screen readers being unable to correct read the text. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.1.1 and 3.1.2.
- The line height, spacing between paragraphs and letter and word spacing cannot be changed without loss of content or functionality. This means that people with low vision, dyslexia or cognitive disabilities may struggle to read the text, or lose content or functionality. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.12.
- When using mobile or tablet devices, it may not be possible to dismiss or interact with some extra content (i.e. pop-up images) without moving focus or it disappearing. This may cause problems for disabled or sight impaired users, as pop-up content may be accidentally triggered or pop-up content may not stay on the screen. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.13.
Content not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
Third party content
Our site includes third party content and functionality. This may direct you to a related service, link to another site or supporting documentation. We are not responsible for the accessibility of third-party content or to other sites we link to.
- YouTube videos
- Sound Cloud audio files
- Google maps
We will provide an accessible alternative to any third-party content that is not compliant.
Third party platforms
We often create content that is hosted on third party platforms. This includes:
- content we create for social media
- video which we host on YouTube, SoundCloud or Vimeo
- data we supply to national databases
We are responsible for ensuring the content we supply meets accessibility requirements; however, we are not responsible for the accessibility of the platform itself.
Documents (Word and PDF)
This site has a number of Word and PDF documents that were published before September 2018. If these are not essential to the service we provide they will not be replaced. If you experience any difficulties accessing these documents, please contact us using the details at the end of this page.
Video and audio content
This site has pre-recorded audio and video content that was published before 23 September 2020, which is exempt from the accessibility regulations.
This site contains archived content, which is exempt from the accessibility regulations. The archived content consists of all internal announcements, blog posts and external news stories published prior to 23 September 2018, but which have not since been updated.
If you wish to contact us about anything to do with website accessibility, please contact the MPLS Divisional Office Communications Team:
Postal address: Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division, 9 Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PD