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STUDENT NO: 20105626


INTRODUCTIONThe development of the internet has opened everybody’s world to new experiences and new ways of working, banking, shopping, booking of holidays/activities, spending leisure time, paying bills, accessing online services and studying.

Faster communication methods have also been of great benefit to everybody. We now have vast amounts of information and knowledge at our fingertips. As the world wide web has reached virtually every part of the globe, it is vital that everyone has equal ability to use the internet without any barriers being put in their way. Ensuring websites are accessible to all members of the community with or without additional needs is the best way of ensuring this can happen.

“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” Tim Berners-Lee
There are now approximately 13.9 million disabled people in the UK and 19 per cent of these are adults of working age ( 2018). The development and subsequent growth of the internet and online services has allowed disabled people the chance to become much more independent as previously hard to access services are now increasingly available online.

One area to benefit hugely from the development of the internet is that of education and online learning. The provision of online courses has dramatically increased in recent years. Whilst this has benefitted all sectors of the community, it has been particularly beneficial to disabled people. They can now study from the comfort of their own homes without worrying how, or even if, they can make it to a class in a physical location. For the disabled to take advantage of online learning and the benefits it brings, it is vital that the websites/online courses they wish to visit are fully accessible.
“web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate and interact with websites and tools, and that they can contribute equally without barriers” (, 2016).

The aim of this literature review therefore, is to investigate web accessibility and usability, particularly in online educational degree-level courses both in the United Kingdom and abroad. The review will focus particularly on web accessibility for people with additional needs. For example, learning difficulties, speech difficulties, cognitive/neurological impairments, age related disabilities, physical impairments, auditory impairments, visual impairments, mental impairments and any other additional need. However, accessibility is equally important for all sectors of the community.

This review also aims to gain a thorough and in depth understanding of web accessibility and how it can be implemented in online education; both from a technical point of view and a usability point of view. The author has an interest in web accessibility (particularly in online university level courses) and web design. The authors’ interest in these areas has been sparked by participating in several online courses and by having a relative struggle with accessing various web pages due to their dyslexia/visual stress problems.

The findings from this literature review will hopefully identify any gaps within current research that could warrant further research and investigation.
LEGAL REASONS FOR WEB ACCESSIBILITYIt is a requirement of law in many countries, including the UK, to make websites available equally to all sectors of the population. The equality act in the UK states that:
“You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and “long-term” negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities” (UK Government, 2010).

The UK government states that if your service is not accessible to all members of the community that wish to use it then you may be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

To make sure online courses don’t breach the equality act the government states that they must:
Conform to at least level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0).

They must be able to be accessed by assistive technologies that disabled people commonly use such as screen readers, screen magnifiers and speech recognition tools.

The government also advises that accessibility is tested through user research i.e. by the users with the disabilities who will be accessing the courses.

Not discriminate against students based on their disability.

Ensure reasonable adjustments are made.

The needs of disabled students must also be anticipated.

THE GROWTH OF ONLINE LEARNINGIn 2016 The Babson Survey Research Group carried out a survey in the US which showed how online learning is growing and indeed becoming a mainstream option for students studying at University level.

“The number of students taking online courses grew to 5.8 million nationally, continuing a growth trend that has been consistent for 13 years. More than a quarter of higher education students (28 percent) are enrolled in least one online course.” (, 2016).

Online learning in the UK is also expanding at a huge rate. Many universities are now offering degrees online both to home and international students, as stated by Geoff Webster of the Cambridge Education Group (CEG), at least 30 UK universities are running online courses and offering them to students globally.

“There are now more than 1,400 online master’s-level courses in the UK, ranging from professional training to full degrees.” (Webster. G 2017).

In the past some of the higher rated universities were reluctant to offer fully online degrees. As stated by the president of Coursera (A Massive Open Online Course Provider (MOOC)), Daphne Koller said that,
“the necessary technology was available, but universities had been hesitant about their “reputation”. (Koller, D. 2014).

This idea is now beginning to change. An example of those universities implementing the change is, the University of Leeds who now do several online courses, including some Masters’ degrees and post-graduate courses as well as a selection of MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Course). (University of Leeds, 2018). The MOOCS are run in conjunction with FutureLearn, which is the UK’s first online MOOC provider. The benefits of studying a degree online are that, degrees studied by distance learning are generally more affordable and more accessible to a wider range of people. Disabled people will benefit greatly from the increased provision of online degrees as they may find it difficult or impossible to access classes at a physical location due to the nature of their impairments. Online degrees lift some of the barriers they face in accessing higher education.

With the number of students enrolling in online degree-level courses likely to keep increasing over the coming years, it is vital that such courses are accessible to all members of society with all types of needs.
It is important when undertaking course design, that accessibility factors are considered and correctly implemented to ensure all members of the community regardless of their age, location, language barriers, additional needs, etc., can access their sites of choice on an equal basis to their peers and that everyone can use their chosen sites independently.
“when campuses use IT that is not designed to be accessible to people with disabilities, some of these individuals encounter barriers to education and employment. In contrast, when colleges and universities design and employ websites, application software, and other IT that are accessible to all students and employees, they lead the way toward levelling the playing field and supporting full engagement in academic and career activities” (Slatin, J. et al 2008)
Online learning has great appeal to disabled students. If courses are designed to be accessible to all, then disabled students can compete on an equal playing field to their peers. They don’t have to go to a physical class at a designated time. They can log on in the comfort of their own home at any time of day or night and work when they feel most able to do so. The courses are usually very flexible in their nature. Also, disabled people have anonymity behind their computer screens and to their lecturer are “just another student”. This is important as many people don’t want to declare their disability.
HOW CAN WE ENSURE WEB ACCESSIBILITY IS CORRECTLY IMPLEMENTED?There are many factors to consider when implementing accessibility. These factors need to work together in harmony to ensure an accessible and inclusive web experience is had by all sectors of the community from the disabled user to the non-disabled user. An accessible user-friendly website is of benefit to everyone.

To make the website/course fully accessible both technical considerations and how the user is going to interact with the product both need to be taken into consideration. From a technical point of view, designers and anyone involved in setting up/running courses needs to be aware that there are certain common standards and guidelines that need to be followed. To ensure a common set of standards could be applied across the whole of the world wide web, an international community was set up in 1994 to develop those standards. This community is called the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It consists of the internet’s founder Tim Berners-Lee, full-time staff, member organizations and individuals. Branching out of the W3C is the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) which provides guidelines that developers can follow to make their sites accessible. These guidelines are called the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). WHICH IS THE STANDARD ISO/IEC 40500 (reference? And re-word).

Gregg Vanderheiden wrote the first web accessibility guidelines WCAG 1.0 in January 1995 (see Appendix A).

WCAG 2.0 was released in December 2008 (see Appendix B)
The current version of the WCAG is over 10 years old now. WCAG 2.1 has been recommended as of April 2018. (, 2018)
There are other organisations that have brought out guidelines and provide tools/information to support companies in implementing web accessibility. Once such university is Utah State University who have organization called Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAim). Their aim is to provide resources to anyone who needs to implement universal usability.
“The Web Accessibility Initiative at MIT’s World Wide Web Consortium produces consensus guidelines and tools to help promote web accessibility” (Shneidermann et al, 2014).

b Accessibility Code of Practice which was published by the BSI Group (also known as the British Standards Institution or BSI). The standard was officially launched on 7 December 2010.

BS 8878 defines a process for creating and embedding a web accessibility strategy within an organisation. It is written in non technical language and is aimed at people within an organisation who have responsibilities for web strategy or development.

The term “web product” is introduced in BS 8878 to describe any web-based service. It encompasses web sites, web applications, software as a service, cloud based services and other services accessed via a web browser.

BS 8878 is not intended as a competitor or alternative to the WCAG standard developed by W3C WAI. Rather, it defines the processes needed in the planning and deployment of accessible web products. This can include the selection of WCAG guidelines. BS 8878 is part of the UK government’s broader self-regulatory approach to standardization.2IMPACT OF GUIDELINES ON LEARNING COMMUNITY?
THE IMPORTANCE OF USABILITYAs well as following the accessibility guidelines and standards designers, developers and stakeholders need to consider how the disabled are going to interact with the courses they are developing. Guidelines alone are not enough.

“There is recognition that holistic approaches to accessibility require processes that complement the development and use of technical guidelines. While guidelines provide a means towards awareness and compliance to common requirements, they cannot resolve all the problems encountered by disabled users, nor do they present a complete means to improve accessibility”. (Coughlan, T. et al 2017).

Both accessibility and usability procedures need to be combined to make sure that the course designed meets both technical guidelines and provides correct functionality to disabled and non-disabled users. Therefore, the web-site needs to be both usable and accessible.

COMBINING ACCESSIBILITY AND USEABILITYWhen developing online courses designers need to consider both the technical aspects of implementing accessibility and how users are going to interact with the course web site in question. Whilst accessibility is vital; of equal importance to consider is the usability of the site. A website that is theoretically accessible but not usable is of no use, especially to disabled people. For example, if a blind user with a screen reader could access the site but had to click through a vast number of links before they found the information they were looking for the site may be accessible, but it would not be useable. Therefore, considering the usability of an online course goes hand in hand with ensuring its accessibility.
UNIVERSAL DESIGNIt may not be possible for all activities to be made accessible to every type of user. It may be necessary for users with certain difficulties to use alternative activities that provide the same information but in a different way. For example, deaf or hard of hearing users could not participate in an activity that used online dictation.
“A dictation activity could be accompanied by a transcript of the dictation, but with grammar or spelling errors that Deaf or other students with a hearing disability could correct as a learning activity”. (Sokolik, M 2018).

Accessibility factors are not just important for disabled users, they are important for everybody. One way of ensuring courses are accessible to all members of the community is to adopt principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) when developing online courses.
“Ideally, UDL allows students with disabilities to access courses without adaptation, and also allows the coursework to be available in a variety of formats for the non-disabled, making it easier for everyone to access” (Dell et al 2015).

It is best to design courses with accessibility in mind, (for example by using UDL), rather than to try and add it retrospectively.

“It is often much more difficult to incorporate accessibility after a complex product has been completed (often termed ‘retrofitting’) and may be very expensive to achieve”. (OpenLearn. 2018).

To be able to design courses accessible online courses designers need to give consideration as to how users are going to be interacting with the course content and whether they are going to need any additional help in to participate successfully in the course.

Certain groups of disabled users may need to use assistive technology to access online courses. This may include screen readers e.g. or screen magnification software for the visually impaired; Text readers e.g.; voice recognition software such as Dragon? If the disabled user found it difficult (e.g. with arthritis) or impossible to type into the computer; alternative input devices such as head pointers; motion or eye-tracking devices and Single switch entry devices (, 2018).

Developers need to keep in mind that it is important to evaluate the product they are developing for accessibility. They need to carry this out regularly through the whole of the development of the product. They need to carry this out regularly throughout the development of the product to prevent and foresee any accessibility issues that may crop up. There are many web accessibility checkers available to help with this task and they can check such things as whether the HTML mark-up is correct etc. As well as stand-alone tools many of the browsers now also have built in accessibility checking tools.

Like accessibility guidelines tools are not the whole answer to checking whether online courses are accessible. User testing is also invaluable.

“User research focuses on understanding user behaviors, needs, and motivations through observation techniques, task analysis, and other feedback methodologies. Acting as the voice of the user. By speaking to users and testing what the team creates you’ll gain a strong understanding of your users and help the team validate their assumptions” (McCartney S. 2018).

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPLEMENTING ACCESSIBILITY?It can be said that anyone who contributes to the course should be involved and understand, follow and implement the necessary accessibility guidelines/factors.

Therefore, the main people concerned with making the course accessible may be the web developers, stakeholders, lecturers delivering/providing the content for the course, the institution providing the course and the owners of the platform that the course is run on. To ensure an online course is fully accessible it is necessary to adhere to all the accessibility guidelines available and to make available tools to make accessing online courses easier.

WHAT ACCESSIBILITY POLICIES DO COURSE PROVIDERS HAVE?One degree-level online course provider, FutureLearn has an extensive accessibility policy (See Appendix C). They take their responsibilities very seriously and are fully compliant with the WCAG 2.0 Accessibility Guidelines. As stated by FutureLearn, they aim to make sure that the learning platform they have developed is compliant with Web Content Accessibility guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, to maximise learner participation. (FutureLearn 2018).

“We are committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability. We work continuously to increase the accessibility and usability of our website aiming to adhere to the guidelines set out in WCAG 2.0.”
Their policy states in what ways they ensure their website is accessible, for example,
make sure content is fully accessible with the keyboard only; ability to skip unnecessary links; text for all none text content (e.g. alt tags). Content providers can also specify their own text alternatives; correct implementation of semantic markup to ensure users using assistive technology can know what section of the site they are on. Examples include <article> <footer> <nav> etc so when the screen reader/assistive technology reaches these tags users know what section they are on. Other things FutureLearn provide are transcripts, captions, subtitles etc to help accessing multi-media; correct colour contrast; Clear links and meaningful titles; they ensure the website works with the most common screen readers; HTML and CSS is validated using W3CMarkup and CSS Validation Services. They also provide information about how they carry out accessibility testing. Daily browser testing is carried out on a range of supported devices. Product tests are also carried out regularly using a screen reader, colour contrast analyser tool, voice recognition software, windows on high contrast display, and read and write gold (a toolbar that makes documents, files and web pages more accessible. (FutureLearn 2018). It is important to evaluate courses in this way to test for accessibility.

When compared to FutureLearns’ extensive accessibility policy, the accessibility policy of Leeds University has rather less information in it, (see Appendix D). They do state that they are fully compliant with WCAG 2.0 and mention a few tips on how to use browser tools to help with accessibility. They also have links to the BBC website that has further information on accessibility tips.
IMPLEMENTING ACCESSIBILITYAccording to W3Cs Web Accessibility Initiative the important things to start off with when designing a course online are to: INITIATE, PLAN, IMPLEMENT, SUSTAIN
“We need to start the design project by finding out about the current environment and getting people on-board with what we are trying to achieve in terms of course design. We need to work out who our stakeholders are. Our business case should be developed at this stage” (W3C 2016)
Once a course is up and running it is also essential to ensure is continues to be accessible to all users.

WHY IS ACCESSIBILITY NOT ALWAYS IMPLEMENTED?There are many reasons as to why accessibility is not always implemented or implemented incorrectly. People are afraid that they will need great IT knowledge and expensive equipment to implement it. There is possibly not enough awareness in how to go about putting in place accessibility and implementing it into course design and implementation. There may also not be enough staff available within a company to ensure accessibility. These days there are many ways to implement accessibility and quite often it is not expensive to do. Institutions may already have the tools needed to hand without even realising it.

As stated by one of the founding authors on web accessibility Norman Coombs CEO of EASI (Equal Access to Software and information).

“Instead of having to understand the behind the scenes technology, every day content-managing applications that faculty are already familiar with such as Microsoft word will do that for them. This means creating online content that is accessible to students with disabilities is much easier, and probably far less expensive than people fear.” Coombs N 2010
People with additional needs make up a substantial part of our population and work force. Around 1 billion people are disabled (World Bank, 2017), and it is vital that websites are accessible to them, so they can compete on an equal platform to their peers. Equal access and equal opportunity are essential and if accessibility issues are ignored a vast untapped market of skilled workers could be missed.

“The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever their hardware, software, language, location, or ability. When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability” (W3C 2017)
Even if a person doesn’t start out as disabled, as part of the ageing process many people will develop disabilities. Age-related disabilities may include: problems with sight, mobility, hearing loss, memory problems etc.) The Centre for Policy on Ageing states that;
“Disability, measured as Limitations on Activities of Daily Living (LADL), affects 40% of older people aged 60, and 75% of those aged 80 and above. The disability is severe for 20% of older people aged 60 and 50% of those aged 80 and above.” (ageuk 2016).

As stated by ageuk, there are now over 15.3 million people in the UK aged 60 or over.

“At Coursera, an education platform started in 2011 that teams with universities worldwide to offer thousands of free online courses, 10 percent of students are in the 60-plus age group”
We need to encourage life-long learning and implement accessibility correctly to enable everyone to have the chance to access online courses.

It is becoming increasingly common for people of all ages to want to re-train for a new career. This may include going back to university to get a degree. No longer is it an age where a person stays in the same job for life. Quite often though the re-training opportunities are not there for older people or are hard to find. Things are becoming a little better with the growth of online learning more opportunities are becoming available.
MOOCSOne type of course that has become increasingly popular in recent years is the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course.) Dave Cormier and Bryan Alexander coined the acronym MOOC for a massive open online course in 2008 (Grainger, 2013).

“These xMOOCs focused less on interaction between students and more on exploiting the possibilities of reaching a massive audience” (MAUT, unknown date).

MOOCS offer the opportunity to learn practically anything you want, and more and more providers are starting to offer degree level courses. For example, Future Learn a UK based MOOC provider has just launched a full postgraduate degree.
Stanford University was among the first educational institute to offer Massive Open Online courses in 2011. They started out by offering an XMOOC which stands for Extended Massive Open Online Course. This was developed to expose vast numbers of students to university level courses, enabling students who wouldn’t normally go to university the opportunity to broaden their horizons.
Some of the more well-known MOOC providers are listed below and whether they offer degree level online courses or not.

Coursera – US based, they do degree level courses. Coursera is one of the most popular MOOCs especially in the US.

EdX -Started by Harvard University and not for profit. EdX also does degree level courses.

Future Learn – The 1st UK led, multi-institutional MOOC platform. Future Learn is just in the process of launching its first postgraduate degree..

“The FutureLearn proposition is to increase access to Higher Education for students in the UK and around the world by offering a diverse range of high quality courses through a single website.” (FutureLearn, 2018).

Udemy – Does not run degree courses or offer degree level certification.

MOOCS AND ACCSSIBILITYThere appears to be limited research on the accessibility of MOOCS. Accessibility guidelines are not consistently adhered to when designing MOOCS and other online resources in general (Iniesto, et al 2016).
CONCLUSIONOnline courses may be the present/future, but it is vital courses are designed correctly and that the correct level of student support is available. It is complex to implement accessibility to the same standard on all courses. This review has highlighted areas that can be researched further. Accessibility cannot be implemented by guidelines alone. Further research is needed to analyse a selection of online degree level course providers to see whether a) They adhere to all the relevant accessibility guidelines, b) user testing will also be carried out to check whether the sample of courses and providers are accessible using assistive technology. c) Surveys and interviews will also be carried out to ascertain what issues both disabled and non-disabled people have experienced when accessing online content.

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WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0) Priority checkpoints. W3.ORG (1999)
Each checkpoint has a priority level assigned by the Working Group based on the checkpoint’s impact on accessibility.

Priority 1A Web content developer must satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it impossible to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint is a basic requirement for some groups to be able to use Web documents.

Priority 2A Web content developer should satisfy this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will remove significant barriers to accessing Web documents.

Priority 3A Web content developer may address this checkpoint. Otherwise, one or more groups will find it somewhat difficult to access information in the document. Satisfying this checkpoint will improve access to Web documents.

Some checkpoints specify a priority level that may change under certain (indicated) conditions.

In General (Priority 1) Yes No N/A
1.1 Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element (e.g., via “alt”, “longdesc”, or in element content). This includes: images, graphical representations of text (including symbols), image map regions, animations (e.g., animated GIFs), applets and programmatic objects, ascii art, frames, scripts, images used as list bullets, spacers, graphical buttons, sounds (played with or without user interaction), stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and video.      
2.1 Ensure that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.      
4.1 Clearly identify changes in the natural language of a document’s text and any text equivalents (e.g., captions).      
6.1 Organize documents so they may be read without style sheets. For example, when an HTML document is rendered without associated style sheets, it must still be possible to read the document.      
6.2 Ensure that equivalents for dynamic content are updated when the dynamic content changes.      
7.1 Until user agents allow users to control flickering, avoid causing the screen to flicker.      
14.1 Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site’s content.      
And if you use images and image maps (Priority 1) Yes No N/A
1.2 Provide redundant text links for each active region of a server-side image map.      
9.1 Provide client-side image maps instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.      
And if you use tables (Priority 1) Yes No N/A
5.1 For data tables, identify row and column headers.      
5.2 For data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers, use markup to associate data cells and header cells.      
And if you use frames (Priority 1) Yes No N/A
12.1 Title each frame to facilitate frame identification and navigation.      
And if you use applets and scripts (Priority 1) Yes No N/A
6.3 Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible page.      
And if you use multimedia (Priority 1) Yes No N/A
1.3 Until user agents can automatically read aloud the text equivalent of a visual track, provide an auditory description of the important information of the visual track of a multimedia presentation.      
1.4 For any time-based multimedia presentation (e.g., a movie or animation), synchronize equivalent alternatives (e.g., captions or auditory descriptions of the visual track) with the presentation.      
And if all else fails (Priority 1) Yes No N/A
11.4 If, after best efforts, you cannot create an accessible page, provide a link to an alternative page that uses W3C technologies, is accessible, has equivalent information (or functionality), and is updated as often as the inaccessible (original) page.      
Priority 2 checkpointsIn General (Priority 2) Yes No N/A
2.2 Ensure that foreground and background color combinations provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone having color deficits or when viewed on a black and white screen. Priority 2 for images, Priority 3 for text.      
3.1 When an appropriate markup language exists, use markup rather than images to convey information.      
3.2 Create documents that validate to published formal grammars.      
3.3 Use style sheets to control layout and presentation.      
3.4 Use relative rather than absolute units in markup language attribute values and style sheet property values.      
3.5 Use header elements to convey document structure and use them according to specification.      
3.6 Mark up lists and list items properly.      
3.7 Mark up quotations. Do not use quotation markup for formatting effects such as indentation.      
6.5 Ensure that dynamic content is accessible or provide an alternative presentation or page.      
7.2 Until user agents allow users to control blinking, avoid causing content to blink (i.e., change presentation at a regular rate, such as turning on and off).      
7.4 Until user agents provide the ability to stop the refresh, do not create periodically auto-refreshing pages.      
7.5 Until user agents provide the ability to stop auto-redirect, do not use markup to redirect pages automatically. Instead, configure the server to perform redirects.      
10.1 Until user agents allow users to turn off spawned windows, do not cause pop-ups or other windows to appear and do not change the current window without informing the user.      
11.1 Use W3C technologies when they are available and appropriate for a task and use the latest versions when supported.      
11.2 Avoid deprecated features of W3C technologies.      
12.3 Divide large blocks of information into more manageable groups where natural and appropriate.      
13.1 Clearly identify the target of each link.      
13.2 Provide metadata to add semantic information to pages and sites.      
13.3 Provide information about the general layout of a site (e.g., a site map or table of contents).      
13.4 Use navigation mechanisms in a consistent manner.      
And if you use tables (Priority 2) Yes No N/A
5.3 Do not use tables for layout unless the table makes sense when linearized. Otherwise, if the table does not make sense, provide an alternative equivalent (which may be a linearized version).      
5.4 If a table is used for layout, do not use any structural markup for the purpose of visual formatting.      
And if you use frames (Priority 2) Yes No N/A
12.2 Describe the purpose of frames and how frames relate to each other if it is not obvious by frame titles alone.      
And if you use forms (Priority 2) Yes No N/A
10.2 Until user agents support explicit associations between labels and form controls, for all form controls with implicitly associated labels, ensure that the label is properly positioned.      
12.4 Associate labels explicitly with their controls.      
And if you use applets and scripts (Priority 2) Yes No N/A
6.4 For scripts and applets, ensure that event handlers are input device-independent.      
7.3 Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid movement in pages.      
8.1 Make programmatic elements such as scripts and applets directly accessible or compatible with assistive technologies Priority 1 if functionality is important and not presented elsewhere, otherwise Priority 2.      
9.2 Ensure that any element that has its own interface can be operated in a device-independent manner.      
9.3 For scripts, specify logical event handlers rather than device-dependent event handlers.      
Priority 3 checkpointsIn General (Priority 3) Yes No N/A
4.2 Specify the expansion of each abbreviation or acronym in a document where it first occurs.      
4.3 Identify the primary natural language of a document.      
9.4 Create a logical tab order through links, form controls, and objects.      
9.5 Provide keyboard shortcuts to important links (including those in client-side image maps), form controls, and groups of form controls.      
10.5 Until user agents (including assistive technologies) render adjacent links distinctly, include non-link, printable characters (surrounded by spaces) between adjacent links.      
11.3 Provide information so that users may receive documents according to their preferences (e.g., language, content type, etc.)      
13.5 Provide navigation bars to highlight and give access to the navigation mechanism.      
13.6 Group related links, identify the group (for user agents), and, until user agents do so, provide a way to bypass the group.      
13.7 If search functions are provided, enable different types of searches for different skill levels and preferences.      
13.8 Place distinguishing information at the beginning of headings, paragraphs, lists, etc.      
13.9 Provide information about document collections (i.e., documents comprising multiple pages.).      
13.10 Provide a means to skip over multi-line ASCII art.      
14.2 Supplement text with graphic or auditory presentations where they will facilitate comprehension of the page.      
14.3 Create a style of presentation that is consistent across pages.      
And if you use images and image maps (Priority 3) Yes No N/A
1.5 Until user agents render text equivalents for client-side image map links, provide redundant text links for each active region of a client-side image map.      
And if you use tables (Priority 3) Yes No N/A
5.5 Provide summaries for tables.      
5.6 Provide abbreviations for header labels.      
10.3 Until user agents (including assistive technologies) render side-by-side text correctly, provide a linear text alternative (on the current page or some other) for all tables that lay out text in parallel, word-wrapped columns.      
And if you use forms (Priority 3) Yes No N/A
10.4 Until user agents handle empty controls correctly, include default, place Appendix B (Available from, 2008)
WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
Principle 1: Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be
need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

Guideline 1.1 Text Alternatives: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people or simpler language.

Understanding Guideline Non-text Content: All non-text content that is presented to the user has a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose, except for the situations listed below. (Level A)
Controls, Input: If non-text content is a control or accepts user input, then it has a name that describes its purpose. (Refer to Guideline 4.1 for additional requirements for controls and content that accepts user input.)
Time-Based Media: If non-text content is time-based media, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content. (Refer to Guideline 1.2 for additional requirements for media.)
Test: If non-text content is a test or exercise that would be invalid if presented in text, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content.

Sensory: If non-text content is primarily intended to create a specific sensory experience, then text alternatives at least provide descriptive identification of the non-text content.

CAPTCHA: If the purpose of non-text content is to confirm that content is being accessed by a person rather than a computer, then text alternatives that identify and describe the purpose of the non-text content are provided, and alternative forms of CAPTCHA using output modes for different types of sensory perception are provided to accommodate different disabilities.

Decoration, Formatting, Invisible: If non-text content is pure decoration, is used only for visual formatting, or is not presented to users, then it is implemented in a way that it can be ignored by assistive technology.

How to Meet 1.1.1|Understanding 1.1.1Guideline 1.2 Time-based Media: Provide alternatives for time-based media.Understanding Guideline Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded): For  HYPERLINK “” l “prerecordeddef” o “definition: prerecorded” prerecorded audio-only and prerecorded video-only media, the following are true, except when the audio or video is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such: (Level A)
Prerecorded Audio-only: An alternative for time-based media is provided that presents equivalent information for prerecorded audio-only content.

Prerecorded Video-only: Either an alternative for time-based media or an audio track is provided that presents equivalent information for prerecorded video-only content.

How to Meet 1.2.1|Understanding Captions (Prerecorded): Captions are provided for all  HYPERLINK “” l “prerecordeddef” o “definition: prerecorded” prerecorded audio content in synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such. (Level A)
How to Meet 1.2.2|Understanding Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded): An alternative for time-based media or audio description of the  HYPERLINK “” l “prerecordeddef” o “definition: prerecorded” prerecorded video content is provided for synchronized media, except when the media is a media alternative for text and is clearly labeled as such. (Level A)
How to Meet 1.2.3|Understanding Captions (Live): Captions are provided for all live audio content in synchronized media. (Level AA)
How to Meet 1.2.4|Understanding Audio Description (Prerecorded): Audio description is provided for all  HYPERLINK “” l “prerecordeddef” o “definition: prerecorded” prerecorded video content in synchronized media. (Level AA)
How to Meet 1.2.5|Understanding Sign Language (Prerecorded): Sign language interpretation is provided for all  HYPERLINK “” l “prerecordeddef” o “definition: prerecorded” prerecorded audio content in synchronized media. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 1.2.6|Understanding Extended Audio Description (Prerecorded): Where pauses in foreground audio are insufficient to allow audio descriptions to convey the sense of the video, extended audio description is provided for all  HYPERLINK “” l “prerecordeddef” o “definition: prerecorded” prerecorded video content in synchronized media. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 1.2.7|Understanding Media Alternative (Prerecorded): An alternative for time-based media is provided for all  HYPERLINK “” l “prerecordeddef” o “definition: prerecorded” prerecorded synchronized media and for all prerecorded video-only media. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 1.2.8|Understanding Audio-only (Live): An alternative for time-based media that presents equivalent information for live audio-only content is provided. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 1.2.9|Understanding 1.2.9Guideline 1.3 Adaptable: Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.Understanding Guideline Info and Relationships: Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text. (Level A)
How to Meet 1.3.1|Understanding Meaningful Sequence: When the sequence in which content is presented affects its meaning, a correct reading sequence can be programmatically determined. (Level A)
How to Meet 1.3.2|Understanding Sensory Characteristics: Instructions provided for understanding and operating content do not rely solely on sensory characteristics of components such as shape, size, visual location, orientation, or sound. (Level A)
Note: For requirements related to color, refer to Guideline 1.4.

How to Meet 1.3.3|Understanding 1.3.3Guideline 1.4 Distinguishable: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.Understanding Guideline Use of Color: Color is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element. (Level A)
Note: This success criterion addresses color perception specifically. Other forms of perception are covered in Guideline 1.3 including programmatic access to color and other visual presentation coding.

How to Meet 1.4.1|Understanding Audio Control: If any audio on a Web page plays automatically for more than 3 seconds, either a mechanism is available to pause or stop the audio, or a mechanism is available to control audio volume independently from the overall system volume level. (Level A)
Note: Since any content that does not meet this success criterion can interfere with a user’s ability to use the whole page, all content on the Web page (whether or not it is used to meet other success criteria) must meet this success criterion. See Conformance Requirement 5: Non-Interference.

How to Meet 1.4.2|Understanding Contrast (Minimum): The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1, except for the following: (Level AA)
Large Text: Large-scale text and images of large-scale text have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1;
Incidental: Text or images of text that are part of an inactive user interface component, that are pure decoration, that are not visible to anyone, or that are part of a picture that contains significant other visual content, have no contrast requirement.

Logotypes: Text that is part of a logo or brand name has no minimum contrast requirement.

How to Meet 1.4.3|Understanding Resize text: Except for captions and images of text, text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality. (Level AA)
How to Meet 1.4.4|Understanding Images of Text: If the technologies being used can achieve the visual presentation, text is used to convey information rather than images of text except for the following: (Level AA)
Customizable: The image of text can be visually customized to the user’s requirements;
Essential: A particular presentation of text is essential to the information being conveyed.

Note: Logotypes (text that is part of a logo or brand name) are considered essential.

How to Meet 1.4.5|Understanding Contrast (Enhanced): The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 7:1, except for the following: (Level AAA)
Large Text: Large-scale text and images of large-scale text have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1;
Incidental: Text or images of text that are part of an inactive user interface component, that are pure decoration, that are not visible to anyone, or that are part of a picture that contains significant other visual content, have no contrast requirement.

Logotypes: Text that is part of a logo or brand name has no minimum contrast requirement.

How to Meet 1.4.6|Understanding Low or No Background Audio: For  HYPERLINK “” l “prerecordeddef” o “definition: prerecorded” prerecorded audio-only content that (1) contains primarily speech in the foreground, (2) is not an audio CAPTCHA or audio logo, and (3) is not vocalization intended to be primarily musical expression such as singing or rapping, at least one of the following is true: (Level AAA)
No Background: The audio does not contain background sounds.

Turn Off: The background sounds can be turned off.

20 dB: The background sounds are at least 20 decibels lower than the foreground speech content, with the exception of occasional sounds that last for only one or two seconds.

Note: Per the definition of “decibel,” background sound that meets this requirement will be approximately four times quieter than the foreground speech content.

How to Meet 1.4.7|Understanding Visual Presentation: For the visual presentation of blocks of text, a mechanism is available to achieve the following: (Level AAA)
Foreground and background colors can be selected by the user.

Width is no more than 80 characters or glyphs (40 if CJK).

Text is not justified (aligned to both the left and the right margins).

Line spacing (leading) is at least space-and-a-half within paragraphs, and paragraph spacing is at least 1.5 times larger than the line spacing.

Text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent in a way that does not require the user to scroll horizontally to read a line of text on a full-screen window.

How to Meet 1.4.8|Understanding Images of Text (No Exception): Images of text are only used for pure decoration or where a particular presentation of text is essential to the information being conveyed. (Level AAA)
Note: Logotypes (text that is part of a logo or brand name) are considered essential.

How to Meet 1.4.9|Understanding 1.4.9Principle 2: Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.Guideline 2.1 Keyboard Accessible: Make all functionality available from a keyboard.Understanding Guideline Keyboard: All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes, except where the underlying function requires input that depends on the path of the user’s movement and not just the endpoints. (Level A)
Note 1: This exception relates to the underlying function, not the input technique. For example, if using handwriting to enter text, the input technique (handwriting) requires path-dependent input but the underlying function (text input) does not.

Note 2: This does not forbid and should not discourage providing mouse input or other input methods in addition to keyboard operation.

How to Meet 2.1.1|Understanding No Keyboard Trap: If keyboard focus can be moved to a component of the page using a keyboard interface, then focus can be moved away from that component using only a keyboard interface, and, if it requires more than unmodified arrow or tab keys or other standard exit methods, the user is advised of the method for moving focus away. (Level A)
Note: Since any content that does not meet this success criterion can interfere with a user’s ability to use the whole page, all content on the Web page (whether it is used to meet other success criteria or not) must meet this success criterion. See Conformance Requirement 5: Non-Interference.

How to Meet 2.1.2|Understanding Keyboard (No Exception): All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 2.1.3|Understanding 2.1.3Guideline 2.2 Enough Time: Provide users enough time to read and use content.Understanding Guideline Timing Adjustable: For each time limit that is set by the content, at least one of the following is true: (Level A)
Turn off: The user is allowed to turn off the time limit before encountering it; or
Adjust: The user is allowed to adjust the time limit before encountering it over a wide range that is at least ten times the length of the default setting; or
Extend: The user is warned before time expires and given at least 20 seconds to extend the time limit with a simple action (for example, “press the space bar”), and the user is allowed to extend the time limit at least ten times; or
Real-time Exception: The time limit is a required part of a real-time event (for example, an auction), and no alternative to the time limit is possible; or
Essential Exception: The time limit is essential and extending it would invalidate the activity; or
20 Hour Exception: The time limit is longer than 20 hours.

Note: This success criterion helps ensure that users can complete tasks without unexpected changes in content or context that are a result of a time limit. This success criterion should be considered in conjunction with Success Criterion 3.2.1, which puts limits on changes of content or context as a result of user action.

How to Meet 2.2.1|Understanding Pause, Stop, Hide: For moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating information, all of the following are true: (Level A)
Moving, blinking, scrolling: For any moving, blinking or scrolling information that (1) starts automatically, (2) lasts more than five seconds, and (3) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it unless the movement, blinking, or scrolling is part of an activity where it is essential; and
Auto-updating: For any auto-updating information that (1) starts automatically and (2) is presented in parallel with other content, there is a mechanism for the user to pause, stop, or hide it or to control the frequency of the update unless the auto-updating is part of an activity where it is essential.

Note 1: For requirements related to flickering or flashing content, refer to Guideline 2.3.

Note 2: Since any content that does not meet this success criterion can interfere with a user’s ability to use the whole page, all content on the Web page (whether it is used to meet other success criteria or not) must meet this success criterion. See Conformance Requirement 5: Non-Interference.

Note 3: Content that is updated periodically by software or that is streamed to the user agent is not required to preserve or present information that is generated or received between the initiation of the pause and resuming presentation, as this may not be technically possible, and in many situations could be misleading to do so.

Note 4: An animation that occurs as part of a preload phase or similar situation can be considered essential if interaction cannot occur during that phase for all users and if not indicating progress could confuse users or cause them to think that content was frozen or broken.

How to Meet 2.2.2|Understanding No Timing: Timing is not an essential part of the event or activity presented by the content, except for non-interactive synchronized media and real-time events. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 2.2.3|Understanding Interruptions: Interruptions can be postponed or suppressed by the user, except interruptions involving an emergency. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 2.2.4|Understanding Re-authenticating: When an authenticated session expires, the user can continue the activity without loss of data after re-authenticating. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 2.2.5|Understanding 2.2.5Guideline 2.3 Seizures: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.Understanding Guideline Three Flashes or Below Threshold: Web pages do not contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period, or the flash is below the general flash and red flash thresholds. (Level A)
Note: Since any content that does not meet this success criterion can interfere with a user’s ability to use the whole page, all content on the Web page (whether it is used to meet other success criteria or not) must meet this success criterion. See Conformance Requirement 5: Non-Interference.

How to Meet 2.3.1|Understanding Three Flashes: Web pages do not contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 2.3.2|Understanding 2.3.2Guideline 2.4 Navigable: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.Understanding Guideline Bypass Blocks: A mechanism is available to bypass blocks of content that are repeated on multiple Web pages. (Level A)
How to Meet 2.4.1|Understanding Page Titled: Web pages have titles that describe topic or purpose. (Level A)
How to Meet 2.4.2|Understanding Focus Order: If a Web page can be navigated sequentially and the navigation sequences affect meaning or operation, focusable components receive focus in an order that preserves meaning and operability. (Level A)
How to Meet 2.4.3|Understanding Link Purpose (In Context): The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general. (Level A)
How to Meet 2.4.4|Understanding Multiple Ways: More than one way is available to locate a Web page within a set of Web pages except where the Web Page is the result of, or a step in, a process. (Level AA)
How to Meet 2.4.5|Understanding Headings and Labels: Headings and labels describe topic or purpose. (Level AA)
How to Meet 2.4.6|Understanding Focus Visible: Any keyboard operable user interface has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is visible. (Level AA)
How to Meet 2.4.7|Understanding Location: Information about the user’s location within a set of Web pages is available. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 2.4.8|Understanding Link Purpose (Link Only): A mechanism is available to allow the purpose of each link to be identified from link text alone, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 2.4.9|Understanding Section Headings: Section headings are used to organize the content. (Level AAA)
Note 1: “Heading” is used in its general sense and includes titles and other ways to add a heading to different types of content.

Note 2: This success criterion covers sections within writing, not user interface components. User Interface components are covered under Success Criterion 4.1.2.

How to Meet 2.4.10|Understanding 2.4.10Principle 3: Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.Guideline 3.1 Readable: Make text content readable and understandable.Understanding Guideline Language of Page: The default human language of each Web page can be programmatically determined. (Level A)
How to Meet 3.1.1|Understanding Language of Parts: The human language of each passage or phrase in the content can be programmatically determined except for proper names, technical terms, words of indeterminate language, and words or phrases that have become part of the vernacular of the immediately surrounding text. (Level AA)
How to Meet 3.1.2|Understanding Unusual Words: A mechanism is available for identifying specific definitions of words or phrases used in an unusual or restricted way, including idioms and jargon. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 3.1.3|Understanding Abbreviations: A mechanism for identifying the expanded form or meaning of abbreviations is available. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 3.1.4|Understanding Reading Level: When text requires reading ability more advanced than the lower secondary education level after removal of proper names and titles, supplemental content, or a version that does not require reading ability more advanced than the lower secondary education level, is available. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 3.1.5|Understanding Pronunciation: A mechanism is available for identifying specific pronunciation of words where meaning of the words, in context, is ambiguous without knowing the pronunciation. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 3.1.6|Understanding 3.1.6Guideline 3.2 Predictable: Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.Understanding Guideline On Focus: When any component receives focus, it does not initiate a change of context. (Level A)
How to Meet 3.2.1|Understanding On Input: Changing the setting of any user interface component does not automatically cause a change of context unless the user has been advised of the behavior before using the component. (Level A)
How to Meet 3.2.2|Understanding Consistent Navigation: Navigational mechanisms that are repeated on multiple Web pages within a set of Web pages occur in the same relative order each time they are repeated, unless a change is initiated by the user. (Level AA)
How to Meet 3.2.3|Understanding Consistent Identification: Components that have the same functionality within a set of Web pages are identified consistently. (Level AA)
How to Meet 3.2.4|Understanding Change on Request: Changes of context are initiated only by user request or a mechanism is available to turn off such changes. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 3.2.5|Understanding 3.2.5Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes.Understanding Guideline Error Identification: If an input error is automatically detected, the item that is in error is identified and the error is described to the user in text. (Level A)
How to Meet 3.3.1|Understanding Labels or Instructions: Labels or instructions are provided when content requires user input. (Level A)
How to Meet 3.3.2|Understanding Error Suggestion: If an input error is automatically detected and suggestions for correction are known, then the suggestions are provided to the user, unless it would jeopardize the security or purpose of the content. (Level AA)
How to Meet 3.3.3|Understanding Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data): For Web pages that cause legal commitments or financial transactions for the user to occur, that modify or delete user-controllable data in data storage systems, or that submit user test responses, at least one of the following is true: (Level AA)
Reversible: Submissions are reversible.

Checked: Data entered by the user is checked for input errors and the user is provided an opportunity to correct them.

Confirmed: A mechanism is available for reviewing, confirming, and correcting information before finalizing the submission.

How to Meet 3.3.4|Understanding Help: Context-sensitive help is available. (Level AAA)
How to Meet 3.3.5|Understanding Error Prevention (All): For Web pages that require the user to submit information, at least one of the following is true: (Level AAA)
Reversible: Submissions are reversible.

Checked: Data entered by the user is checked for input errors and the user is provided an opportunity to correct them.

Confirmed: A mechanism is available for reviewing, confirming, and correcting information before finalizing the submission.

How to Meet 3.3.6|Understanding 3.3.6Principle 4: Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.Guideline 4.1 Compatible: Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.Understanding Guideline Parsing: In content implemented using markup languages, elements have complete start and end tags, elements are nested according to their specifications, elements do not contain duplicate attributes, and any IDs are unique, except where the specifications allow these features. (Level A)
Note: Start and end tags that are missing a critical character in their formation, such as a closing angle bracket or a mismatched attribute value quotation mark are not complete.

How to Meet 4.1.1|Understanding Name, Role, Value: For all user interface components (including but not limited to: form elements, links and components generated by scripts), the name and role can be programmatically determined; states, properties, and values that can be set by the user can be programmatically set; and notification of changes to these items is available to user agents, including assistive technologies. (Level A)
Note: This success criterion is primarily for Web authors who develop or script their own user interface components. For example, standard HTML controls already meet this success criterion when used according to specification.

How to Meet 4.1.2|Understanding 4.1.2ConformanceThis section is normative.

This section lists requirements for conformance to WCAG 2.0. It also gives information about how to make conformance claims, which are optional. Finally, it describes what it means to be accessibility supported, since only accessibility-supported ways of using technologies can be relied upon for conformance. Understanding Conformance includes further explanation of the accessibility-supported concept.

Conformance RequirementsIn order for a Web page to conform to WCAG 2.0, all of the following conformance requirements must be satisfied:
1. Conformance Level: One of the following levels of conformance is met in full.

Level A: For Level A conformance (the minimum level of conformance), the Web page satisfies all the Level A Success Criteria, or a conforming alternate versionis provided.

Level AA: For Level AA conformance, the Web page satisfies all the Level A and Level AA Success Criteria, or a Level AA conforming alternate version is provided.

Level AAA: For Level AAA conformance, the Web page satisfies all the Level A, Level AA and Level AAA Success Criteria, or a Level AAA conforming alternate version is provided.

FUTURELEARN Accessibility and inclusion policyThis is FutureLearn’s accessibility policy which FutureLearn shall consider in reviewing courses.  The University’s requirements are detailed in section 4.2 of this policy.

1. Introduction1.1.FutureLearn and the University (hereafter referred to as “We”) recognise and value the diversity of our learners, and ‘we will take reasonable steps to ensure learners can access course content, can participate fully in learning activities, and can achieve the learning objectives of our courses.

1.2.We recognise that some of our learners will have particular needs and circumstances and we will strive to identify and respond to barriers to participation in our courses so that these can be reduced or removed.

1.3.We view the diversity of our learners as a resource that enhances their learning experience and the experience of other learners.

2. Aims of this policyThis policy will support the aims of:
2.1.Creating an inclusive learning environment that maximises the participation of learners on FutureLearn courses.

2.2.Providing a high quality learning experience for learners with particular needs.

2.3.Embedding to the extent reasonable inclusion and accessibility in learning design.

2.4.Enhancing the reputation of the FutureLearn partnership and platform as an exemplar of inclusive learning.

2.5.Reducing the risk of legal challenge from individuals and representative groups.

3.   Equality and Diversity Principles3.1.We value diversity and we recognise that different learners bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture, and that this difference brings great strength.

3.2.We will not unlawfully discriminate or exclude based on individual characteristics or circumstances, such as age; disability; caring or dependency responsibilities; gender or gender identity; marriage or civil partnership status; political opinion; pregnancy and maternity; race, colour, caste, nationality, ethnic or national origin; religion or belief; sexual orientation; socio-economic background; trade union membership status, or other distinctions. Such discrimination represents a waste of talent and a denial of opportunity for self-fulfilment.

3.3.We will always aspire to create an inclusive teaching and learning environment by taking steps to identify barriers to learning and addressing these.

3.4.We respect the rights of individuals, including the right to hold different views and beliefs. We will work to prevent these differences being manifested in a way that violates any person’s dignity, or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for others.

3.5.We expect commitment and involvement from all our partners and members of the learning community in upholding our equality and diversity principles.

4.   Responsibilities4.1.        Responsibilities of FutureLearn4.1.1.     To develop a learning platform that aims to be compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.01, so that we maximise learner participation.

4.1.2.     To work with partners to create ever more accessible courses that maximise learner participation.

4.1.3.     To provide moderation to challenge any flagged language or behaviour of learners that may create an intimidating or hostile environment.

4.1.4.     To record feedback or complaints from learners about inaccessible learning objectives, course content or other learning resources, so that we can share information with our partners and continue to make improvements in developing inclusive learning.

4.2.        Responsibilities of partners24.2.1.     To strive to design courses with learning objectives that are achievable, whenever feasible and reasonable, for learners with particular impairments and learners for whom English is not their first language.

4.2.2.     To identify and document aspects of course learning that may be challenging for learners with particular impairments so that learners can be informed of any challenges.

4.2.3.     To avoid any action that could amount to unlawful discrimination under UK law, including failure to make reasonable adjustments to learning materials where necessary.

4.2.4.     To develop courses that recognise, and represent learner diversity, so that learners can put in place or request adjustments that enable them to participate.

4.2.5.     To work with FutureLearn to develop good practice that will create an inclusive learning environment and culture, so that we continuously improve the learner experience.

5. Using FutureLearnWe are committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability. We work continuously to increase the accessibility and usability of our website aiming to adhere to the guidelines set out in WCAG 2.0. Read our page on accessibility testing to find out how we’re currently doing.

Particular attention is paid to the following areas:
Keyboard Access
An important goal is for the site to be fully accessible via the keyboard. Many users with disabilities are unable to use a mouse or other pointing device.

As well as being able to navigate around the clickable elements of a document a user must also have some way of determining their current location. For this reason an element with focus will always be distinguishable from its unfocused state.

Skip Links
Where web pages have a large amount of content a visitor will often find they have to TAB through a large number of irrelevant links to get to the one they want. To combat this we provide mechanisms for skipping large groups of links and navigation elements.

Alternative Text
In situations where the visual content is not available to the reader text alternatives ensure that no information or functionality is lost. We attempt to provide concise and relevant alt text for all non-text content in the administrative and user spaces and also provide the ability for content providers to specify their own text alternatives for uploaded content such as images, video and audio.

To assist web users with vision and/or mobility impairment, as well as those with cognitive and learning disabilities, we use semantic markup and explicitly associated labels to improve the navigability and functionality of all forms on this website for all users. As well a indicating required fields clearly to we validate the information users input and if errors are found provide alert dialogues describing the nature of the error in text.

Rich Media
For multimedia content we aim to ensure that the video or audio player is accessible to keyboard users. We also provide the facility for educators to include transcripts and captions or subtitles for uploaded video or audio.

Colour Contrast
People with low vision often have difficulty reading text that does not contrast with its background. This can be exacerbated if the person has a colour vision deficiency that lowers the contrast even further. For text and images of text we adhere to the WCAG Level AA requirements concerning colour contrast. Large text (18pt or 14pt bold) must have a minimum contrast ratio of 3:1, Standard text, must have a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1.

Since some users skim through a document by navigating its headings, it is important to use them appropriately to convey document structure.

Throughout the site HTML heading tags are used to convey document structure. H1 tags are used for main titles, H2 tags for subtitles etc.

Screen readers
A screen reader is a software application that attempts to identify and interpret what is being displayed on the screen (or, more accurately, sent to standard output, whether a video monitor is present or not). This interpretation is then re-presented to the user with text-to-speech, sound icons, or a Braille output device. Screen readers are a form of assistive technology (AT) potentially useful to people who are blind, visually impaired, illiterate or learning disabled.

This website has been designed to work with the screen readers such JAWS.

All HTML and CSS is validated for standards compliance against the relevant DTD using the W3C Markup and CSS Validation Services.

In order to assist users in navigating the site links are clearly identifiable and distinguishable from surrounding text using presentation that doesn’t rely on colour or by using context. In addition we will provide clear and meaningful link titles which make sense when read out of context.


1 WCAG guidelines are recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), widely regarded as the leading authority on accessible web content. Following the guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, and will often make content more usable to learners in general. The guidelines are available online at

2 The Inclusive Learning Guidance document provides further information.

The University of Leeds is committed to making all university web pages accessible to disabled people.
The University of Leeds endeavours to promote equality and diversity in its policies, practice and services. We are committed to making all university web pages accessible to disabled people and compliant with WAI’s accessibility guidelines (WCAG 2.0)
Should you encounter any problems accessing material, please inform the University Webmaster ([email protected]).

Change text sizeTo change text size, use the browser’s controls.

For all browsers, you can use the following key combinations:
For Windows:Zoom In: Press CTRL “+”Zoom Out: Press CTRL “-“Reset or Original Size: Press CTRL “0” (except for Internet Explorer)
For Macs:Zoom In: Press COMMAND “+”Zoom Out: Press COMMAND “-“Reset or Original Size: Press COMMAND “0”
Internet explorerFrom the menu bar, select View ; Zoom ; Zoom In or Zoom Out -OR- select a percentage.

FireFoxFrom the menu bar, select View ; Zoom Text Only and select Zoom In or Zoom Out from the same menu. Only the text size changes while other elements on the page remain the same. If you want to change all page elements, clear the Zoom Text Only selection and then select View ; Zoom In or Zoom Out. Select Reset to return the view to the original size.

SafariFrom the menu bar, select View ; Zoom Text Only and select Zoom In or Zoom Out from the same menu. Only the text size changes while other elements on the page remain the same. If you want to change all page elements, clear the Zoom Text Only selection and select View ; Zoom In or Zoom Out. Select Actual Size to return the view to the original size.

Google chromeFrom the menu bar, select View ; Zoom In or Zoom Out. Select Actual Size to return the view to the original size.

Get accessibility helpYou can find guidance from the BBC about:
Making your mouse easier to use
Using your keyboard to control your mouse
Alternatives to a keyboard and mouse
Increasing the size of the text in your web browser
Changing text and background colours
How to magnify your screen Screen readers and talking browsers

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