This accessibility statement applies to

Ulster University is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Due to the size and complexity of the University's web presence this is an ongoing process.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding the accessibility of this site, or if you experience any difficulty using it, please contact the web development manager.

Using this website

This website is run by Ulster University. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • 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 are disabled.

Disability support

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit

Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit offers a range of support and advice for staff.

The support available includes:

AccessAbility Service

Our AccessAbility Service offers a wide range of support and advice to disabled students and also to parents, staff and external agencies supporting students.

The support available includes:

How accessible this website is

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

  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams do not have captions
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in two days.

If you cannot view the maps on our campus locations pages, please contact us for directions.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website.

If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact the web development team.

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, contact Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).

Technical Information

Ulster University is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance Status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Some images do not have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

We plan to add text alternatives for all images by the end of December 2020. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

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

PDFs and other documents

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

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 or Word documents we publish will strive to meet accessibility standards.

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

How we tested this website

This website is scanned and tested every day using Funnelback and every five days using Silktide.

The findings from the Funnelback and Silktide audits are addressed by our Web Development Team on a regular basis.

We used Funnelback and Silktide to test all pages on this site and also manually reviewed the most commonly visited pages.

We tested:

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We have a rolling programme of updating content in accordance with the guidelines set out by the WCAG.

This statement was prepared on 30 July 2020. It was last updated on 20 May 2021.

Digital Learning at Ulster University

Accessibility Statement and Guidance

1.1 Accessibility Statement

On 23 September 2018, the EU Web Accessibility Directive became UK law.

A requirement of the legislation is that each public sector body will have a statement regarding accessibility digital content on their websites and this applies to VLEs.

This statement was last updated on 21 August 2020.

Ulster University currently has a general accessibility statement at

  • New digital learning web content comes under the new law with effect from 24th September 2019. In this respect, static content in the following web-based digital learning systems are affected: Blackboard Learn; Turnitin; Panopto; Qwickly; Office 365.
  • In accordance with the new legislation, Ulster University will provide accessibility guidance and digital learning content in formats that comply with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
  • Our digital learning accessibility response is based on the sector guidance issued by Jisc:
  • Our digital learning accessibility guidance does the following:
    • helps users adapt to their needs;
    • identifies content that is exempt for reason of ‘disproportionate burden’ of adjustment, falling back to adjustment by request under the University general guidance;
    • explains the complexity of adjustment for digital learning systems in which the authors of teaching, learning and assessment content are many and are distributed across the University.

The guidance will be reviewed and updated each semester by the Digital Learning Sub Committee with recommendations being approved through the earning and Teaching Committee and Senate.

Accessibility Guidance

Your Browser

Enhance your accessibility by using the accessibility features in your web browser. For example, you can adjust your browser to easily change the display size of the current page.

Your device’s operating system

Configure your computer, laptop, or mobile device so that you can magnify details, have the computer readout interface elements aloud, change the colour scheme, and many other aspects.

Blackboard Learn (Blackboard or the VLE)

Blackboard Learn (referred to colloquially as Blackboard) is Ulster’s centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Blackboard is a third-party product, designed and developed to conform with the internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA as well as the US Section 508 standards. As a result, its accessibility design is good but it nonetheless pre-dates the new UK legislation and areas of accessibility may arise that are not yet known.

The University is currently supporting its content creators (staff) with guidance and training on the creation of accessible learning, teaching and assessment resources. The content you will find on Blackboard has been uploaded by our user community of hundreds of University staff. As such the accessibility of content may vary between modules and content creators. Should you experience an accessibility issue, it should be referred for action/assistance under the routing advised by the general University statement.

Third-party content from other technology providers is displayed in Blackboard. Many will have their own good practice on accessibility but may not be fully compliant with the new legislation. In these cases, should you experience an accessibility issue, it should be referred for action/assistance under the routing advised by the general University statement.

As Blackboard is a third-party product the University will respond to accessibility issues and issue regular updates to this guidance.

The following custom adjustments are available to you in your user Blackboard interface and may help enhance your accessibility experience:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen except where content has been created by a user in such a way to not make this possible (for example within a non-responsive table)
  • navigate the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader.

Guides are available from Blackboard on the following topics (follow the embedded links):

University-supported digital learning technologies

The following digital tools and technologies are supported by the University and have standalone accessibility statements and best practice guides to explain how the software supports accessibility.

Non-compliant content

Blackboard’s Voluntary Product Accessibility Report includes information regarding where the product does not meet the full WCAG 2.0 expectations. Under these circumstances, content uploaded by our user community may have accessibility issues.

Key areas of non-compliance may include:

With respect to areas that may not currently comply with accessibility regulations, the Office for Digital Learning at Ulster University will review the content and make attempts to provide the content in an alternative version where possible.

If you have specific needs you may wish to consult with an accessibility advisor within Student Support to discuss what support may be available.

Content exemption for reason of disproportionate burden

Panopto and other user-generated video content is currently not captioned. This does not meet WCAG 2.1A 1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded).

We have assessed auto captioning solutions:

  • For video hosted within the Panopto system auto-captioning is of sufficient accuracy for staff to add and once added these can be downloaded as a time coded transcript.
  • Ulster University is not able to offer manually captioned recorded content as standard, but we will monitor this and may be able to integrate captioning solutions in the future.

What we are doing to improve accessibility

  • We regularly work with our suppliers to ensure that their products are as accessible as possible.
  • We facilitate awareness raising and training sessions for staff to enable them to provide inclusive and accessible content. These include advocating for a Universal Design for Learning approach and are further supported with online packages for practical guidance.
  • Auto-captioning for Panopto videos is now of sufficient standard of accuracy that staff are encouraged to add them to their videos.
  • During the Covid crisis we have promoted the free Blackboard tool, Ally, for students to generate alternative formats of their teaching materials.
  • We contribute to wider institutional departments and working groups to share information and guidance on increasing all aspects of accessibility. This includes joint training sessions with student support staff.
  • Whilst captioning of live video is not included under current legislation, staff can turn on live captions within products such as Microsoft Teams or PowerPoint shows.