University of Wolverhampton

IT Self Help

It is important that web pages (and especially any learning materials created for publication via web browsers or through virtual learning environments) are accessible to as wide an audience as possible, and there are certain standards that should be adhered to (described in technical detail in the 'Accessibility resources for web page developers' section below). Legislation related to the Disability Discrimination Act requires that web pages and web-based learning materials of educational organisations be accessible. Accessible web pages are usually more usable by all users. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) publishes web content accessibility guidelines with a range of Priorities and Principles by which the accessibility of websites can be measured.

Official University web pages

If you are creating official University pages, the University requires at least WCAG Priority 1 (A)* compliance but ideally WCAG Priority 2 (AA)*. Official University web pages include web-based systems that are available to staff, students and external visitors.

Attempts should be made by developers and suppliers to accommodate as much Priority 2 (AA) and 3 (AAA)* accessibility as possible. Priority 2 and Priority 3 changes can make a real difference to the usability and accessibility of a web page. Priority 1 should be considered only a bare minimum level of compliance.

Please note that when publishing web pages in the corporate website (i.e. pages with the base url, these pages are created via a web content management system (CMS). The CMS will ensure that the vast majority of pages are published to Priority 2 accessibility; however these pages are still subject to manual checks in relevant places to confirm.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 are now available - in light of this, the University is currently reviewing its web accessibility policy. Revised guidance on requirements for accessibility of website and web-based systems will be available shortly.

* Priorities from the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Accessibility resources for web page developers

The following authoritative website accessibility resources are recommended as a starting point for web developers to help ensure that web pages are accessible.

The W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (from the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative website).
Related W3C resources for web developers.

Web developers are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the code guidance (HTML, CSS) contained in these guidelines and related resources - it may not be sufficient to allow web page creation software to generate accessible pages on your behalf. If your web page creation software has tools to help you to achieve and assure accessibility to specified levels of compliance, please ensure you familiarise yourself with these tools and use them in your work.


Accessibility information resources

TechDis - authoritative advisory body on technology and disabilities in education.

RNIB - Design and Build (Web Access Centre) - general information on building accessible websites (from the RNIB website).

  • Date: 22nd November 2010
  • Last reviewed: 15th March 2012