Accessibility Statements

It is expected that all of Oxford University's formal purpose web publishing will adhere to the Accessibility Standard as passed by Council.

Peter Quinn, Senior Disability Officer

Writing Statements

Each website under should produce an accessibility statement detailing standards met and measures taken to increase accessibility. This statement should link to the University Accessibility Standard.

Guidance from the Senior Disability Officer

What to do when users request alternative formats for secondary content

Websites often contain material that is in a secondary format (in other words, it is not in HTML, XHTML, XML or some other mark-up language). The most popular secondary format for textual content on the web is PDF. Other examples might be '.doc', or '.rtf'. Beyond this, image file types such as '.jpg' and '.gif' or movie files like Flash™ or RealPlayer™.

It is difficult to cover all possible requirements in regard to accessibility of electronic material. Therefore it is important to be willing to be able to provide alternative formats on request within an acceptable timeframe. This may be as simple as providing a Word format in place of a PDF file for a blind user who uses a JAWS screen reader, text equivalent (transcript) for an online video or a text file in place of a PowerPoint document.

It is expected that all of Oxford University's formal purpose web publishing will adhere to the Accessibility Standard as passed by Council. By simply using or exceeding this standard, requests for alternative formats are much less likely.

Keep your users informed

Webmasters may wish to include the following in their accessibility statement:

The University of Oxford is committed to providing an accessible web presence that gives members of the public and members of the University community full access to University information, courses and activities offered through the web. We offer alternative formats for pages on this website. To request an alternative format please contact XXXXXX [the webmaster, or an administrator] and this will be provided within X [agree a timeframe] working days. [I would suggest the following] We normally offer the following alternative formats:

  • Braille
  • Large Print
  • Audio (CD)

Webmasters with large amounts of PDF files may want to include information such as:

We recommend that users download the latest version of Adobe™Reader™ to view PDF files at: Adobe™Reader™ 7.0 software provides a number of features that improve access for users (and has done so since version 5.0). For further information about Adobe's PDF accessibility, please visit: (Other PDF reading software is available.)

How these alternatives are produced

  • Braille is a system of raised dots which blind people may be able to read by touch. Word-processed files and other electronic documents can be converted to braille using specialised computer translation software and a braille embosser. A braille embossing service is available at Accessible Resources Acquisition and Creation Unit (ARACU).
  • Large Print can be produced easily by increasing the magnification of the pages and printing.
  • Audio (CD) can be produced by the ARACU who are part of the Oxford University Library Service (OULS). For more information please email ARACU.

Peter Quinn
Senior Disability Officer

Further information

Linking to other resources

When compiling your accessibility statement, you may wish to include links to external resources for additional information. Such as:

Access Keys

The University does noes not currently use Access Keys. This situation is under review.


OUCS currently run web publishing courses, which include information on web accessibility:


If you have any queries about the information on this page, please email Webmaster.