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 publicly through the website.

Our Equality Policy outlines our commitment to a culture which ‘maintains a working, learning and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all its staff and students are respected’.

This accessibility statement applies to the websites at:

These websites are run by, or affiliated with, the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. We want as many people as possible to be able to use our websites, and we are actively working towards bringing them in line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard (WCAG 2.1).

For example, that means you should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen
  • change the line height and word spacing 
  • navigate the website and menus 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)

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability. In addition, major operating systems produce the following guidance:

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of these websites are not fully accessible:

  • when styling is turned off some content on certain pages overlaps
  • some PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams and some older videos do not have fully descriptive captions
  • The ‘reCaptcha’ third-party plugin on some forms, for example events pages, will time out.

We are working to address areas where our accessibility needs improvement. Please see 'technical information' and ‘non-accessible content’ below for more details.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format such as an accessible PDF, large print or an audio transcript please contact:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 21 days with a response.

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, please contact the Digital Manager at the School on comms@bsg.ox.ac.uk.

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 the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Other accessibility resources

If you’d like more information about accessibility and resources for students, staff and visitors in Oxford more generally, please visit the University of Oxford Equality and Diversity pages.

If you’re looking for information on building accessibility, please read the School's general access guide or use the University’s interactive map.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The Blavatnik School of Goverment is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

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:

  • Some images or diagrams on pages do not have an appropriate text equivalent. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). We plan to have text equivalents available for all diagrams by the end of 2020. We plan to add text alternatives for all images by the end of 2020. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.
  • Some video and audio does not have a transcript, or may include visual information which isn’t described in any captions. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.1 (prerecorded audio-only and video-only). We are actively editing the caption tracks to recent videos and will provide transcripts to audio files. If you find any audio or video inaccessible or with incorrect captions then please contact us.
  • When styling is removed from some pages the content is in a logical order but some elements may overlap. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.2 (make sure content can always be read in a logical order even when stylesheets are disabled). The text can still be read in order but any overlapping elements will be addressed in a design update by the end of 2020.
  • Some of the text colour and background colour combinations across the sites do not have the required contrast ratio 4.5:1. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (make sure that the colour of text contrasts clearly against its background colour). This will be addressed in a design update by the end of 2020.
  • Many of the titles and headers across the site are capitalised using all caps. This is not best practice for dyslexic users. This will be addressed in a design update by the end of 2020.
  • The transparency of some backgrounds and headers is not optimal for legibility purposes. This will be addressed in a design update by the end of 2020.
  • The purpose of some older links is not clear from the link text. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 (link purpose). We update link texts on an ongoing basis if we see any that fail this criteria.
  • Not all headings are presented using proper HTML markup on some sites. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships). We plan to fix these on an ongoing basis.
  • Some of the PDFS on this site published after 23 September 2018 do not meet accessibility standards, for example, they may not be marked up so that they’re accessible to a screen reader. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role, value). We are actively finding and republishing documents to fix issues as we find them. If you find an inaccessible document then please contact us.

Disproportionate burden

We do not consider any of the accessibility issues to be a disproportionate burden over the long term, and aim to fix the remaining issues to make the site fully compliant by September 2021.

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

Third party plugins and CMS platforms

We often create content which is hosted on third party platforms or we may include embedded third party widgets or functionality into our sites.

This includes:

  • content we create for social media
  • content we produce for our alumni platform
  • video which we host on YouTube, SoundCloud or Vimeo
  • map content from Google Maps
  • mailing list sign-up forms

We are responsible for ensuring the content we upload onto third party platforms meets accessibility requirements; however, we are not responsible for the accessibility of the platform itself.

The reCaptcha plugin on certain forms across sites doesn’t have an option for adjusting the time limit. This fails the WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.2.1 (give people a way to turn off or extend time limits). We will provide an email address as an alternative method to enter form content in those instances.

Some of our affiliated research sites are built using the Mosaic CMS. You can read Mosaic’s accessibility statement which includes dates for accessibility improvements.

For the alumni community platform please see Hivebright’s website.

PDFs and other documents

This site has a number of PDF and Word documents which were published before 23 September 2018. 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. If you experience difficulties accessing any documents and require an accessible alternative, please email comms@bsg.ox.ac.uk. Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Video and audio content

This site has pre-recorded audio and video content that was published before 23 September 2020, which is exempt from the accessibility regulations.

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the AA accessibility regulations. Our live video streams are uploaded to YouTube where they are automatically captioned by YouTube. If anything is not clear or you see any mistakes on the auto-generated captions please let us know and we will fix them.

Archived content

Some of the sites contain archived content, which is exempt from the accessibility regulations.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are actively planning to improve accessibility across these websites. For example, the School's homepage and blog are in the process of being redesigned to be fully compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA and will be rolled out by the end of 2020. Other sections of the School's site and affiliated research sites will be redesigned and fixed on an ongoing basis to be compliant.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 15 September 2020 and was last reviewed on 22 September 2020. The websites were tested with a random sample of representative pages.

www.bsg.ox.ac.uk was tested using the representative sample of pages below, as well as random sampling from the top visited pages.

  • the homepage
  • a course page
  • the research publications listing page
  • an event page
  • a news item
  • a people page
  • a research programme

The websites were last sampled and tested on 21 September 2020.

The testing of www.bsg.ox.ac.uk was carried out internally by Olamalu and the Blavatnik School of Government using a series of manual checks on the chosen sample of pages and content types and checked against WCAG 2.1 guidelines. Other sites were checked with a basic accessibility checklist with a focus on the items in Gov.uk’s WCAG 2.1 primer checklist.