Student Support Accessibility Statement

  1. How accessible this website is
  2. Feedback and contact information
  3. Reporting accessibility problems with Student Support websites
  4. Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person
  5. Enforcement procedure
  6. Technical information about Student Support websites’ accessibility
  7. Compliance Status
  8. Non accessible content
  9. Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
  10. Disproportionate burden
  11. Content that's not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
  12. What we’re doing to improve accessibility
  13. Preparation of this accessibility statement

This accessibility statement applies to Open University Student Support websites, (including StudentHome, the Help Centre, Student Policy and Regulations, Community, Credit Transfer, Widening Access and Success and the Change Log)  and describes the process by which we ensure that the sites are accessible. Our Student Support websites, accessed via www.open.ac.uk/students, provide information about your student record as well as providing a source of help to support you through your studies as an Open University student. Note that your module and qualification study sites, as well as those that provide information on the range of modules and qualifications available are separate, although there are links to these from our Student Support sites. If you are not a student, you will not be able to see all pages, e.g. those relating to student records.

Our Student Support websites consist of several thousand individual pages. This statement covers all elements of the Open University’s Student Support websites, which have been tested for accessibility.

Note that mobile applications were included from 23 June 2021.

If you are concerned about accessibility of other Open University websites please visit the overall Open University accessibility statement.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use our websites, and accessibility is an essential part of our mission. To adapt the content to your needs or preferences in most cases you should be able to:

  • Change colours, contrasts levels and fonts.
  • Resize text up to 200% without impact on the functionality of the website.
  • Zoom in up to 400% without loss of information or functionality, or the need to scroll in more than one direction.
  • Navigate the website using just a keyboard.
    • Tab to ‘Skip to content’ links at the top of the page to jump over repetitive information to the main content.
    • Tab through the content; the current location will be indicated by a clear visual change.
    • Control the embedded media player to play audio and video materials.
  • Use a screen reader (e.g. JAWs, NVDA) to:
    • Listen to the content of web pages and use any functionality on the page.
    • List the headings and subheadings in the page and then jump to their location on the page.
    • Bring up a list of meaningful links on the page.
  • Use transcripts or closed captions with most audio and video materials.
  • Download learning materials in alternative formats (e.g. Word document, PDF, ePub, Kindle eBook).

If you have a print disability we provide SensusAccess to students, which is an automated service that converts files from one format to another, for example, PDF to text, audio, Word or Braille.

AbilityNet provides advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

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How accessible this website is

We strive to exceed current accessibility standards. However, we know some elements of our Student Support websites are not accessible, the details of which are highlighted in this statement.

We aim to provide accessible alternative content or activities where we can. For more information please visit What Support is Available and for more guidance please visit Studying on a Screen.

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Feedback and contact information

If you find that a certain section of any Student Support website is not accessible and you can’t get access to the information that you need, please use the accessibility support and feedback form and we will ensure that you are provided with the information you require. You will need to provide your contact details, and if you are a student, your Personal Identifier (PI) so that we can get back to you. You should expect to hear back from us within five working days if you have provided contact details.

Students who have any other queries, not related to website accessibility, should contact their student support team who will provide you with the information you require. If you are not a student, see our general contact information page or telephone +44 (0)300 303 5303.

The Open University is very experienced in meeting accessibility needs for our students. In many cases we are able to provide module and other study support materials in alternative formats for registered students who indicate a need for this when completing a Disability Support Form

In addition, some module materials are available in different formats and can be downloaded from module websites. Students can contact their Student Support Team for advice.

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Reporting accessibility problems with Student Support websites

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our Student Support websites. If you find a problem that isn’t already listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting the requirements of the current accessibility regulations (Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018), please use this accessible Feedback Form which is monitored daily.

We will ask you for the web address (URL) of the page and a description of the problem. We will also ask for your name and email address so that we can contact you about your feedback. You should expect to hear back from us within five working days.

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Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

To contact us by phone, please see the ‘Feedback and contact information’ in this statement. We do not normally support personal visits.

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Enforcement procedure

If you are a student, or someone who has had contact with the University before, and have a complaint about the accessibility of our websites, you should raise a complaint via the University’s complaints and appeals 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 are not happy with our response and all our procedures have been exhausted, please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

If you are neither a student, nor someone who has had contact with the University before and have a complaint about the accessibility of our website, you should go directly to the EASS.

Technical information about Student Support websites’ accessibility

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

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Compliance Status

Student Support websites are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed in this statement.

Non accessible content

The vast majority of content elements in our websites are accessible. This has been confirmed by internal testing and auditing. However, the content listed in this statement is non-accessible for following reasons.

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

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

PDFs and other documents

While PDFs and other documents (e.g. those in Word or ePub format) are out of scope, you will find that most PDFs that have been updated since 2018 will be accessible. The exception is that some PDFs found in StudentHome are currently not accessible but we are working to make them so; see the StudentHome entry in the ‘Non accessible content’ section above.

Live video

Live (streamed) video is also out of scope of the accessibility regulations. However there is no live video on the Student Support websites.

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What we’re doing to improve accessibility

For existing websites that are partially compliant, we have plans to fix those areas that are not accessible. The target fix date is shown above, in the ‘Non accessible content’ section.

For more information about what we are doing to improve accessibility across all the University’s web sites please see Accessibility Statement for the Open University.

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Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 23 September 2020.

This statement was last reviewed on 12 June 2024.

This website was last tested on 16 August 2022.

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Version control

This page was last updated on 14 June 2024.

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