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Accessibility statement for University Library Services

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This statement does not cover the University of Sunderland’s main website www.sunderland.ac.uk. Please refer to the accessibility statement for www.sunderland.ac.uk if your query concerns that site.

The University’s web estate consists of many related sub-sites with the sunderland.ac.uk domain. Accessibility statements for such sub-sites will be found locally on each site.

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

You can find useful advice on making your device easier to use by visiting AbilityNet, which provides step-by-step guides to making individual adjustments to your laptop, tablet or smartphone.

How accessible this website is

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

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:

Web: IT Portal
Email: webteam@sunderland.ac.uk
Call: +44 191 515 2424

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

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: webteam@sunderland.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).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Find out how to contact us.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The University of Sunderland 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 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

Navigation and accessing information

Some headings on web pages are not organised to appear in order. We will correct heading order as we review each page.

It is not possible to use a keyboard to access all the content. We will ensure content can be navigated by keyboard as we review each page.

Some information is conveyed as an image of text rather than as text itself so it's not compatible with screen readers and other assistive technology. We will ensure content conveyed as an image is replaced by HTML when we review each page.

Most tooltips disappear as soon as the cursor moves. Also, tooltips are not always present for all icons and images. We will reconsider tooltip usage when we review each page.

Some links are not labelled clearly, for example, they do not make sense when taken out of context. We will correct link text over time as we review each page.


There may not be sufficient colour contrast between font and background colours, especially where the text size is very small. We will change colours to ensure sufficient contrast when we review each page.

Visual information to identify user interface components, such as keyboard focus, does not always have a sufficient contrast ratio. We will correct contrast as we review each page.


Not all pre-recorded audio-only or video-only media will have alternative media that presents equivalent information e.g. audio track with description of the action in a video with no sound. We are working through all media to add these and expect this to be complete by October 2020.

Not all video will have subtitles or subtitles that identify all speakers as well as noting other significant sounds e.g. laughter. We are working through all media to add these and expect this to be complete by October 2020.

Information is conveyed as an image of text rather than as text itself so it's not compatible with screen readers and other assistive technology

PDFs and other documents

Not all our PDFs and Word documents meet accessibility standards. From July 2020 onwards we are running a series of workshops and campaigns to highlight this issue and train users on how to audit and then improve the accessibility of these documents.


It might not be possible for all form fields to be programmatically determined. This means that when using auto-fill functionality for forms, not all fields will identify the meaning of input data accurately.

Google reCAPTCHA causes an accessibility error due to a missing label. We have researched and explored ways to fix this but have unfortunately not found a solution. We have tested with a screen reader and different browsers and it is still possible to interact with and solve the reCAPTCHA. Also using the audio test to solve additional verification works with a screen reader. It worked especially well using the Chrome browser.

On some pages the ID used for an element is not unique.

Some labels may not indicate the purpose of the fields they relate to


While we have a 'Skip to content' link on every page when new users access the website they will receive our cookie consent banner at the bottom of the page. This can't be skipped over as it's important to get consent for cookies to comply with the General Data Protection Regulations.

Some iframes are missing the ‘Title’ tag (YouTube videos, Twitter feeds).


Our website uses online maps. Where there is a map, the information being displayed is provided in an alternative format on the same web page.

We aim to improve our website's accessibility on a regular and continuous basis. See the section below ('What we're doing to improve accessibility') on how we are improving our site accessibility.

Disproportionate burden

We are not currently claiming that any accessibility problems would be a disproportionate burden to fix.

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

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader.

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. We will also try to ensure any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards and where we find any that are not accessible we will rectify this as soon as possible.

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. Regulations for PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018.

Third-party content

The Library website also acts as a gateway to a number of third-party systems or links to other resources that may also contain third-party content that we are not able to control or develop and therefore have no responsibility for.

The problems that may occur include:

Third-party services which can be accessed through the Library website are listed below, along with a link to accessibility information provided by the suppliers of each service, where possible.

The table below:

Name and provider of system/site

Link to accessibility statement/information on accessibility

Accessibility Statement

Name and provider of system / site  Link to accessibility statement / information on accessibility Notes
Library Talk (Springshare LibAnswers)  Accessibility Updates  Provided by LibAnswers from Springshare. The LibAnswers platform is compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. 
Library Catalogue (Capita Libraries Prism)  Accessibility Guidance Prism is compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. 
Discover (EBSCO EDS)  Accessibility Guidance EBSCOhost is compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. 
Special Collections (Axiell Calm)  Awaiting statement  Service is being migrated to a new accessible platform November 2020. 
Book-IT-Online (iTS Limited R&R)  Accessibility Statement  
Library Maps - WagnerWayFinder WagnerGuide      Awaiting statement    

Third-party electronic resources

The Library’s online collections of e-journals, e-books and other resources are provided by third-party publishers and vendors and hosted on their platforms, we do not design or control these directly.

The majority of platforms offer a good level of accessibility and typically have a user accessibility statement with further information.

For any of the third-party products that you may have issues accessing, you may also be able to find accessibility statements in searchBOX. This is a free, comprehensive directory created by textbox to support accessible content. The University is not affiliated with searchBOX and is not responsible for its content.

If you find any of our Library resources hard to access, then please contact the Library team at library@sunderland.ac.uk directly for help.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Our accessibility roadmaps show how and when we plan to improve accessibility on this website.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 21 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 21 September 2020.

This website was last tested in September 2020. The test was carried out by The University of Sunderland Web Team.

This website is tested weekly using a quality assurance tool to identify accessibility issues.

We tested:

Our website is tested on a regular basis, with a new scan scheduled every seven days using an automated accessibility tool provided by LittleForest. This tool tests all web pages and provides a report on accessibility issues. Manual checks are also performed on a sample of pages on library.sunderland.ac.uk.

Issues are prioritised according to the severity of the impact they may cause, the number of people that may be impacted and the time involved in resolving the issue.