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Accessibility statement for SharePoint Online

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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 accessibility statement applies to SharePoint Online, provided by the University of Sunderland. As a staff and student portal, SharePoint s an integral part of how staff and students access a range of information, services and support at the University of Sunderland and therefore, the content is designed to be easy for everyone to find, access and use.

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:

It is important before accessing SharePoint Online that you are aware of the settings available for your hardware, such a laptop computer or mobile devices, including smart phones or tablets. These devices have individual accessibility settings that will help you access content, including website content. Depending upon your choice of internet browser of mobile smart device operating system, there are further settings to help you access our content. Such settings may include the ability to change colours, contract and the size of text and images.

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

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of SharePoint Online 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 5 working 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 webpages are not organised to appear in order. We will correct heading order as we review each page.

Some information is conveyed as an image of text rather than as text itself so that 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.

Some links are not labelled clearly, for example, they make not 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, do 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.

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 in 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 for input data accurately.

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


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

We aim to improve our websites 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 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

Our website contains third-party content. We do not have control over and are not responsible for the accessibility of this content, we use reasonable endeavours to work with the third party to improve its accessibility. The problems that may occur include:

For any of the third party products that you may issues with accessing, you may be 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 resources hard to access, then please contact the webteam at webteam@sunderland.ac.uk directly for help.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 22nd September 2020. It was last reviewed on 21st September 2022.

This website was last tested in September 2022. The test was carried out by The University of Sunderland Web Team.

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 SharePoint Online.

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