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Accessibility statement for SURE Repository

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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.

Access sure.sunderland.ac.uk

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 Research and is a web-based repository system containing research publications from Sunderland University authors. It contains book chapters, journal articles, reports, artworks, PhD and MPhil theses, conference papers and many other items. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

We’ve also tried to make the website text as simple to understand as possible.

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 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 or sure@sunderland.ac.uk directly
Call: +44 191 515 2424

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 5 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 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.

Not all page headings contain content and some headings skip a level.

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 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.

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.

Adjacent links on certain pages go to the same URL.

Tables may be used for layout only and their content is not at all tabular in nature.

Interactive elements of the website (such as search) do not utilise status messages to update screen readers of a change in state.  


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.

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 form controls may not be labelled and some labels may not contain descriptive content.

Form buttons may not contain descriptive text.

Some of the forms and interactive search pages on our website are not appropriately labelled or do not have labels. 

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

As the website is an open access research repository, the principal content made available to users are research outputs such as articles, papers, posters and reports, many of which are PDF documents. Many PDF documents, especially older ones, are not fully accessible to screen reader software and do not contain other common accessibility features. In particular:

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 SURE resources hard to access, then please contact the webteam at sure@sunderland.ac.uk directly for help.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

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 sure.sunderland.ac.uk.

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.