Accessibility guidelines, policy and legislation
The University’s website accessibility statement is part of a formal policy that addresses disability in the broadest sense.
The University of Edinburgh is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for all.
Our commitment to accessibility
We aim to create an environment that enables anyone to participate fully in the mainstream of university life.
We have a formal policy that addresses disability, as defined by the Equality Act 2010, and includes:
- mobility and sensory impairments
- mental health issues
- specific learning differences (SpLD), including the autistic spectrum and Asperger's Syndrome
- medical conditions which may have an impact on day-to-day activities
Disability policy documents
The University has several policy documents concerning disability.
The Equality and Diversity Strategy and Action Plan
There is a single equality strategy, for staff and students, to ensure that equality and diversity are guiding principles in our pursuit of academic excellence.
The University of Edinburgh Web Accessibility Policy
The University has a formal policy on website accessibility. The policy states that the University of Edinburgh is committed to ensuring that its websites are accessible to the widest possible audience, including disabled users.
Website standards compliance
Our website is built using Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), according to World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards.
It is designed to comply with our own accessibility standards, in line with recognised best practice.
For example, our website follows the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and is working towards following the requirements and recommendations of the UK implementation of the International Standard - 'Information technology — Development of user interface accessibility'.
Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations
An EU directive on the accessibility of websites and web applications of public sector bodies came into force in September 2018. This was passed into UK law entitled as the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. This law reinforces the need to follow the standards above and in particular those defined in WCAG 2.1 AA standards.
Equality Act 2010
The University of Edinburgh must also meet the Equality Act 2010:
More guidance on the Equality Act can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission webpages:
As part of the Equality Act the University as a Scottish public body must meet the (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012. Please note amendments were made to these in 2015 and 2016.
For more guidance see the Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance on the Scottish Specific Duties