Information Services

Accessibility statement

UniDesk accessibility statement

Application accessibility statement in line with Public Sector Body (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018

The University of Edinburgh UniDesk service is run by HEFESTIS. The UniDesk application is a web-based service management system that allows for the allocation of tasks (for example, helpline calls; customer queries) across the higher education sector. The service acknowledges industry best practice and is based on TOPdesk Enterprise with single sign-on (SSO) authentication. T

This Accessibility Statement concentrates on the use of UniDesk by the University of Edinburgh. UniDesk is a service at the University of Edinburgh, based on a third-party software system created by TOPdesk which we have purchased and configured. TOPdesk has some limited accessibility information available: TOPdesk accessibility supplier information. We tested both the front-facing / user portion (the “self service portal”), as well as the back-end / administrative part, of the system used by University staff. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this application. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of Job Access with Speech (JAWS), NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA) and VoiceOver
  • the system will not time out

We have also made the website text as simple as possible to understand. There is a list of the common abbreviations and acronyms used across the University.

Customising the application

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability. This is an external site with suggestions to make your computer more accessible:

AbilityNet - My Computer My Way

With a few simple steps you can customise the appearance of our application using your browser settings to make it easier to read and navigate:

Additional information on how to customise our website appearance

If you are a member of University staff or a student, you can use the free SensusAccess accessible document conversion service:

Information on SensusAccess


How accessible this application is

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

  • some parts may not be fully compatible with screen readers i.e. due to lack of labelling of images
  • you may not be able to access all content by using the keyboard alone, and it can be hard to tell where you have navigated to
  • where error messages are present, not all of them are in sufficient colour contrast
  • not all colour contrasts meet the recommended Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA standard
  • not all non-text content has text alternatives



What to do if you cannot access parts of this application


If you need information on this application in a different format, including accessible PDF, large print, audio recording or braille, please contact the Information Services Helpline by telephone on +44 (0)131 651 5151 or use the online contact form:

IS Helpline contact form

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

Reporting accessibility problems with this application

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this application. If you find any problems not listed on this page, or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please let us know. You can contact the Information Services Helpline by telephone on +44 (0)131 651 5151 or use the online contact form:

IS Helpline contact form

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


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 please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) directly:

Contact details for the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS)

The government has produced information on how to report accessibility issues:

Reporting an accessibility problem on a public sector website


Contacting us by phone using British Sign Language

British Sign Language service

contact SCOTLAND-BSL runs a service for British Sign Language users and all of Scotland’s public bodies using video relay. This enables sign language users to contact public bodies and vice versa. The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

contactSCOTLAND-BSL service details

Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Noncompliance with the accessibility regulations

The following items to not comply with the WCAG 2.1 AA success criteria:

  • Not all non-text content presented to users has alternative text
  • Not all content can be presented in different ways (for example, a more simple layout) without losing information or structure


Disproportionate burden

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

How we tested this application

This application was last manually tested in October 2019. The system was tested by the University of Edinburgh’s Deputy Disability Information Officer on a PC using the Internet Explorer browser (11.0.9600.19236). Internet Explorer was chosen due to it being the most commonly used browser by disabled people, alongside its accessibility features and compatibility with assistive technology, as shown in a UK government survey: the Government Assistive Technology Browser Survey. Manual testing was undertaken because UniDesk requires user authentication, meaning it was not possible to utilise automated testing systems.

We tested:

  • Spellcheck functionality
  • Scaling using different resolutions
  • Options to customise the interface (magnification, font, background colour etcetera)
  • Keyboard navigation
  • Data validation
  • Warning of links opening in a new tab or window
  • Information conveyed in colour or sound only
  • Flashing or scrolling text
  • Operability if JavaScript is disabled
  • Use with screen reading software (e.g. JAWS)
  • Assistive Software (TextHelp Read and Write, ZoomText)
  • Tooltips and text alternatives for any non-text content
  • Time limits

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We will continue to develop UniDesk and work with the third party supplier, TOPdesk, to address both the accessibility issues highlighted and deliver a solution or suitable workaround. Unless specified otherwise, a complete solution or significant improvement will be in place for those items within our control by January 2021 . Where issues are outwith our control, we will raise this directly with TOPdesk.

While we are in the process of resolving these accessibility issues, or where we are unable, we will ensure reasonable adjustments are in place to make sure no user is disadvantaged. As changes are made, we will continue to review accessibility and retest the accessibility of UniDesk.

This statement was prepared on 29th June 2020. It was last updated on 24 March 2023