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Accessibility statement for King’s College London Website

We want as many people as possible to be able to use www.kcl.ac.uk (the website) to find, read and understand the content.  

The website is made up of thousands of web pages and assets such as PDF documents and videos.  There are also three different design templates currently in use.  The statement refers to all pages, in all templates.  Please be aware that the legacy template, created in 2010, is far less accessible than the new one that was launched in 2018.  We aim to phase out the old template as soon as possible.  (Target 31 December 2021)

The content of this document is limited to the main corporate website hosted on the Contensis CMS platform at accessed via www.kcl.ac.uk.  Other websites and portals will have their own statements.

Using the website 

The website is run by King’s College London and we want as many people as possible to be able to use it. For example, that means you should be able to (on pages in the new templates): 

  • Zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen 
  • Set the font size and preference within your browser (except for section headings) 
  • Navigate most of the website using just a keyboard 
  • Skip to main content using keyboard navigation 
  • Navigate most of the website using speech recognition software 
  • Use screen readers such as JAWS and VoiceOver 

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability. 

Technical information about the website accessibility

King’s College London is committed to making www.kcl.ac.uk accessible in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. We work to achieve and maintain WCAG 2.1 AA standards, but it is not always possible for all our content to be accessible. 

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below. 

We know some parts of the intranet aren’t fully accessible, and the complexity and volume of content available presents difficulties in identifying all accessibility issues. Users may experience issues depending on the area they are accessing. For example:

  • Some link text is used for multiple different destinations (WCAG 2.4.4) 
  • Bold tag has been added to format text which is not readable by screen-readers (1.3.1) 
  • Some link text is too generic in its current context (2.4.4) 
  • Some images do not have alternative text (1.1.1) 
  • “Font” tag used to format text (1.3.1) 
  • “b”, “i” and “u” tags used to format text (1.3.1) 
  • There is no alternative to some video/audio content (1.2.1) 
  • Some multimedia content is not captioned (1.2.2) 
  • In some cases, it is not possible to control audio that auto-plays (1.3.1) 
  • Some headings are not nested correctly (2.4.10) 
  • Not all decorative images are currently correctly identified  
  • Some iFrames are missing a title. This fails WCAG 2.1 level ‘A’ success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role, value).  
  • Colour contrast is insufficient on some pages across the site in terms of hero and image placement, content links, keyboard focus etc. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 ‘AA’ success criterion 1.4.3 (contrast (minimum)).  
  • Keyboard navigation, including the ability to tab easily through content on some web pages, is not logical and intuitive. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 ‘A’ success criterion 2.1.1 (keyboard access). 
  • Some elements are not highlighted on focus or have focus states with insufficient contrast. This fails WCAG 2.1 level ‘AA’ success criteria 2.4.7 (focus visible). 

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value). Please see section below on disproportionate burden for more information.

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. 

What to do if you can’t access parts of the website

If you need information on the website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille email diversity@kcl.ac.uk.

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 7 days.

Reporting accessibility problems with the website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of the website. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements email diversity@kcl.ac.uk.

Escalation procedure

If you need to escalate your issue further, contact Sarah Guerra, Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, via diversity@kcl.ac.uk. You can expect an acknowledgement of your issue within 7 days and a full reply within 14 days. If your complaint raises complex issues that cannot be answered within 14 days we will keep you informed of progress until we can fully respond.

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).

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 4 September 2019 and we continue to audit. The test was carried out by our trusted agencies and University staff using a selection of automated tools, as well as manual checks. 

As our website contains thousands of pages, we selected a sample of pages to test based on average use, volume of traffic, and content type. We tested the following pages as they contain our main features used across the site: 

  • Main university homepage 
  • Faculty homepages 
  • Sample news pages 
  • Sample event records 
  • Sample course records 

We scan the whole site weekly to review content.  All content editors then have access to reports to allow them to correct the content. 

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

King’s College London has convened a college-wide action group to address the accessibility of its digital information and actions are currently being undertaken around:

  • Assessing, prioritising and improving the accessibility of the 100+ digital platforms in use at King’s and highest priority is being given to those holding student teaching materials;
  • Improving the accessibility of online teaching materials;
  • ensuring all future purchases or development of digital platforms are accessible;
  • ensuring that all future teaching materials being developed and uploaded are accessible.

Activities to improve the accessibility of the website are as follows: 

  • King’s Disability Support offer information, advice and guidance to current and prospective disabled students about support that may help them to engage with their studies 
  • All new web templates are being fully tested to ensure they are compliant.
  • All web editors have access to a tool that scans all pages on the site and reports on accessibility to allow users to identify errors. 
  • IT report on totals via internal social medial weekly to raise the issue with all website content editors. 
  • All web editors have access to free online training. 
  • Comprehensive guidance on creating accessible content has been created and disseminated to all content creators.   

This statement was prepared on 3 September 2019. It was last updated on 25 September 2020.

Disproportionate burden 

Website Forms

Traditionally we have used multiple 3rd forms that are ‘skinned’ to look like our website.  Some of these forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag.

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We are currently engaged in a project to bring all forms “in-house” on a fully support package.  Therefore, will not be doing any fix work on the legacy ones and prioritising full replacement.

PDF documents

The website has over 19,000 PDFs, many over ten years old.  Some of our content across the site is in PDF format where a durable format is needed. We will be reviewing all PDF documents that are essential for our services and converting these to accessible pages.

However, we've assessed the cost of fixing these documents. We believe that doing so would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.

Contact Diversity and Inclusion