We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Computing and Information Services

University web accessibility policy

This policy was updated in August 2016.

Policy Summary

All official University pages and sites must be written to be as accessible as reasonably possible to users with disabilities. As a minimum, compliance with the Web Accessibility Initiative's Level A Success Criteria shall be required. New sites must also comply with the Web Accessibility Initiative's Level AA Success Criteria.


It is important that the widest possible audience is able to view the University web pages, as this will improve our ability to communicate with potential and current students, conference visitors, job applicants, the press, and other audiences. It is also a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010 for there to be no reasonably avoidable discrimination towards people with disabilities in the provision of services.


This policy applies to all official University pages and online business applications, including but not limited to pages produced by academic departments, inter-departmental research groups, service and administration departments and Colleges, whether they are intended for public view or for University use only. Also included in this definition are pages providing academic resources (for example lecture notes or research information), which must be accessible even if located in a lecturer's personal web space.

This policy also applies to other pages hosted on University servers which provide information on University-related services or activities (for example society pages hosted on

Personal pages belonging to staff and students of the University are exempt from this policy, except where they provide information related to the business of the University which is not available through official pages.

Policy Statement

All official University pages must be written to be as accessible as reasonably possible to users with disabilities, or with old browsing technology.

Any pages hosted by the University and providing University-related information are expected to adhere to the same standards for accessibility.

As a minimum standard, all pages are expected to comply in full with Conformance Level A of the Web Accessibility Initiative. All new sites must comply in full with at least Conformance Level AA of the Web Accessibility Initiative. Existing sites should work towards this level of accessibility if possible, but should ensure that this does not delay compliance with the Level A success criteria.

Computing & Information Services (CIS) will provide advice and guidance to maintainers of official websites to ensure that their sites comply with this policy.

Further Information

Version 2.0 of the Web Accessibility Initiative’s ( Web Content Guildelines has three levels of conformance: Level A (the minimum level of conformance), Level AA, and Level AAA.

The full text of the recommendations is available online at

A set of CIS guidelines for accessible web design is available from


Failure to comply with this policy risks bringing the University into disrepute, should non-compliance be challenged. A decision to accept this risk can only be made by the Head of Marketing and Communications or appropriate officer of the University.

Exceptions to the policy must be sought via the CIS Web Team Lead, and escalated to the Head of Marketing and Communications for decision where required.