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Accessibility testing

We are committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability. We work continuously to increase the accessibility and usability of our website aiming to adhere to the guidelines set out in WCAG 2.1. Our accessibility policy lays out our aims with regard to accessibility on our platform.

Our accessibility testing approach

Alongside our daily browser testing on our supported devices, we do less frequent but thorough full product tests from an accessibility perspective using the following programs:

We run periodic tests of the site using:

  • JAWS v14 screenreader and NVDA on Windows 10

  • Dragon v12 for voice recognition;

  • Windows on High Contrast Display setting

  • Read&Write Gold v10;

  • Colour Contrast Analyzer tool version 2.2

Meeting accessibility requirements

Keyboard Access

An important goal is for the site to be fully accessible via the keyboard. Many users with disabilities are unable to use a mouse or other pointing device. As well as being able to navigate around the clickable elements of a document a user must also have some way of determining their current location. For this reason, an element with focus will always be distinguishable from its unfocused state.

Skip Links

Where web pages have a large amount of content a visitor will often find they have to TAB through a large number of irrelevant links to get to the one they want. To combat this we provide mechanisms for skipping large groups of links and navigation elements.

Alternative Text

In situations where the visual content is not available to the reader text alternatives ensure that no information or functionality is lost. We attempt to provide concise and relevant alt text for all non-text content in the administrative and user spaces and also provide the ability for content providers to specify their own text alternatives for uploaded content such as images, video and audio.

Forms

To assist web users with vision and/or mobility impairment, as well as those with cognitive and learning disabilities, we use semantic markup and explicitly associated labels to improve the navigability and functionality of all forms on this website for all users. As well a indicating required fields clearly to we validate the information users input and if errors are found provide alert dialogues describing the nature of the error in text.

Rich Media

For multimedia content, we aim to ensure that the video or audio player is accessible to keyboard users. We also provide the facility for educators to include transcripts and captions or subtitles for uploaded video or audio.

Colour Contrast

People with low vision often have difficulty reading text that does not contrast with its background. This can be exacerbated if the person has a colour vision deficiency that lowers the contrast even further. For text and images of text we adhere to the WCAG Level AA requirements concerning colour contrast. Large text (18pt or 14pt bold) must have a minimum contrast ratio of 3:1, Standard text, must have a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1.

Headings

Since some users skim through a document by navigating its headings, it is important to use them appropriately to convey document structure. Throughout the site HTML heading tags are used to convey document structure. H1 tags are used for main titles, H2 tags for subtitles etc.

Screen readers

A screen reader is a software application that attempts to identify and interpret what is being displayed on the screen (or, more accurately, sent to standard output, whether a video monitor is present or not). This interpretation is then re-presented to the user with text-to-speech, sound icons, or a Braille output device. Screen readers are a form of assistive technology (AT) potentially useful to people who are blind, visually impaired, illiterate or learning disabled.This website has been designed to work with the screen readers such JAWS.

Validation

All HTML and CSS is validated for standards compliance against the relevant DTD using the W3C Markup and CSS Validation Services.

Links

In order to assist users in navigating the site links are clearly identifiable and distinguishable from surrounding text using presentation that doesn’t rely on colour or by using context. In addition we will provide clear and meaningful link titles which make sense when read out of context.

Current known issues

Navigation of PDF documents

We realise that PDF documents are often not accessible and as a result we are encouraging content partners to use on-platform functions to convey information rather than PDFs wherever possible.

Help us to improve the accessibility of FutureLearn

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our websites. If you find a problem that isn’t already listed on this page, please contact support@futurelearn.com which is monitored daily (weekdays only). We will ask you for the web address (URL) of the page and a description of the problem. We will also ask for your name and email address so that we can contact you about your feedback. You should expect to hear back from us within 5 working days.