Accessibility Statement for University of Bolton Website

This statement applies to content published on the central University website at Other websites that also belong to The University of Bolton and use sub-domains are managed locally and will publish separate statements with information relevant to them. These include websites of our library and research institutes, among others.


Web accessibility

All pages on this site aim to be accessible to W3C AA compliance. We want as many people as possible to be able to use our website and we are continually working towards improving its accessibility. We follow general principles of usability and universal design, and endeavour to meet level 2 (AA) of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.

Not all the guidelines can be automatically checked. With this in mind every effort has been made to manually check university pages.

Our website will allow you to:

• zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen
• navigate or listen to most of the website using just a keyboard or screen reader

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.


How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible. For example:

• Some sections cannot be navigated with just a keyboard
• you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
• most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
• some videos may not have captions or audio descriptions
• some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
• there’s a limit to how far you can magnify the map on our ‘get in touch’ page

Please see the Technical Information section below for more detailed information on known accessibility issues.


Making changes to your device

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

Also, the University’s Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) website offers up-to-date information for prospective students and staff with specific learning difficulties, disabilities, sensory impairments, mental health difficulties and medical conditions.


Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. Please email if you have an accessibility query (including about content not within the scope of the accessibility regulation), identify any problems not listed on this page, need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille: or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements.

Please provide the web address (URL) of the page(s) in which you find the problem, a description of the issue and your name. We will consider your request and get back to you within twelve working days.

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 let us know. If you remain unsatisfied, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).


Technical information about this website’s accessibility

We are committed to making our website accessible, in accordance with the the relevant accessibility regulations.

This website is partially compliant with the WCAG 2.1 AA standard, due to the instances of non-compliance and one or more of the following listed below:

Non-accessible content

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Issues with navigation, text and images

• Some images do not have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information (WCAG: 1.1.1).
• Colour contrast may not be sufficient on some webpages which could make these pages difficult to read for some users with visual impairments (WCAG: 1.4.3).
• Our megamenus are not accessible using a keyboard so people using a screen reader may find navigating our website difficult (WCAG: 2.1.1)

We are working to fix the issues above. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Issues with video and audio

• Not all audios or videos with audio have captions or transcriptions. We aim to offer an alternate version of all videos and audios published on or after January 2022. However, older videos and audios may not have an alternate version. (WCAG: 1.2.2)
• Some videos without audio that ideally should have audio descriptions do not have this (WCAG: 1.2.5).

We are working to develop transcripts or other alternative versions of all our videos and audios published on or after January 2022. 


Some links are not labelled clearly, or contain only image with no or poor ALT text. (WCAG 2.4.4 Link Purpose).

We will correct links as we review each page on continuous basis.

Page structure

Some pages use multiple H1 tags or have a structure that doesn’t follow a logical order (WCAG 2.4.6 Headings and Labels).

We will correct this as we review each page and also correct any errors in our site templates.


• focus issues outstanding
• 1.4.4 resize issues are outstanding
• 1.4.10 reflow issues outstanding
• PDF - natural language

Disproportionate burden

Navigation and accessing information

•  There’s no way to skip the repeated content in the page header (for example, a ‘skip to main content’ option).

•  It’s not always possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it more difficult to view the content.

•  It’s not possible for users to change text size without some of the content overlapping.

Interactive tools and transactions

•  Some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag.

•  Our forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website.

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will make another assessment when the supplier contract is up for renewal, likely to be in February 2022.


Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

Most downloads on the university webpages are in the Adobe Acrobat PDF format. All PDF files require the user to have the free-to-use Acrobat reader software installed. It’s available for download. Alternatively, if your browser does not support this technology you can convert any PDF file into text or HTML here;

Some of our documents which are non-essentials that were published before 23 September 2018 may not be fully accessible. All subsequent PDF documents will comply with accessibility regulations.

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.


Our website has online maps which are unlikely to be fully accessible because of the assistive technologies used in their development. An alternative format is provided in most circumstances.

Third party-content

Our site uses third-party content which may not be fully accessible. This includes content we publish on social media channels such as Twitter or You Tube, or documents hosted on the digital platform Issuu. We are responsible for ensuring the accessibility of the content we produce, however we have no control over the accessibility of these platforms.


How we tested this website

This website is regularly scanned automatically using an external service. The scan report highlights any content that is not compliant with WCAG 2.1. We aim to be using a mix of automated testing and manual testing of a representative sample of the site against the WCAG 2.1 AA standard.

We use AChecker - achecks to scan a representative sample of our pages for accessibility errors along with Lighthouse and manual checks.


What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Making the website fully accessible will be a long process. We are including accessibility as a fundamental part of any future websites we create.

We have an ongoing programme of work to address any accessibility issues that are highlighted by our regular scans. We are currently auditing our websites, templates and online documents for accessibility, and finding ways to make the site more intuitive and easy to navigate. Required changes will be made as soon as possible. We are developing guidelines on how to create accessible content to help those colleagues working on other University websites.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 18th June 2019. It was last reviewed on 8th September 2020.


We make every effort to ensure that the information published on this website is believed to be accurate at the time of posting, but the university will not accept responsibility for any errors, misdescription or subsequent alterations that may become necessary. The university reserves the right to remove or alter the content or take down this website at any time without notice.

The information on this website relating to courses is correct at the time of publishing and every attempt is made to ensure its accuracy. However, the information is issued for the guidance of students entering the university and does not form part of any contract.

Where this website is linked to third party websites, the university does not accept any responsibility for the contents of those websites. Links from this website are provided for convenience only and do not imply affiliation with or endorsement by the university. The university cannot be held responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which users have provided while visiting such websites. The university is not responsible for the content or operation of external websites that link to this site or which are linked from this site and disclaims all liability, howsoever occurring, in respect of the content or operation of any such external websites.

Any opinions expressed on this website are the opinions of the named contributors and not necessarily the views of the university.


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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant