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Microsoft SharePoint Is Partially Accessible

The University of Cumbria take accessibility very seriously and want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. We are actively working to make the website more accessible to all people and compliant with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) WAI’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1.

Sites that are created in SharePoint include accessibility features that make it easier for people with disabilities to use them. For Microsoft information visit the SharePoint Accessibility System

View our accessibility tools page to find further accessibility tools and plugins to help improve your online experience.

When using SharePoint you should be able to:

  • understand the website text
  • skip to page content
  • change colours and contrast levels using browser extensions
  • most pages zoom in up to 400% without the text spilling off the screen
  • most pages reflow when the window re-sized
  • be able to understand hyperlink destinations from the text description
  • use text to speech tools to access content
  • use a Screen Reader to access content  

How accessible is the University SharePoint

  • Some text colours and contrast fail the required standard
  • Tabbing gets lost in the Twitter feed on the front page
  • Alternative text is not available on all images
  • Some areas do not reflow when the page is enlarged
  • Tab Focus is not clear on all browsers
  • Some duplicate labels
  • Some areas of the page are not accessible using the keyboard only
  • Some documents may not meet accessibility standards.
  • Page Structure - page headings (i.e. HTML coded headers) are not accessible in the SharePoint Online platform

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

Self-help options

Alternative Formats

The University subscribes to an alternative formats service Sensus Access. This service will transfer most files into a chosen format e.g. an inaccessible PDF can be transferred to an accessible PDF, or a Word document can be transferred to sound. This service can be used directly by Students using their University email address. Alternative Formats

Assistive Technologies

You can access specialist assistive software on PCs and laptops throughout the university and also download free web based tools to enable you to fully interact with content. To find out more visit the assistive software page or download the AT Bar for free. 

University of Cumbria Support

If you are unable to access content or interact with the interface and would like an alternative accessible format, please contact us to discuss the most suitable options, please contact:

We will review your request and communicate with you in 7 days.

Reporting Accessibility Problems with this Website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. You can help us by reporting any barriers you encounter and contribute to our Accessibility Improvement plan. however, if you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact

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, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about this web-based system’s accessibility levels

The University of Cumbria is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

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

Non accessible content

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

1. Non-compliance with accessibility regulations

  • At 300/400% the Shared Area and Org Structure pages do not reflow making it difficult to read and interact with the enlarged content.
  • The Teams support page image becomes larger and dominates the page as the page is enlarged. To mitigate this issue enlarge the text rather than the window

This issue contravenes WCAG2.1 – 1.4.4, 1.4.5, 1.4.10. This is a design issue, which we are currently reviewing to ensure further pages are not created in this way. The changes required have been added to the SharePoint Accessibility Improvement Plan, the Statement is updated annually.

  • Some colours and contrasts fail the WCAG checkpoints
    • Input boxes and label text
    • Turquoise background white text
    • Orange background white text
    • Light grey text used to display titles of files and properties e.g. Name, Category, Date, Label, owner
    • Light green text used throughout the site including both large and small text fail the guidelines

This prevents users with a visual impairment to access content or reduce usability some cases any user to interact with the page affecting the user experience. This contravenes the WCAG2.1 – 1.4.1, 1.4.3, 1.4.11 regulations and has been added to the Accessibility Action Plan. We are currently in communication with the System developer to discuss the changes needed and timescale. This page is updated annually. 

  • Focus is not very clear on icons, however, Focus Indicator browser extension allows you to change the colour and line thickness. This issue makes it difficult for non-mouse users to navigate the page and interact with objects. This contravenes the WCAG2.1 - 2.4.7 and is an issue we plan to resolve. We have added the issue to the Accessibility Action Plan for monitoring the improvements needed. The Page is updated annually.
  • The Tabbing function for keyboard-only users does not work as it should when interacting with some types of content:
    • The tabbing required to move past the Twitter feed on the front page is excessive and impacts on the usability of the page.
    • Expansion boxes do not open on pages which use this mode of content delivery

This contravenes the WCAG2.1 – 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.4.3. We plan to correct this issue as it is not a SharePoint platform issue but a user content error. The actions have been added to the action plan with a timeline. The statement is updated annually

  • Alternative text is not available on all images, some of these images come through from our website which already have actions attached. For example, the front page banner images appear from the website and need to be corrected.

2. Disproportionate Burden

The changes needed to achieve AA WCAG Guidelines and meet the Web Accessibility Regulations will be achieved through a planned accessibility improvement action plan to be reviewed and updated a minimum of 12 monthly.

3. Content that’s not within the Scope of the Accessibility Regulations

  • The text does not reflow when magnified in the table
  • 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.
  • Some pre-recorded media clips do not have closed captions or transcript. This content is created by academic staff and is outside of the scope of the regulation due it being pre-Sep 23rd 2020. The University now uses MS Stream which includes an auto caption software to support accessibility. Training is currently taking place to support its use.

The statement is updated annually or when actions are achieved 

How we tested this Website

We tested the most visited pages both manually and with the use of accessibility testing software such as Wave, a web accessibility evaluation tool WAVE and Accessibility Insights.

This system was last tested on Dec 2021 by University of Cumbria.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are continuously working to improve the accessibility levels of SharePoint Content. A Basic Accessibility Check is carried out each year followed by a more detailed accessibility check, both assessments highlight the areas needing improvement. The identified issues are added to the system improvement action plan with a timescale for improvement. Training is also a large part of changing new content to ensure the issue is reduced and resolved.

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