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About the OU > Admin and governance > Policies and Statements > Website accessibility at The Open University

Website accessibility at The Open University

The Open University's website aims to achieve W3C WAI Priority 2 level. To support blind users and keyboard users most pages have a 'skip to content' at the top of the page which allows blind users to skip over the navigation links to the main content of the page.

There are particular circumstances regarding the OpenLearn website (the OU's open content initiative) - see Website accessibility at OpenLearn.

If you have difficulty in using this website you can talk to us on the phone or send us an email about the courses we offer. For course information and advice you can telephone +44 (0)845 300 60 90 (Monday to Friday 08,00 to 20,00 and Saturday 09,00 to 17,00 UK Time). Alternatively you can e-mail us at General-Enquiries. Please include your name, e-mail address and a full description of your query.

Using web technologies

If you have a visual impairment or dyslexia, you may want to use the 'listen to this page' facility.

You may also find making changes to your web browser settings help you use this web site. You can change the options in your browser to adjust the size of the text, the colour of the text and the colour of the background. If you are using the latest version of Internet Explorer you will be able to override the colour scheme of this and many other websites.


Filling in forms

When filling in any Open University online form we would recommend the following:

  • read all of the form carefully before attempting to fill it in,
  • when you do fill the form in you may find it more useful to turn Virtual PC Cursor off if you are using the screenreader JAWS version 3.3 or above,
  • once you have filled the form in, turn Virtual PC Cursor back on and check what you have entered - then submit the form.

Changing browser settings

To set Internet Explorer to ignore the colours and fonts used in web sites, first go to the 'Tools' menu and choose 'Internet Options'. Then click on the 'Accessibility' button, then tick the 'ignore colours', 'ignore font styles' and 'ignore font sizes' boxes . Then click OK to apply the settings.

To change just the size of text go to 'View - text size' and choose the setting you are most comfortable with (largest, larger, medium, smaller, smallest).

You may also find it useful to change the default colours and fonts used on your computer. The procedure for doing this is different for different versions of Windows and other operating systems. You should therefore consult your computer's Help facility for instructions on doing this. Further information is available from AbilityNet's 'My computer my way' web site - see

Helpful contacts

For general advice on using tools such as speech screenreaders (eg JAWS), or specific advice from the OU about the OU and disabilities please use the contacts below.

Within the OU
Talk to an advisor in one of our national or regional centres. They will be able to talk you through the course choice procedure and offer guidance on studying with the OU.

You can also read about the services the OU offers to students with disabilities.

External links
AbilityNet provides free information and advice, individual assessment of technology needs, the supply of assistive technology with free support, a programme of awareness education, and consultancy for employers on system and workstation adaptations.

The National Bureau for Students With Disabilities. Skill is a national charity promoting opportunities for young people and adults with any kind of disability in post-16 education, training and employment across the UK.

National Federation of ACCESS Centres
A network of specialist services that facilitate access for disabled people to education, training, employment and personal development. Services include quality assessment and support in the use of assistive technology and/or specialised learning strategies.

Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)
Charity offering general information, advice and guidance for people with sight problems.

Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID)
Charity representing deaf and hard of hearing people.

Scope runs a wide range of services for people with cerebral palsy, their families and carers.

British Dyslexia Association
Aims to influence government and other institutions to promote a dyslexia friendly society.

Action for Blind People
Lots of information about issues relating to sight loss and accessibility