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Website accessibility at The Open University

Due to its unique nature The Open University has developed its own accessibility guidelines. The OU Web Accessibility Guidelines are based on WCAG 2.0 from which each point has been selected and rephrased for clarity and briefly explained.  These OU Guidelines categorise each point as either Must, or Should, and in a few cases it omits WCAG success criteria where they deemed to have little relevance in our context.

You can read about this in greater detail on the OU's web standards pages.

There are particular circumstances regarding the OpenLearn website - see Website accessibility at OpenLearn.

If you have difficulty in using this website you can contact us in other ways about the courses we offer.

Using web technologies

If you have a visual impairment or dyslexia, you may find making changes to your web browser settings help you use this web site.

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’ website.

If you use a screen reader to access websites, you may find it useful to read how to access pdfs with a screen reader.

Further information

For information about how the OU supports disabled students please visit the following pages:

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.
  • Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) is a charity offering general information, advice and guidance for people with sight problems.
  • Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) is a charity representing deaf and hard of hearing people.
  • Scope runs a wide range of services for people with cerebral palsy, their families and carers.
  • The British Dyslexia Association aims to influence government and other institutions to promote a dyslexia friendly society.
  • Action for Blind People provides lots of information about issues relating to sight loss and accessibility.