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Accessibility Statement for OU Study - iOS

This accessibility statement applies to the iOS version of the OU Study mobile application.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use our websites and apps, and accessibility is an essential part of our mission. To adapt the content of the app to your needs or preferences you should be able to:  

  • Use the text size options within the apps own settings to increase text size.
  • Use the app in either portrait or landscape display.
  • Use single pointer gestures (e.g. requiring only one finger or pointer) which do not require precise movement (e.g. swiping) to activate controls.
  • Use a screen reader (e.g. VoiceOver for IOS) to listen to the content of screens and use any functionality on the page.

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

How accessible this app is 

We strive to exceed current accessibility standards. However, we know some elements of this app are not fully accessible:

  • It is not possible to enlarge text using the iOS accessibility settings for “Larger text”. However, it is possible to enlarge text using the apps own text resize options in the App settings.
  • Some links are not announced as links by mobile screen readers; however, they can still be activated with a double tap.
  • Some pop-up menus are currently difficult to use with screen readers because the focus is not taken into the menu when it opens. It is possible to get focus into the menu but first you need to swipe through content on the main screen.
  • Sites linked from Open University apps but not run by The Open University.
  • Some activities (for example some of those involving maps, charts, graphs, online-experiments, interactive activities and features).
  • Some content with specialised notations, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry and music.

Feedback and contact information

If you find that a certain section of our app is not accessible and you can’t get access to the information that you need please use the Open University Accessibility Feedback Form to request support and we will ensure that you are provided with the information you require. You will need to provide your contact details and Personal Identifier if you are a student so we can get back to you. You should expect to hear back from us within 5 working days. 

The Open University is very experienced in meeting accessibility needs for our students. In many cases we are able to provide module and other study support materials in alternative formats for students who indicate a need for this when completing a Disability Support Form.

Students can contact their Student Support Team for ongoing advice and guidance.

Reporting accessibility problems with this app

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our apps. If you find a problem that isn’t already listed on this page, or you think we’re not meeting the requirements of the current accessibility regulations (Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018), please use the Open University Accessibility Feedback Form which is monitored daily. 

We will ask you for the Mobile App name, details of the screen 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.

Enforcement procedure

If you are a student, or someone who has had contact with the University before, and have a complaint about the accessibility of our websites and apps, you should raise a complaint via the complaints and appeals process

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 are not happy with our response and all our procedures have been exhausted, please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS). If you are based in Northern Ireland you can contact the Equalities Commission for Northern Ireland Equalities Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).

If you are neither a student, nor someone who has had contact with the University before and have a complaint about the accessibility of our website, you should go directly to the EASS.

Contacting us

If you wish to contact us about anything not covered above, please visit our Contact Page where we have a comprehensive list of services to suit your specific enquiry and requirements.

Technical information about this app’s accessibility 

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

Compliance Status

This app 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.

Following on from the accessibility audit of the OU Study app, we are working through the issues to identify solutions and develop a roadmap for resolving them. Some fixes can be carried out internally, and others will require work with third parties. Our initial investigations will be completed by the end of October 2021 by which point we will update this statement with further details and timings. We will prioritise issues that have the biggest impact on users of the app.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Enlarging content

When the “Larger Text” option is turned on in the iOS accessibility settings, text in the app does not respond and remains at the default size. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.4.4 (Resize text). An alternative way to enlarge text has been provided within the app. This option is available within the App settings.

When the apps own “Text size” setting is used to enlarge text within the app, the “Search” heading on the search screen is truncated. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.4.4 (Resize text).

Images

Some images which convey meaning do not have an informative text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. For example, the images used to illustrate the “Welcome to OU study” screens, and icons used to represent different document types (PDF, Word, etc). This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.1.1 (Non-text content).

Meaningful links and buttons

Some links are not recognised and announced as links by screen readers. This makes it difficult for screen reader users to identify and activate these links. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value).

Some buttons do not provide screen reader users with clear information about the purpose of the button. For example, “download” buttons and “open in browser” buttons do not indicate which document or page they relate to. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.4 (Link Purpose).

Headings and titles

Screens within the app do not have titles that describe the topic or purpose of the screen. App screens also do not provide a top-level heading describing topic or purpose. These are particularly useful to screen reader users. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.2 (Page Titled).

There are some visual headings within the content of the app that are not marked up as headings in the code. This means that screen reader software cannot identify them as headings. Screen reader users can use correctly marked up headings in several ways e.g. to provide an overview of the content of each screen; to navigate the content. When headings have not been marked up correctly these strategies are not possible for screen reader users. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).

When headings are marked up in the code and heading levels are assigned, these don’t always follow a logical hierarchy. Providing a logical hierarchy can help users of assistive technology like screen readers to understand and navigate the content of the screen. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).

Focus order

Some parts of the app do not provide a meaningful focus order. This makes them difficult to navigate by tabbing with a keyboard, and difficult to use with screen readers. For example, there are pop-up menus used on the “My modules” screen and on the “Planner” tab which allow you to choose which content to view. Focus is not currently taken into these menus when they are opened, making them difficult to use with keyboard-only commands, or with a screen reader. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.3 (Focus Order).

Colour contrast

The controls (e.g. play, pause, volume) within some of the media players do not provide enough contrast with the background colour, making them difficult to distinguish. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.4.11 (Non-text Contrast). 

The green circular buttons used to mark content as completed do not provide enough contrast with the background colour, making them difficult to distinguish. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.4.11 (Non-text Contrast). 

The title and URL at the top of the first screen in the settings tab is light grey text on white and does not provide enough contrast with the background colour making it difficult to read. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.4.3 (Contrast). 

Orientation

The “Welcome to OU study” screens which appear when you first use the app do not display correctly when viewed in landscape display. Some of the content is not visible, and it is not possible to scroll down to view it. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.4 (Orientation).

It is difficult to use the Search feature in landscape display because the view of the search box and controls is limited. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.4 (Orientation).

Gestures

Some tables within the app require scrolling to view content that is off screen. This requires a swiping gesture, and there is no simple alternative single point gesture provided. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.5.1 (Pointer Gestures).

The “Welcome to OU study” screens which appear when you first use the app require a swiping gesture to move backwards and forwards through the screens. A simple single point alternative to move forwards through the screens is available (Next button). However, there is no simple accessible alternative for moving backwards. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.5.1 (Pointer Gestures).

Target size

The “Welcome to OU study” screens provide circular buttons to move between the content. These buttons are small and difficult to use. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.5.5 (Target size).

(Note: WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria 2.5.5 Target size is a Level AAA criterion, and we are not required to support this as part of the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations. However, we believe that this is an important aspect of app accessibility and so we have included this in our accessibility testing for apps).

Disproportionate burden 

We are not claiming Disproportionate Burden for this app.

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

The following types of content may not always be accessible, and they are not included within the scope of the accessibility regulation.

Video and audio

Wherever possible we provide transcripts for audio, and captions, audio descriptions and transcripts for video. Sometimes these alternatives are not available. Pre-recorded time-based media published before 23rd September 2020 is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Live audio and video

Adding captions to all live video streams is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

PDFs and other documents

PDFs or other documents that are not essential to providing our services and were published before 23rd September 2018 are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. We are working to ensure that any new PDFs or other documents that we publish will meet accessibility standards. 

Maps

Online maps and mapping services are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations

Third party content not within OU control

Third party content that is not funded, developed by, or under the control of the OU is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

As we build new websites and apps, we strive to ensure that they are accessible and comply with the current legislation. We also review and audit older sites and apps to identify what changes we need to make to improve accessibility. 

The Open University website and apps development process has stages that test the usability and accessibility of new and updated platforms, activities and services against WCAG 2.1. As well as working with external consultants, an internal Accessibility and Usability Evaluation team helps to offer guidance in this area and to ensure that accessibility and usability are embedded in the design and development process for developers and content creators. 

These activities ensure that we are meeting and responding to the changing digital requirements of our students and users as well as developing and delivering systems, apps and websites which are as accessible and usable as possible.

The Open University is committed to accessibility and demonstrates this in a number of different ways:

The Securing Greater Accessibility team (SeGA) was set up in 2010 as a university-wide initiative to promote accessibility and inclusive practice and support students and staff. SeGA offers training and guidance in accessibility in teaching and learning and oversees forums and activities for a wider community of practice and research. SeGA also runs a network of over 50 accessibility champions and coordinators, who work as points of contact on accessibility queries within their respective academic areas. 

Staff at The Open University are offered on-demand accessibility training in a variety of topics to support them to carry out their roles. This will be complemented in the future by the introduction of bespoke, mandatory training in accessibility for all staff to complete in order to further embed accessibility good practice. 

The Open University Library provides wide-ranging support to students with disabilities and specific requirements. As well as working with students directly to offer guidance in accessible resources, the Open University Library staff work with publishers to help improve the accessibility of their products.  

The Open University aims to make studying as accessible as possible and a range of adjustments and support are available. A well-established disability support team provides guidance for students and arranges for students to have support when accessing digital content online or alternatively, access to a variety of formats. A wealth of resources for information and guidance in enabling students to study as effectively as possible in the digital environment are available via the help centre. 

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 23 June 2021. It was last reviewed on 22 June 2021.

This app was last tested on 9 June 2021. The testing was carried out by the Accessibility and Usability Evaluation Team at The Open University.

The sample used for testing consisted of key screens from the app and sample content from OU modules. Manual testing was carried out on the sample content, and this included a review using the native screen reader for iOS (VoiceOver).

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