Library Services Accessibility Statement: Library Website

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

This accessibility statement applies to the Library website

We want as many people as possible to be able to use our websites and mobile apps, and accessibility is an essential part of our mission. On our Accessibility hub, you'll find everything you need to answer any questions you have about accessibility, whether you're a student or a member of staff.

To adapt the content to your needs or preferences you should be able to:

  • Change colours, contrasts levels and fonts.
  • Resize text up to 200% without impact on the functionality of the website.
  • Zoom in up to 400% without loss of information or functionality.
  • Navigate the website using just a keyboard.
  • tab to ‘Skip to content’ links at the top of the page to jump over repetitive information to the main content.
  • tab through the content; the current location will be indicated by a clear visual change.
  • control the embedded media player to play audio and video materials.
  • Use a screen reader (e.g. JAWs, NVDA) to:
  • listen to the content of web pages and use any functionality on the page.
  • list the headings and subheadings in the page and then jump to their location on the page.
  • bring up a list of meaningful links on the page.
  • Use transcripts or closed captions with most audio and video materials.
  • Download learning materials in alternative formats (e.g. Word document, PDF, ePub, Kindle eBook).
  • If you have a print disability we provide SensusAccess to students, which is an automated service that converts files from one format to another, for example, PDF to text, audio, Word or Braille.
  • AbilityNet also provides advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.2 AA standard, due to the disproportionate burden claim and exemptions listed below.

When using this website, you may navigate into Library Search. This is a third-party platform, owned by Ex Libris. For more information about the compliance of this platform, please see the Library Search accessibility statement.

Non-accessible content

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

These issues relate to Library Search, which users can navigate to from the Library Website. 

Name, Role, Value:

Form elements must have labels. Form labels help assistive technologies to understand what input is expected in a form field. Adding a label reduces confusion and enlarges the clickable area which helps users with limited motor control. This refers to the two input boxes in 'Any field contains AND Any field contains' at the base of the 'Search criteria' box. This fails WCAG 2.2 Success Criterion 4.1.2: Name, Role, Value (Level A) and will be resolved by the end of August 2024.


Info and Relationships:

Certain elements in this platform are assigned ARIA roles. If these roles are not valid, or are incorrect, assistive technology may provide confusing information about a page. In this context, this refers to the Library Search main menu. This fails WCAG 2.2 Success Criterion 1.3.1: Info and Relationships (Level A) and will be resolved by the end of September 2024.


Disproportionate burden

Third-party licenced resources

Open University Library Services provides access to over 580,000 ebook titles, 500 databases and 250,000 journal titles which are licensed by the Library but provided by third-party publishers. These are spread over more than 400 external websites and we can’t test all those sites and create accessibility statements for them.

Having undertaken an assessment, we believe this is a disproportionate burden because it is prohibitive due to the volumes of third-party resources that we have available and the very limited impact that we have to make changes and publish accessibility statements on websites outside of our control. 

We audit many third-party resources and undertake supporting work to make improvements for our users. We also provide students with alternative methods of accessing content that is not available in the appropriate formats from our digital platforms. 

For more information, please use the form below and state that you would like to request the full Disproportionate Burden Claim.

The content is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

Pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020

Not all pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020 has captions and transcripts because these files are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Any new pre-recorded video or audio we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Live video

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

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 29 May 2024. 

The statement was last reviewed on 2 July 2024.

The website was last tested on 18 June 2024.

A full audit was undertaken by the Library’s Digital Services team, focusing on the following sample pages:

  • Library homepage
  • Contacting the helpdesk
  • Training and Events
  • Introduction to Library Services (Event page)
  • Finding resources for your assignment (Help and Support page)
  • Selected resources for your study > Environment (Resources page)
  • Ebook collections

These pages were chosen based on their usage and their prominence from the Library  website homepage.

The following methods and tools were used:

  • Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE)
  • Colour contrast analyser
  • Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA)
  • Deque Axe
  • Manual zoom check
  • Manual keyboard navigation check

Feedback and contact information

If you find that a certain section of our website is not accessible and you can’t get access to the information that you need please use the form below 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 OU 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.

In addition, some module materials are available in different formats and can be downloaded from module websites. Students can contact their Student Support Team for advice.

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, you should raise a complaint via the complaints and appeals process

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 are based in the UK, and you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

We will respond to your feedback within five working days. If you have an urgent library enquiry please contact the library helpdesk separately.

We appreciate that you have provided us with personal information, we will never sell on your data to anyone else and data is for the use of The Open University only. If you would like to find out more, please visit our privacy policy using the following link :