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Executive summary

In March 2022 we had several accessibility issues reported to us on the www.solent.ac.uk website. We had always planned to resolve these issues as our site is being fully redesigned and redeveloped, but we felt that the issues raised were significant enough that we needed to resolve them now.

We embarked on a project to identify and resolve any issues. This process took roughly 12 weeks and was completed on 1 June 2022.

Scope of audit

  • The audit evaluated all web content of the public website of Solent University (https://www.solent.ac.uk), apart from documents linked to from the website.
  • It did not include public sites that are located on sub-domains.
  • We aim to meet the WCAG 2.1 AA standard.
  • We aim to provide an accessible website across all browsers and assistive technologies. Due to resource limitations, we have only tested this site using Google Chrome on Windows and Apple devices.

Methodology


Step 1: Identifying pages that need auditing

  • We exported a full list of all published pages on the website.
  • We then manually checked each page and identified the templates used and any content that needed checking (e.g iframes, videos, content structure, etc)

Step 2: Conducting the full audit

  • Each page was tested using a Chrome plugin called Accessibility Insights for Web.
  • This consists of 53 automated tests and 87 manual tests per template.
  • Key pages were also tested using the axe DevTools Chrome plugin.
  • Of the 760 pages tested, 150 had issues that needed to be resolved to meet WCAG2.1 AA standards.

Step 3: Fixing issues

  • The issues that needed to be fixed ranges across three areas of the team:
    • Content
    • Development
    • Design
  • The issues were allocated out to the relevant team member to be resolved.
  • Any issues that could not be fixed were reported to be added to the accessibility statement.

Step 4: Retesting fixes

  • Once the issues had been resolved, it was retested to ensure any problems had been fixed.

Step 5: Updating the accessibility statement

  • The final stage of the process is to update the accessibility statement with any details we have discovered.

Findings and outcome


Step 1: Identifying pages that need auditing

  • We manually checked 760 pages and identified the templates used and any content that needed checking (e.g iframes, videos, content structure etc)

Step 2: Conducting the full audit

  • Of the 760 pages tested, 150 had issues that needed to be resolved to meet WCAG2.1 AA standards.

Step 3: Fixing issues

  • Of the 150 issues found, only three have not been fixed. These have been listed in our accessibility statement

Step 4: Retesting fixes

  • Due to resource constraints, we only retested the areas that failed in the original tests.

Step 5: Updating the accessibility statement

  • The accessibility statement was updated on 1 June 2022.
  • Three known issues were added.
  • Five disproportinate burden assessments were added.
  • Minor changes to some details throughout the statement to follow the best practice guidance set out on the .gov.uk website.

Conclusion

We have made a significant effort to ensure our website is WCAG 2.1 AA compliant. To the best of our knowledge, our accessibility statement now clearly outlines any issues we are aware of. It also states areas of the site we are not able to improve due to a disproportionate burden.

Towards the end of 2022, we are also going to work with a third party to independently check our site to make sure we have not missed any issues on key pages of the website.

We do not intend to do full audits of our sites regularly. Instead, we refined our processes to make sure any new templates, or changes to pages, are checked for accessibility issues. We also use a tool called SiteImprove that will scan our site and highlight both automated issues spotted, as well as recommending manual checks.

This report was published on 8 June 2022.

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