Accessibility Statement for 'University of Oxford Podcasts' (podcasts.ox.ac.uk)

This accessibility statement applies to the website 'University of Oxford Podcasts' located at http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk. The website delivers a wide range of podcast series in audio and video format for use by University of Oxford students and staff, and the general public.

Accessibility features of University of Oxford Podcasts

The website is run by the University of Oxford Podcasting Service, part of Oxford University IT Services. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. The site has accessibility features including:

  • Closed Captions (CC) for video content
  • Transcripts for audio and video content
  • Text and Icon magnification through normal browser tools
  • We’ve also made the website layout and text as simple as possible to understand.

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

The Podcasting Service accessibility page provides help with enabling accessibility features of University of Oxford Podcasts, and accessibility advice for podcast producers.

You can see a list of podcasts series with Closed Captions (CC).

There is a partial list of podcast video episodes with Closed Captions (CC) in this report of episodes with captions.

You can also download podcast episodes in MP3 (audio) and/or MP4 (video) format. This allows content to be played in an application with accessibility features such as variable playback speed (e.g. the free VLC by VideoLAN)

Compliance status

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

University of Oxford Podcasts (podcasts.ox.ac.uk) is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

There are known issues with the University of Oxford Podcasts website accessibility, listed below.

Non-compliance with the WCAG accessibility regulations

Images and links have missing or incomplete 'alt-text' text descriptions, used by assistive technology such as screen readers. These will be corrected as we review each page.
(WCAG success criteria 1.1.1, 1.3.3, 2.5.3)

Pages have logical structure issues, affecting their usability with assistive technology such as screen readers. These include incorrectly nested headings, missing labels/names, incorrectly ordered tab navigation and non-working bypass blocks. These will be addressed in the near-future with a full review.
(WCAG success criteria 1.3.1, 2.4.1, 4.2.1, 4.1.2, 

Some text does not meet the minimum colour contrast requirements, limiting its readability. This will be addressed in the near-future in the full site review.
(WCAG success criteria 1.4.3, 1.4.6)

Pages do not support changing device orientation (landscape/portrait) for certain screen resolutions without loss of content; 1366x768 pixels and below. This is a common tablet resolution and we will attempt to accomodate it as part of the full site review.
(WCAG success criteria 1.3.4)

Increasing text spacing for readability can cause some elements to overlap. We will attempt to address this in the full site review.
(WCAG success criteria 1.4.12)

Video content may not always be captioned and some captions may contain errors. Please see the section 'What we’re doing to improve accessibility' on this page to understand our plans regarding this issue.
(WCAG success criteria 1.2.2, 1.2.4)

Additional descriptive audio for videos, or full-text alternatives, are not provided. Please see the section 'What we’re doing to improve accessibility' on this page to understand our plans regarding this issue.
(WCAG success criteria 1.2.3, 1.2.5)

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 23 September 2020. It was last updated on 20 October 2020.

The website was last tested on 19 October 2020. The testing was carried out by the Educational Media Services team at Oxford University IT Services.

We decided on a sample of pages to test by listing the different formats for presenting content (front page, list of series/episodes, individual series/episode etc) then selecting a one or two example pages for each.

We utilised this automated website accessibility review from Web2Access to identify some of the issues.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

At the University of Oxford, we aim to ensure that our digital content is easily accessible to as many people as possible. As such, we are committed to implementing the internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). A Web Accessibility Working Group has been established to oversee the University’s implementation of the guidelines. The group will undertake a review of the University’s digital accessibility practices, define and share a framework of best practice across the institution, and work with service owners to apply the framework to our digital services and content.

From September 2020, all new video content within Oxford’s Podcasting Service will be automatically captioned using Panopto, the University's Lecture Capture service software. In the summer of 2020, we conducted an audit of the accuracy of automatic captions in Panopto using lecture recordings from across the disciplinary range at Oxford. The audit found that accuracy can be as high as 99%, although we have found that accuracy on some recordings (especially where audio quality is lower or the speaking voice is rapid) can be lower (the lowest found was 92%). Errors in captions for mathematics and some science-based subjects seem to have a greater impact on their overall usefulness compared to other subjects (e.g. errors in the captioning of equations). Captions with an accuracy rate of less than 97% are unlikely to provide a viewer who cannot hear with an equivalent experience to someone who can. We are currently assessing the cost burden of manually editing captions, and of adding a description of visual content within closed captions.

We will however ensure that accurate captions are in place for disabled students who need this as a reasonable adjustment, see “How to report accessibility issues” below.

In addition, we are increasing awareness and knowledge about how to create accessible content among content creators. For example, we have raised awareness in training sessions and in guidance materials of the need to:

  • Check the audio and video quality of recordings
  • Speak clearly, and in a measured way, at a consistent distance from the microphone for clarity, and so that automatic captioning can achieve a higher accuracy rate
  • Describe purely visual content as fully as possible
  • Produce slides in an accessible format with slide titles
  • Display content on whiteboards so that it can easily be seen in the recording

How to report accessibility issues

If you wish to report any accessibility issues with the University of Oxford Podcasts website, please email Educational Media Services via media@it.ox.ac.uk and we will get back to you within five working days.

If you require manually edited captions for increased accuracy, or text description of visual content as a reasonable adjustment, please contact the University Disability Advisory Service via disability@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Enforcement of Accessibility Regulations

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’). Users can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) to report non-compliance with the regulations.

Get support


For help with podcasting and publishing contact Educational Media Services

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Educational Media Services

13 Banbury Rd, Oxford, OX2 6NN

Tel: (+44) 01865 289983

Email: media@it.ox.ac.uk