SharePoint Online - Accessibility Statement

The University of Oxford takes accessibility very seriously and wants as many people as possible to be able to use SharePoint Online. We are actively working to make this more accessible to all people and compliant with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative's (WAI) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.

Sites that are created in SharePoint Online include accessibility features that make it easier for people with disabilities to use them. For further information from Microsoft, visit the SharePoint Accessibility System.

When using SharePoint Online you should be able to:

  • understand the website text
  • skip to page content
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen on most pages
  • Notice most pages reflow when the window is re-sized
  • understand hyperlink destinations from the text description
  • use text to speech tools to access content
  • use a Screen Reader to access content 

AbilityNet provide advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability. In addition, major operating systems produce the following guidance:

Guidance is available for Site Owners of SharePoint Online sites to help them maintain accessibility standards.

Technical information about SharePoint Online’s accessibility

The University of Oxford is committed to making SharePoint Online accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. As part of this commitment, we are required to publish known issues with SharePoint Online.

Compliance status

SharePoint Online 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

We know that some parts of SharePoint Online are not accessible. The content listed below is taken from the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Conformance Statement which can be downloaded from the Microsoft website.

The following areas are not supported:

1.4.10 Reflow: Content can be presented without loss of information or functionality, and without requiring scrolling in two dimensions for:;

  • Vertical scrolling content at a width equivalent to 320 CSS pixels;
  • Horizontal scrolling content at a height equivalent to 256 CSS pixels

Except for parts of the content which require two-dimensional layout for usage or meaning.

  • At a 320 x 256 CSS pixel viewport, the M365 suite navigation, SharePoint Site Header, and SharePoint Command bar cover the majority of the screen and do not scroll away
  • On the SharePoint Start Page, in viewports 512 CSS Pixels wide or smaller, the "Create site" and "Create news post" buttons disappear from the command bar, and content such as who authored specific news posts is removed from the cards in the "News from Sites" and "Frequent Sites" sections
  • In viewports 320 CSS Pixels wide or smaller, the title of the SharePoint site may be clipped depending on length, the "More options" button in the comments section of SharePoint Pages becomes overlaid on the "like" button, the main content of the "Share this site" pane is obscured by other content, and the content of the "Send this page by email" dialog does not reflow properly
  • In viewports 430 CSS Pixels wide or smaller, the main content of the "Create new Page" dialog is obscured by other content.
  • Page editing is blocked in viewports 640 CSS pixels wide or smaller

The following areas are supported with exceptions:

More information can be found in the Microsoft SharePoint Online conformance report

1.3.1 Info and Relationships: Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text.

1.4.1 Use of Colour: Colour is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.

1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum): The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1, except for the following:

  • Large Text: Large-scale text and images of large-scale text have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1;
  • Incidental: Text or images of text that are part of an inactive user interface component, that are pure decoration, that are not visible to anyone, or that are part of a picture that contains significant other visual content, have no contrast requirement.
  • Logotypes: Text that is part of a logo or brand name has no minimum contrast requirement.

Supported with exceptions:

2.1.1 Keyboard: All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes, except where the underlying function requires input that depends on the path of the user's movement and not just the endpoints.

2.4.3 Focus Order: If a Web page can be navigated sequentially and the navigation sequences affect meaning or operation, focusable components receive focus in an order that preserves meaning and operability.

2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context): The purpose of each link can be determined from the link text alone or from the link text together with its programmatically determined link context, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general.

2.4.6 Headings and Labels: Headings and labels describe topic or purpose.

3.2.2 On Input: Changing the setting of any user interface component does not automatically cause a change of context unless the user has been advised of the behaviour before using the component.

3.3.1 Error Identification: If an input error is automatically detected, the item that is in error is identified and the error is described to the user in text.

4.1.1 Parsing: In content implemented using markup languages, elements have complete start and end tags, elements are nested according to their specifications, elements do not contain duplicate attributes, and any IDs are unique, except where the specifications allow these features.

4.1.2 Name, Role, Value: For all user interface components (including but not limited to: form elements, links and components generated by scripts), the name and role can be programmatically determined; states, properties, and values that can be set by the user can be programmatically set; and notification of changes to these items is available to user agents, including assistive technologies.

Third-party content

The University’s SharePoint Online sites could link to third-party content. We do not have control over and are not responsible for the accessibility of this content, we use reasonable endeavours to work with the third party to improve its accessibility. The problems that may occur include:

  • Colour contrast issues
  • Keyboard navigation not functional
  • Videos closed captions missing
  • Links to non-University of Oxford websites

Other accessibility resources

If you’d like more information about accessibility and resources for students, staff and visitors at the University of Oxford more generally, please visit our Equality and Diversity pages.

If you’re looking for information on building accessibility, please try the Access Guide or the University’s interactive map.

Disproportionate burden

We cannot guarantee that legacy documentation moved onto SharePoint Online sites will meet the accessibility standards. If you have any questions or concerns about the accessibility of any of the University of Oxford’s SharePoint Online sites, please contact the Site Owner of the site you are viewing.

As SharePoint Online is a proprietary Microsoft product, there will be no development undertaken on the core product. Individual Site Owners may add additional applications to their specific sites.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We want our websites to offer the best experience possible for all of our users. In addition to our plan to complete an audit and implement fixes for the issues identified, we are working in several other ways:

  • we are providing guidance for Site Owners on accessibility requirements
  • we plan to work with the University’s IT training team to improve content training for website editors
  • reviewing updates to SharePoint Online as they arise to see where they may offer new accessibility features

A Digital Accessibility Working Group has been established to oversee the University’s implementation of the WCAG 2.1 guidelines. The group is working to provide clear guidance, recommendations, expertise and experiential knowledge to departments and colleges who will be adopting inclusive digital practices to meet the requirements of the accessibility regulations. 

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 27th November 2020. It was last reviewed on that date.

Accessibility statements from Microsoft were checked in November 2020. This was part of an ongoing accessibility audit of the University of Oxford’s SharePoint Online. We expect to review this statement during 2021.

Other sites within the domain

This statement does not cover the University of Oxford’s main website Please refer to the accessibility statement for if your query concerns that site. A large number of other websites exist, including those of various divisions and departments, museums and libraries and more.

Some University of Oxford SharePoint Online sites also publish their own accessibility information, detailing content compliance. Accessibility statements may be found locally on each site.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information in a different format like accessible PDF or large print, then please contact the Site Owner of the site you are viewing. 

Reporting accessibility problems with SharePoint Online sites

If you have any questions or concerns about the accessibility of any of the University of Oxford’s SharePoint Online sites, please contact the Site Owner of the site you are viewing. Please provide the site name or URL of the page you are viewing.

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

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