Accessibility statement for Open Books

Website accessibility statement inline with Public Sector Body (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018

This accessibility statement applies to

This website is run by the Library and University Collections Directorate which is part of Information Services Group at the University of Edinburgh. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • using your browser settings, change colours, contrast levels and fonts to some extent;
  • experience no time limits when using the site, and not encounter any flashing, scrolling or moving text.

Customising the website

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability. This is an external site with suggestions to make your computer more accessible:

AbilityNet - My computer my way

With a few simple steps you can customise the appearance of our website using your browser settings to make it easier to read and navigate:

Additional information on how to customise our website appearance

If you are a member of University staff or a student, you can use the free SensusAccess accessible document conversion service:

Information on SensusAccess

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • not all links purposes are clear to the user;
  • some body text is smaller than 12 point;
  • not all non-text content presented to users has alternative text;
  • not all colour contrasts meet the recommended Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA standard;
  • some content may be distorted or lost when you change the size of the browser window and at certain levels of magnification;
  • content does not reflow when magnified so the user has to scroll horizontally as well as vertically
  • users may not be able to access all content by using the keyboard alone;
  • it is not always clear where a user has navigated to using a keyboard;
  • some links open in new windows or tabs without warning;
  • some parts of the website cannot be customised depending on the browser used;
  • some parts of the site especially the PDFs may not be fully compatible with screen reader software;
  • some tooltips do not appear when using the keyboard and / or are not hoverable;
  • there is no skip to main content function;
  • PDFs are not in an accessible format.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format, including accessible PDF, large print, audio recording or braille:

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page, or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact:

We will consider your request and get back to you in 5 working days.

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 please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) directly:

Contact details for the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS)

The government has produced information on how to report accessibility issues:

Reporting an accessibility problem on a public sector website

Contacting us by phone using British Sign Language

British Sign Language service Contact Scotland BSL runs a service for British Sign Language users and all of Scotland’s public bodies using video relay. This enables sign language users to contact public bodies and vice versa. The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact Scotland BSL service details

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

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

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

The full guidelines are available at:

 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1

Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Noncompliance with the accessibility regulations

The following items to not comply with the WCAG 2.1 AA success criteria:

  • Not all non-text content presented to users has alternative text
  • Information, structure and relationships conveyed through presentation cannot always be programmatically determined. This includes missing < h1 > tags, multiple < h1 > tags on a single page and skipping heading levels (i.e. an < h1 > and < h3 > exist on a page but no < h2 > tag).
  • Some content is not read sequentially by screen readers
  • There may not be sufficient colour contrast between font and background colours, especially where the text size is small
  • Site is not fully compatible with browser customisation meaning that users do not have full control and functionality when customising the site (WCAG 2.1 AAA)
  • Content cannot be presented without the user scrolling in two dimensions beyond 175%, with some content being lost altogether
  • Some tooltips do not appear when using the keyboard to navigate
  • It is not possible to use a keyboard to access all the content
  • It is not always possible to bypass blocks of content that are repeated on multiple Web pages
  • Some of our page titles do not fully describe the page content whereas others are missing altogether
  • Link purpose is not always clear and some adjacent links go to the same location
  • Information, structure and relationships conveyed through presentation cannot always be programmatically determined. This includes missing heading labels
  • Visual information to identify user interface components, such as keyboard focus, do not always have a sufficient contrast ratio
  • Some links open in a new browser window without warning
  • The search bar is missing a corresponding form label
  • The website is not fully compatible with screen readers and voice recognition software
  • Screen readers are not able to identify some parts of the page

At this time, we believe all items are within our control. Unless specified otherwise, a complete solution, or significant improvement, will be in place for those items within our control by March 2024.

Disproportionate burden

We are not currently claiming that any accessibility problems would be a disproportionate burden to fix.

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

At this time, we do not believe that any content is outside the scope of the accessibility regulations.

What we're doing to improve accessibility

At this time, we believe all items are within our control. We will continue to address the accessibility issues highlighted to deliver a solution or suitable workaround. We are looking to move this site to a new content management system within the next 12 months and will be working to ensure this resolves the accessibility issues. Unless specified otherwise, a complete solution or significant improvement will be in place for those items within our control by March 2024.

While we are in the process of resolving these accessibility issues, or where we are unable, we will ensure reasonable adjustments are in place to make sure no user is disadvantaged. As changes are made, we will continue to review accessibility and retest the accessibility of this website.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was first prepared on 7th August 2020. It was last reviewed on 13th February 2024.

This website was first tested on 7th August 2020, reviewed on 15th September 2021 and then again on 12th September 2022. The testing was initially carried out by The University of Edinburgh Library and University Collections Digital Library Development team using the automated Wave WEBAIM and Little Forest testing tool.

This website was last manually tested by the Digital Library team, Library and University Collections, University of Edinburgh in September 2022 following on from automated testing of the system the previous two years. This was primarily using Mozilla Firefox (91.7.1esr), Microsoft Edge (99.0.1150.55), Google Chrome (99.0.4844.84), and Internet Explorer (IE) (19043.1586) browsers for comparative purposes.

Recent world-wide usage levels survey for different screen readers and browsers shows that Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge are increasing in popularity and Google Chrome is now the favoured browser for screen readers:

WebAIM: Screen Reader User Survey

The aforementioned three browsers have been used in certain questions for reasons of breadth and variety.

We ran automated testing using Wave WEBAIM and Little Forest then manual testing that included:

  • Spell check functionality;
  • Scaling using different resolutions and reflow;
  • Options to customise the interface (magnification, font, background colour, etc);
  • Keyboard navigation and keyboard traps;
  • Data validation;
  • Warning of links opening in a new tab or window;
  • Information conveyed in colour or sound only;
  • Flashing, moving or scrolling text;
  • Operability if JavaScript is disabled;
  • Use with screen reading software (for example, JAWS);
  • Assistive software (TextHelp Read and Write, Windows Magnifier, ZoomText, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, TalkBack and VoiceOver);
  • Tooltips and text alternatives for any non-text content;
  • Time limits;
  • Compatibility with mobile accessibility functionality (Android and iOS).

Change Log

Since our first evaluation and statement, which was based on automated testing, we have undertaken extensive manual testing. This includes utilising a range of assistive technology to ensure we have a clear picture of the accessibility issues and how best to resolve them.

February 2024 - We have aimed to improve accessibility of the PDF’s so they open in a custom PDF viewer intended to improve accessibility with screen readers by making it easy to tab through/keyboard navigate, adding any text on a page in HTML. We also added aria-labels to assist screen reader users.