Scope and ownership
This accessibility statement applies to the main college website, the core Moodle interface, and the Student Intranet.
In this accessibility statement we refer to browser plug-ins and other tools that may make your experience of web content more comfortable or productive. These suggestions are provided in good faith from reputable sources but please note that plugins and software are used at your own risk. West College Scotland is not responsible for any issues arising from the use of tools or plugins over which they have no influence or control. Plugin suggestions are for the Chrome browser but similar (or identical) plugins exist for other browsers.
Using this website
Visual aspects of the website
- The main website, intranet and Moodle site reflow to fit the resolution and orientation of your device. We have tested this up to a zoom level of 300% on a wide sample of pages.
- On a laptop/PC browser, you can magnify text either by
- increasing the default font size in your browser settings (or with browser plugins - for example A+ Font SizeChangerLite for Chrome) or
- using the inbuilt browser zoom function - CTRL + (Windows) or CMD + (Mac).
Using a mix of both techniques can give fine-tuned viewing experiences.
- On a mobile device get magnification and reflow by changing the browser default font size and default display size in the accessibility settings menu.
- Pages have been designed so that users should be able to change font size and colours within the browser or using browser plug-ins like HighContrast.
- We provide the AT bar on Moodle as well as the Moodle Accessibility plug-in to allow a wide range of personalisation options from font colours, line spacing through to text to speech.
- The Student Intranet has a skip link to make it easy for keyboard users to avoid repetitive content.
- Pages have been designed using navigation landmarks to allow screen reader users to understand and access content more quickly.
- The heading structure of most pages sampled is logical and hierarchical, allowing assistive technology users to navigate quickly to any part of the page – for example using a browser plugin like HeadingsMap or inbuilt screenreader functionality. A few pages – notably the home page - have missed heading levels (for example level 2 and 3) in some sections.
- All links will open in the same browser window, except for file download links (Microsoft Word documents and PDF files) and links to external websites.
You can find useful guidance on adjusting your laptop or phone to suit your need on these resources MyComputerMyWay or Scope guidance on phone accessibility features
Listening to content
Most of the page content can be accessed by text to speech tools including
- browser based plugins like Selection Reader for Chrome,
- clipboard readers like Orato and the ATBar,
- commercial text to speech tools,
Exceptions – where known – are noted in the sections below.
How accessible is this website?
There are several key accessibility challenges that we are planning to fix. This section summarises the main issues affect you. The technical section on non-accessible content has more details if you need them.
- We are aware of widespread colour contrast issues resulting in accessibility fails. These currently apply to the student portal, Moodle, and the main website.
- Keyboard-only uses will struggle to use the websites effectively as a result of submenus only be accessible to a mouse, not keyboard.
- The visual indication keyboard focus is poor on the main website.
- A significant proportion of links have non-unique link text (such as Click here or Read more).
- Auto advancing content such as carousels
- cannot be paused
- cannot be skipped by keyboard users.
- Downloadable documents, guides, policies, and procedures in PDF format are not fully accessible. Few are structured for navigation by screen readers (or sighted users via the bookmark pane). Some were unable to reflow when magnified (e.g. induction information for enabling services). If you require an accessible version that is structured for navigation or will reflow when magnified please contact us using the information below.
Feedback and contact information
If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, Word or HTML please contact us using the details below and letting us know what it is you’re trying to find out about. You can contact us:
By email – Quality@wcs.ac.uk
Telephone - 0300 600 6060
We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 5 working days, to either (1) provide you with the alternative format document you have requested or (2)to have a conversation with you and confirm what we can do to meet your needs.
Reporting accessibility problems with this website
If you find an accessibility problem with this site that we have not covered in the accessibility statement, please let us know so we can add it to our ongoing improvement planning. Contact us with any accessibility related barriers using the details in the section above.
We aim to meet the needs of all our students as best we can. If you think we have not supported you can let us know. If you wish to raise any concerns or complaints with us then please complete the online form on the college website or contact Quality@wcs.ac.uk and we will support you through our College complaints procedure.
An Enforcement procedure is in place through The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) who 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 responded to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) for d=further advice.
Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person
The College main telephone number is 0300 600 6060 and you can explain your request to the person who answers your call. You will be redirected to someone who will be able to help you with your specific query. If you prefer to visit us in person, our main campus reception areas are in Paisley, Clydebank and Greenock. Details of locations and current opening times can be found on our college website page.
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
West College Scotland is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
Currently, this website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 - AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.
Non accessible content
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons:
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
Visual aspects of the website (magnification, reflow, colours contrasts etc)
- There are widespread colour contrast failures related to current branding. Whilst this is being rectified you may find a tool like Reader View a useful way of improving contrast. This fails success criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum).
- All sites include hyperlinks that are identified only by colour – these can be difficult to see for people with colour vision difficulties. This fails checkpoint 1.4.1 Use of Colour. Whilst we’re working on it you might find a tool like A+ FontSize Changer Lite helpful – it can automatically underline all hyperlinks on a page.
Navigation - keyboard navigation
Keyboard-only navigation is complicated by the following issues:
- It is not possible to skip repetitive content such as the menus on each page. This slows down keyboard only uses. Until this is fixed, we recommend keyboard users search the browser page (CTRL=F Windows or CMD+F Mac) for specific information such as the accessibility statement. This fails checkpoint 2.4.1 – bypass blocks.
- There is currently no visual indication of the current tab focus. This makes it very difficult to see where you have tapped to on a page. Until this is fixed, browser plug-ins like Focus Indicator for Chrome can help make the current focus visible and will make the page easy to navigate without a mouse. This currently fails 2.4.7 Focus visible.
- It is not currently possible to get into submenus without a mouse. This makes relevant content harder to find for keyboard only uses. Until this is fixed, we recommend keyboard users use the main search function in conjunction with a focus indicator plugin. This currently fails 2.1.1 Keyboard.
- The Tab order for a keyboard user does not closely match the visual layout of the page. This could be confusing for sighted keyboard only users. This fails checkpoint 1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence.
Navigation – headings and links
- The heading structure on a few pages (such as the home page or Courses page) may have missed heading levels or a confusing hierarchy of heading structures. This fails 1.3.1 - Info and Relationships.
- Some hyperlink link text is non-unique – for example Click Here on Application form or Read more on the home page or Find out more on the course search page. This fails checkpoint 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context).
- Some links such as social media, contact details etc rely on icons for the link but there is no text description or image description that would allow a screen reader user to know where the link was going. This also fails checkpoint 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context).
- Some images that are used as links (for example Student Intranet main page) have no Alt Text information for screenreaders. This fails 1.1.1 Non-text Content and 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context).
Images and multimedia
- Auto advancing carousels (for example on the home page) cannot be paused or hidden. This fails 2.2.2 - Pause, Stop, Hide.
- Image descriptions are not yet consistently applied. For example, on the professional development pages decorative images are not marked appropriately. On some pages such as Commercial Salons, key information is provided as inaccessible images of text. This is also an issue on the conference facility pages. This fails 1.1.1 Non-text Content.
Forms and interactivities
- Some forms on the website – for example the advanced course search - could be difficult for screenreader users to fill in due to lack of accessible labelling. This fails checkpoint 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions.
- Where search results return more than one page, the pagination form isn’t labelled so screenreader users cannot easily skip to a later result. This also fails 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions.
- our 360° virtual tours (for example Clydebank tour) is not keyboard accessible neither is it accessible to blind users. The latter would be extremely difficult to achieve technically - but the former should be possible, and we are actively exploring more accessible interfaces. In the meantime, we believe that the benefits of this partially accessible content for disabled people with mobility issues or anxiety issues outweigh the disadvantages and we offer 1:1 orientation training to blind students as part of our normal support. Consequently, we are claiming the virtual tours as a disproportionate burden for this year.
Content not within the scope of the accessibility regulation (legally required)
- There are some PDF documents on the website (such as the 2016 to 17 performance indicators) which are inaccessible but are out of scope for the accessibility regulations.
How we tested
We conducted a headline overview test with an external consultant sampling a range of pages on the main website, intranet and Moodle using a combination of manual testing and automated checkers including WAVE, Accessibility Insights, Site Improve, axe and the Web2Access testing tool. Formal screenreader testing has not yet been commissioned.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
The College has set up a Project Action Group to develop an Accessibility Improvement Work Plan for sessions 2020-21 and 2021-22. Our Equality and Diversity Committee will have a progress monitoring and intervention role. Our improvement work will prioritise areas of non -compliance, staff awareness and training, and ensuring all policies and procedures consider accessibility issues. All actions relating to non-compliance with the accessibility regulations will be fixed by August 2021.