Heriot-Watt University is committed to equal opportunities for all, regardless of disability, as stated in the Equal Opportunities Policy, and is committed to the principles of:

  • The Equality Act 2010
  • Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

We're constantly working to make www.hw.ac.uk as accessible and usable as possible.

Accessibility statement for www.hw.ac.uk

This website is run by Heriot-Watt University. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver).

My Computer My Way has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website aren't fully accessible:

  • some images don't have a suitable text equivalent
  • most videos don't have captions
  • some forms don't have autocomplete tokens
  • some of our links do not have clear or unique link text.

What to do if you can't access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please contact the Disability Service:

We'll consider your request and get back to you as soon as we can.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We're always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren't listed on this page or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, please let us know.

You can use our contact form to report a problem with accessibility.

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Contacting us

You can contact us through the following methods:

Visiting us

Let us know what your needs are in advance of your visit. Some examples of help we provide:

  • Offering accessibility information through AccessAble
  • Arranging a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter
  • Hearing loops in reception areas, lecture theatres and some classrooms (as well as portable loops)
  • Manual wheelchair
  • Supporting orientation around the campus
  • Accessible accommodation
  • Accessible toilets
  • Accessible parking.

Studying with us

Heriot-Watt University welcomes diversity. Our objective is to anticipate the needs of our diverse community and make reasonable adjustments to the physical, teaching and learning, and the attitudinal environment of the University, to create inclusive, accessible living and learning conditions.  

Contact us, in advance if possible, and we will assess your individual needs in relation to your studies at Heriot-Watt University.

Technical information about this website's accessibility

Heriot-Watt University is committed to making its website 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 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.

Noncompliance with the accessibility regulations

Images and text alternatives

Some images don't have a text alternative, so the information in them isn't available to people using a screen reader. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

We plan to add text alternatives for all images by September 2020. When we publish new content, we'll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Videos and captions

Most videos don't have captions provided, so the auditory information isn't available to people who are deaf or have a hearing loss. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.2 (captions (prerecorded)).

We plan to add captions for all videos created after September 2019. When we publish new content, we'll make sure our use of videos meets accessibility standards.

Forms and autocomplete

Some forms don't have autofill enabled, so the label purpose may not immediately be known by people with cognitive disabilities. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.5 (identify input purpose).

We plan to add autofill for all forms by September 2020. When we publish new content, we'll make sure our use of forms meets accessibility standards.

Link text

Some links don't have unique text, so users might not know the difference between links with different purposes or destinations. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 (link purpose (in context)).

We plan to add unique link text for all pages by September 2020. When we publish new content, we'll make sure our use of link text meets accessibility standards.

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

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don't meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they're accessible to a screen reader. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

The accessibility regulations don't require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they're not essential to providing our services. For example, we don't plan to fix school departmental newsletters.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Pre-recorded video

Most pre-recorded videos don't have captions. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.2 (captions - prerecorded).

The accessibility regulations don't require us to add captions to pre-recorded video published before 23 September 2020.

Any new videos we publish after this date will meet accessibility standards.

How we tested this website

This website was last tested in September 2019. The test was carried out internally using third-party accessibility testing tools.

We tested:

What we are doing to improve accessibility

This statement was prepared on . It was last updated on .