Accessible web design helps people with a variety of disabilities, including people who:

  • are blind
  • are visually impaired
  • are deaf or hearing impaired
  • have dyslexia
  • have physical disabilities that affect manual dexterity or result in loss of the use of the hands
  • have cognitive impairments affecting memory or learning capabilities.

Accessible web design can also benefit many other groups of web users, including:

  • Users of new or future technology such as mobile internet devices (for example, Personal Digital Assistants) and in-car audio browsing devices.
  • Users of less common browsing technology, such as legacy browsers or non-PC/Windows based set-ups, which may have particular limitations or constraints, or those accessing the web with restricted bandwidth.
  • Users for whom English is not their first language.
  • Older users who may have particular combinations of impairments which cause access difficulties.

Furthermore, research has shown that accessible design principles, when applied, often result in a significant increase in the usability of interfaces to non-disabled users. Accessible design techniques also promote forwards compliance with emerging web technologies, promote the efficiency of delivery of a web site, and help to improve access by automatic agents such as search engine robots – hence improving the accuracy with which pages are indexed in a search engine.

The University's web pages are covered by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and the extension to education in September 2002 by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA).

Where possible, the Physics department is committed to providing the recommended guidelines defined in the University of Oxford Web Accessibility Policy at Alternative formats can be made available should individuals require this.

The templates used to generate the top level departmental pages are currently being updated to meet and, where possible, exceed the accessibility standards expected by the University. We advise any group that is unable to ensure their pages are accessible to convert them to the department's standard design on the main server (see the Templates page)

For more information see: