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Updated 10 December 2020


Our commitment to accessibility

To help achieve our objective of excellence in research, scholarship and education and as part of our commitment to serving our customers and users, Oxford University Press is striving to make its products accessible to and inclusive of all our users, including those with visual, hearing, cognitive, or motor impairments.

In line with these goals, we follow the general principles of web usability and universal design and, where feasible, endeavor to make our sites accessible to all regardless of physical or cognitive impairment or the device used. We are currently targeting adherence to level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1), in order to help our users take full advantage of the accessibility features provided by their chosen device, web browser or operating system.

A programme of improvement

OED complies with applicable law relating to accessibility (including with the obligations under The Equality Act 2010) and much of the site is already accessible in accordance with WCAG 2.1. We are making ongoing improvements, however, and to accomplish these, we have a committed investment and development programme to deliver improved accessibility compliance over the coming months and beyond.

This continuous improvement programme benefits from expert consultation with a number of universities and institutional partners, including a leading web accessibility expert involved in the creation of WCAG and disability librarians who have validated our approach.

Areas currently identified for improvement include:

  • Improve use of headings to correctly organise content
  • Improve use of lists to correctly organise content
  • Fully support keyboard operability
  • Improve how elements are read out by screen readers
  • Ensure all form fields labels are meaningful
  • Correct or remove invisible links

Since commencing this programme we have delivered the following improvements:

December 2020

  • Improvements to headings throughout the site to ensure they are used appropriately and assist screen reader users in understanding the structure of the page.
  • Added “Sort by” text to the world wheel to make it clearer that it is possible to sort by entry or date.
  • The Pronunciation links in each entry have been improved. Redundant links have been removed and the remaining links have been relabelled to ensure a simple and consistent approach across the site.

September 2020

  • We have updated validation messaging in the sign in panel, so that it is more meaningful to users.
  • We have corrected ambiguous links on the OED Advanced Search and Entry pages by adding aria-labels and meaningful text values.
  • Empty links have been removed or corrected, and redundant links have been removed.
  • We have fixed form input labelling errors to ensure they are compliant with WCAG 2.1, and so that form inputs are identifiable and usable by a screen reader.
  • Fieldsets have been added, updated, or removed to ensure users of screen readers can understand how form fields relate to each other, and better navigate the page.
  • We have added English as the default language to the html on our ‘email updates’, ‘sign up’, ‘login’, and ‘forgot password’ pages.

March 2020

  • Site-wide improvements in colour contrast.
  • Corrected homepage heading structure to work properly with screen-readers.
  • Fixed ambiguous link text on homepage to remove confusion for screen-readers.

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

We have commissioned independent VPAT assessment reports to help us better understand how we can improve accessibility on our sites in line with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (US). Please find attached our latest assessment. As we develop and improve our accessibility offering, we will provide updated VPATs on this page.

Requesting accessible copies of our publications

Your Disability Resource Center or equivalent department may submit an accessibility request for content in a specific format to suit your personal needs. Details on how to submit a request can be found on our Accessibility Resources page. We will endeavor to meet any reasonable accessibility request that we receive.

Your feedback

Our commitment to providing accessible and inclusive content is an ongoing activity. If you have any comments or insights on accessibility that you would like to share with us to help us in this mission, please contact Customer Services.