The Open University is committed to making its websites and mobile applications accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
This accessibility statement applies to the Android version of version 220.127.116.11 of the OU Study mobile application, released to the Play Store on 22 November 2023.
We want as many people as possible to be able to use our websites and apps, and accessibility is an essential part of our mission. To adapt the content of the app to your needs or preferences you should be able to:
AbilityNet also provides advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.
We strive to exceed current accessibility standards. However, we know some elements of this app are not fully accessible:
If you find that a certain section of our app is not accessible and you can’t get access to the information that you need please use the Open University Accessibility Feedback Form to request support and we will ensure that you are provided with the information you require. You will need to provide your contact details and Personal Identifier if you are a student so we can get back to you. You should expect to hear back from us within 5 working days.
The Open University is very experienced in meeting accessibility needs for our students. In many cases we are able to provide module and other study support materials in alternative formats for students who indicate a need for this when completing a Disability Support Form.
Students can contact their Student Support Team for ongoing advice and guidance.
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our apps. If you find a problem that isn’t already listed on this page, or you think we’re not meeting the requirements of the current accessibility regulations (Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018), please use the Open University Accessibility Feedback Form which is monitored daily.
We will ask you for the Mobile App name, details of the screen and a description of the problem. We will also ask for your name and email address so that we can contact you about your feedback. You should expect to hear back from us within 5 working days.
If you are a student, or someone who has had contact with the University before, and have a complaint about the accessibility of our websites and apps, you should raise a complaint via the complaints and appeals process.
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 are not happy with our response and all our procedures have been exhausted, please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS). If you are based in Northern Ireland you can contact the Equalities Commission for Northern Ireland Equalities Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).
If you are neither a student, nor someone who has had contact with the University before and have a complaint about the accessibility of our website, you should go directly to the EASS.
If you wish to contact us about anything not covered above, please visit our Contact Page where we have a comprehensive list of services to suit your specific enquiry and requirements.
This app is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to ‘the non-compliances’ listed below.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Some images which convey meaning do not have an informative text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. For example, the images used to illustrate the “Welcome to OU study” screens, and icons used to represent different document types (PDF, Word, etc). This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.1.1 (Non-text content).
Some links are not recognised and announced as links by screen readers. This makes it difficult for screen reader users to identify and activate these links. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value).
Some buttons do not provide screen reader users with clear information about the purpose of the button. For example, “download” buttons and “open in browser” buttons do not indicate which document or page they relate to. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.4 (Link Purpose).
Some buttons do not provide screen reader users with clear information about the button options that are available. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and relationships).
Completion check boxes do not receive focus and are unlabelled. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and relationships).
Some hidden elements within header bars, such as the progress bar in a study topic when the progress bar is collapsed, have been hidden from view but are still announced by the screen reader. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).
Some page titles, such as More, are confusing for screen reader users as they are not a clickable element and users cannot obtain more information by activating it. This fails WCAG success criterion 2.4.2 (Page titled).
Some parts of the app do not provide a meaningful focus order. This makes them difficult to navigate by tabbing with a keyboard, and difficult to use with screen readers. For example, the menu to filter module status on the Home screen requires the user to tab twice to focus on the next element after the button, and in menus around the app focus moves back to the screen after the menu is popped out, rather than focus being on the first item in the menu. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.3 (Focus Order).
Some links are not focusable with screen readers, such as links within Assessment Strategy and Assessment Guide. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard).
The progress bar on the Planner does not provide sufficient contrast with its background. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (Contrast (Minimum)).
Some content is out of reach when scrolling using screen reader scroll gestures. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.5.1 (Pointer Gestures).
Various clickable elements such as links, edit fields, time and date pickers, slider controls and buttons are not large enough. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.5.5 (Target size).
(Note: WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria 2.5.5 Target size is a Level AAA criterion, and we are not required to support this as part of the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations. However, we believe that this is an important aspect of app accessibility and so we have included this in our accessibility testing for apps).
The following types of content may not always be accessible, and they are not included within the scope of the accessibility regulation.
Wherever possible we provide transcripts for audio, and captions, audio descriptions and transcripts for video. Sometimes these alternatives are not available. Pre-recorded time-based media published before 23rd September 2020 is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
Adding captions to all live video streams is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
PDFs or other documents that are not essential to providing our services and were published before 23rd September 2018 are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. We are working to ensure that any new PDFs or other documents that we publish will meet accessibility standards.
Online maps and mapping services are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
Third party content that is not funded, developed by, or under the control of the OU is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
As we build new websites and apps, we strive to ensure that they are accessible and comply with the current legislation. We also review and audit older sites and apps to identify what changes we need to make to improve accessibility.
The Open University website and apps development process has stages that test the usability and accessibility of new and updated platforms, activities and services against WCAG 2.1. As well as working with external consultants, an internal Accessibility and Usability Evaluation team helps to offer guidance in this area and to ensure that accessibility and usability are embedded in the design and development process for developers and content creators.
These activities ensure that we are meeting and responding to the changing digital requirements of our students and users as well as developing and delivering systems, apps and websites which are as accessible and usable as possible.
The Open University is committed to accessibility and demonstrates this in a number of different ways:
The Securing Greater Accessibility team (SeGA) was set up in 2010 as a university-wide initiative to promote accessibility and inclusive practice and support students and staff. SeGA offers training and guidance in accessibility in teaching and learning and oversees forums and activities for a wider community of practice and research. SeGA also runs a network of over 50 accessibility champions and coordinators, who work as points of contact on accessibility queries within their respective academic areas.
Staff at The Open University are offered on-demand accessibility training in a variety of topics to support them to carry out their roles. This will be complemented in the future by the introduction of bespoke, mandatory training in accessibility for all staff to complete in order to further embed accessibility good practice.
The Open University Library provides wide-ranging support to students with disabilities and specific requirements. As well as working with students directly to offer guidance in accessible resources, the Open University Library staff work with publishers to help improve the accessibility of their products.
The Open University aims to make studying as accessible as possible and a range of adjustments and support are available. A well-established disability support team provides guidance for students and arranges for students to have support when accessing digital content online or alternatively, access to a variety of formats. A wealth of resources for information and guidance in enabling students to study as effectively as possible in the digital environment are available via the help centre.
This statement was prepared on 10 November 2023. It was last reviewed on 10 November 2023.
This app was last tested on 6 April 2023. The testing was carried out by the Accessibility and Usability Evaluation Team at The Open University.
The sample used for testing consisted of key screens from the app and sample content from OU modules. Manual testing was carried out on the sample content, and this included a review using the native screen reader for Android (TalkBack).