Accessibility Statement

Created Date:01 September 2019
Last Updated:09 April 2021
Review Due:December 2021 (unless significant change)
Maintained By:Collections Development Manager

This accessibility statement applies to the domain, including our data collections, resources and ADS-easy. This website is run by the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), at the University of York.

How accessible is this website

The ADS is committed to making this website as accessible as possible to the widest possible audience and we are currently updating our website to improve our accessibility.

This means you should be able to:

  • Change colours, contrast levels and fonts.
  • 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).

We’ve also tried to makde the website text as simple as possible to understand.

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • Some images on our website do not have appropriate alternative text.
  • Some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard.
  • Most of our PDFs and word documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software.
  • Some of our web pages do not have unique titles that indicate their purpose and context.
  • Some of our pages do not allow you to zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen.
  • Some of our interactive tools, such as search queries or map interfaces are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard.

As such, this website is only partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below. However, we are actively working to increase the accessibility and usability of our resources, and aim to adhere to the available standards and guidelines as soon as possible.

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

If you need information on this website in a different format please email or call (0)1904 323 954. We will consider your request and get back to you within ten working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We're always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. Any accessibility problems encountered while accessing material on this site should be reported to or via (0)1904 323 954.

Enforcement procedure

University of York students and applicants can follow our complaints procedure.

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’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

What are we doing to improve accessibility?

This website is currently undergoing a major update which will rectify some of the identified accessibility issues in order to be WCAG 2.1 AA compliant.

This year we will be running regular accessibility checks following the Government accessibility checklist, and ensure that all new content added to the website by the ADS meets accessibility requirements.

This accessibility statement will be updated regularly as changes and improvements are made to our website.

As much of the ADS resources are provided to us by Third Parties, we have created guidelines for depositors on creating accessible data.

Detailed information about this website's Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, because of the non-compliance and exemptions listed below.


Much of the ADS content is provided to us by third party depositors for long-term preservation. As such much of our content falls outside of accessibility regulations due to the exemptions for third-party content and items in heritage collections that cannot be made fully accessible because of either the incompatibility of the accessibility requirement with either the preservation of the item concerned.

Issues with text

  • Some pages have incorrect heading structures.
  • Some links do not make sense when read out of context, using text such as ‘click here’.
  • Some pages contain text which is not as simple as possible to understand.

Issues with images

  • Some images which need a description do not have any alternative (alt) text, or have blank alt text.

Issues with PDFs and other documents

  • Some information is only available in formats such as PDF or Microsoft Word.
  • Not all ADS created PDFs have been designed for accessibility.
  • Third Party material, such as archived data, has not been designed for accessibility.
  • Archive data formats used for preservation purposes, such as PDF/A, may not be fully accessible.

Issues with tables

  • Some pages contain tables which do not have headers.
  • Some pages use tables for layout purposes.

Issues with audio and video

  • Some Third Party archived videos do not have captions.

Issues with keyboard navigation

  • Some image galleries and carousels cannot be navigated with a keyboard.
  • Some elements which reveal hidden content - such as tabbed content - may be difficult to use, particularly when used with a screen reader.
  • Some of our interactive search queries - may be difficult to use, particularly when used with a screen reader.

Issues with interactive tools

  • Some of our interactive maps and search queries are not fully accessible. We are working to improve this.
  • Some of our pages contain content from systems provided by an external supplier. We report all accessibility issues to suppliers and work with them to improve the accessibility of their tools.

How we tested this website

We tested our website using a combination of methods to check our site:

  • Automated testing: we used third party software to scans our pages for accessibility errors, and let us know which ones are the highest priority to fix.
  • Manual testing: we used an accessibility checklist to manually check a representative sample of pages from across our website. This included checking that our pages can be navigated using only a keyboard, and testing any colour contrasts that could not be automatically checked.
  • User testing: we’ve been talking to people who have access needs, asking them to show us how they use our website and the problems they face.