NU Reflect - Newcastle University

Accessibility and Inclusivity Statement



NU Reflect ( is an in-house Web-based system developed at Newcastle University which supports reflective learning, employability and personal tutoring. The University is committed to providing equality of access to services and facilities, and to the development of an inclusive environment for all users and staff. This document provides information about accessibility features and limitations of NU Reflect and plans for future enhancements. It also provides tips and links to tools for improving your experience using NU Reflect and other Websites, depending on your personal needs and preferences.

Visual Features

Supporting a range of screen sizes

The Website has been designed to be useable on different browsers with a range of input devices and is responsive to different screen sizes.

Resizable text

Text size can be changed using your browser zoom or text size settings.


Currently some buttons in the Website have insufficient contrast for some users. See ‘Improving your experience’ below for tools to change contrast, and ‘Our plans for the future’ for when this will be addressed.

Navigation, Structure and Sematic

Keyboard navigable

The core navigation (main menus and large buttons on the home page) can be used without the need of a mouse, for example by keyboard, using the tab and arrow keys, or by touch screen devices such as mobile phones, or using a screen reader.

Structural Markup

Semantic markup (HTML headings, lists, emphasised or special text) are used to provide information on relationships and meaning within the pages of the Website.

Alternative text

Most images which convey content information are given alternative text. See ‘What we’re doing to improve accessibility’ below.


The responsive design enables content in the Website to reflow dynamically and remain functional as resized, so that you can focus on a particular section.

Known accessibility problems

Key issues in NU Reflect are:

  • Some parts of NU Reflect have insufficient contrast to meet the WCAG 2 requirements, notably buttons.
  • Some forms are not fully keyboard navigable.
  • Some documentation and help content do not include alternative text.
  • Some images in NU Reflect do not have alternative text and some form controls lack descriptive labels.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Accessibility and inclusivity are important to Newcastle University. All new teaching staff undergo accessibility training as part of the Newcastle Education Practice Scheme. The Learning and Teaching Development Programme has Accessibility in Practice workshops that support academic and professional services staff in how to create accessible and inclusive learning and teaching resources.

Our plans for the future for NU Reflect include:

  • Buttons have insufficient contrast (based on the Bootstrap themes used in the site). We will investigate the use of styling for higher contrast buttons, which pass the WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines.
  • All new content intrinsic to NU Reflect (inline, documents & related support and help information) created from September 2019 will include ALT text for images, structured headings, and ensure text is resizable and has sufficient contrast.
  • By September 2020, all existing help documentation (inline, documents & related support and help information on the LTDS blog/Website) will have been reviewed and updated to support the above (most of it already does).
  • Review all images, to ensure any which provide additional meaning, and ensure alternative-text is in place by September 2020.

Improving your experience – tips and tools

The following are just a small selection of the many tools available for improving your experience of using Websites (not specific to NU Reflect). Some are provided and supported by the University. On the other hand, free browser-plugins may be worth exploring, particularly if you use your own device, though they are not generally covered by IT support. The tools you may find useful will depend on your particular needs and preferences.



JAWS is a specialist screen reader designed for people with visual impairments. It can be installed on specific University PC clusters on request by students and is also available for staff.

In addition, there are general text-to-speech tools which everyone can use. For example:

Selection Reader is a free browser plugin for Chrome.

Reader is a free browser plugin for Firefox.

Resizing text

Modern browsers for phones and PCs have built in zoom features, however, there are additional software and free browser-plugins to help you resize text for more comfortable reading. For example:

Zoomtext (magnifier and reader) is available to students and staff, via NUIT.

Reader View is a free plugin for Chrome which enables text resizing, changing background colours and even hiding adverts.

There is also Windows Magnifier (built into Windows 10) or Zoom (built in to Mac iOS).

Colour Contrast

There are a range of free browser plugins which you may find useful for adjusting contrast. For example:

High Contrast for Chrome

No Squints for Firefox

Content conversion (including to braille)

SensusAccess – lets you convert PDFs, JPEGs and other files into an e-book, text file, audio or braille. Newcastle University currently holds a site licence for this.

ClaroRead Cloud OCR Service - converts image files (eg. jpeg, png, pdf) to accessible, searchable text. The University has access to this and a monthly quota of image conversions.

Voice to text

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is specialist voice recognition software, which is available in the bookable study rooms in the Robinson and Walton Libraries. Contact the Student Wellbeing Service to arrange access.

Voice-In is a free browser plug-in for Chrome for voice typing.

Mind Mapping

Many people find mind mapping and concept mapping to be a useful way of making notes and organising information.

MindView – is a concept mapping program, for which the University has a site licence. MindView is installed on all managed clusters and can be installed onto staff PCs on request.

Speed Reading

Spreed is a fee plug-in for Chrome to support speed reading using Rapid Serial Visual Presentation.

Further Assistance

If you need assistance relating to a specific course requirement then please contact the course leader in the first instance.

If you have any general questions about accessibility relating to this Website – see 'Feedback' below

Getting Specialist Help:

Student Health and Wellbeing Service
Includes details of Disability Support and services available for people with Specific Learning Difficulties.

Other useful information

Specialist software for Students (NUIT)

Specialist software for Staff (NUIT)

Your Feedback

We are keen to hear your feedback and hear about any problems you experience related to accessibility for NU Reflect. Please contact:

Learning and Teaching Development Service (LTDS)

For technical problems:

Please state clearly the details of the problem and the context / particular part of the Website.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The responsive design is primarily achieved using Bootstrap, which has some built-in accessibility features and limitations . Like most modern Websites, NU Reflect uses JavaScript, including JQuery (JavaScript library) for dynamic/interactive features.

How we tested this website

We used a range of tools and guidance including:

For documentation and help content we used:


This document draws inspiration from Alistair McNaught who delivered a series of workshops at Newcastle University in 2019 and aims to follow the ethos of inclusivity and empowerment. The tips and tools are potentially useful for all users.


Accessibility: A brief overview of Bootstrap’s features and limitations for the creation of accessible content. (accessed 20th August 2019)

Alistair McNaught “Inclusive digital practice - teaching and learning” (accessed 20th August 2019)

This statement was last updated on 3rd September 2019