Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer
University of the Arts London

Accessibility Statement

Our commitment and legal obligations

We commit to ensuring the communications we produce are clear and accessible to the widest range of people.

We recognise our obligations under The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 and the Equality Act 2010.

Spark Journal and Open Journal Systems

Spark: UAL Creative Teaching and Learning Journal is the University of the Arts London’s pedagogic research journal platform.

Spark Journal uses Open Journal Systems (OJS), an open source platform released under the GPL v2 license. OJS is developed and maintained by the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), a multi-university initiative.

The OJS version currently installed in Spark Journal is version 2.x which was originally released in 2005. While a newer, more standards compliant version of OJS now exists, this statement will address the accessibility issues of the current website.

Web standards and technologies

This website uses HTML 5 (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to render content. We have also used other technologies including JavaScript on certain areas of the website.

We have customised the original OJS XHTML/CSS so that the site works on the widest number of devices and web browsers as possible. We’re working hard to make the website conform to level AA of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1). We recognise we have more work to do to achieve this.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Known limitations

We have tried to adhere to the WCAG 2.1 guidelines in developing this site but there remain a number of outstanding issues including but not limited to those listed below:

Reading articles
  • In an issue’s Table of Contents, links to the HTML and PDF versions of a journal article may be ambiguous for screen reader users as the destination is implied by the context in which the link appears.
Submitting / Editing articles
  • • Most form controls have no accompanying labels. Screen reader users may have significant difficulty in identifying input fields.
  • The order of headings is not always semantically correct i.e. they jump levels.
  • Some links (e.g. Mail) may be considered ambiguous for screen reader users as the destination is implied by the context in which the link appears.
  • There are some select dropdowns that when changed, reload sections of the page. This can cause orientation issues for screen reader users.
  • Layout tables have been used in some sections which can introduce reading and navigation order issues.
  • Some text is sized 10 pixels or smaller making it difficult to read.

We are working to meet the compliance as specified in The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 by the September 2020 deadline.

How we tested this website

At the time of writing this accessibility statement, Spark Journal has not been independently tested for accessibility.

Accessibility information included in this statement has been drawn from ad hoc testing of the Spark Journal website using the following evaluation tools:

  • Axe 4.4.1 browser extension on Firefox (macOS)
  • WAVE 3.0.5 browser extension for Chrome (macOS)
  • NVDA screen reader on Firefox (Windows 10)

Contact us

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, please contact us.

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

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille you should email and we will pass your request onto the relevant team.

Issues and complaints

To report an issue or to make a complaint, please also contact Your message will be forwarded to the relevant team who will get back to you as soon as possible. We aim to provide you with an initial response within 2 working days and will provide clear information about how we will deal with your enquiry.

If you feel we have not answered your complaint satisfactorily, please contact us again at We will escalate your complaint to David White, Head of Digital Learning, who will work with the team who provides the service/content to get you a response.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Accessibility Regulations. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

This statement was last edited on 5 May 2020