The Cambridge Core Story
James Carr & Julie Elsden | Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is committed to helping readers and academics of all abilities to take fast and easy journeys to content hosted on our platform, Cambridge Core.
Part of this commitment includes making the accessibility statement of the site as discoverable and useful as possible. The aim of this is to ensure our users understand our target level of web accessibility for the platform and the methods used to achieve those targets. The accessibility statement also allows us to acknowledge areas of the platform where accessibility targets have not been met and to outline plans for resolving these problems.
Accessibility...is an area we are extremely passionate about and are continuously finding ways of adapting our processes to protect the accessibility of Cambridge Core.
Improving the accessibility statement
Firstly we compared our existing accessibility statement against the ASPIRE audit questions, combining this with knowledge gained by members of our product development team, who had previously taken part in training about best practice requirements for developing and maintaining accessibility statements, to fully re-structure the documentation.
The changes made after the initial ASPIRE audit helped us improve the Cambridge Core accessibility information so that it is now:
discoverable: we provide accessible links to the statement on all pages of the site
understandable: by removing unnecessary use of technical jargon (but still being specific), the statement can be consumed by users who may not be familiar with the language of digital accessibility
succinct: by using a new simplified heading structure we were able to make the statement significantly shorter meaning users can find key information more quickly
current: a dedicated team now regularly reviews the page to ensure new improvements are displayed
contactable: the contact details for reporting accessibility issues on the site are now easier to find, reducing the effort involved in finding out how to contact us with accessibility related questions
Cambridge Core is extremely invested in digital accessibility and our work in this area extends beyond the ASPIRE project.
We have recently undergone a third-party accessibility audit, involving expert reviews and testing by users with various disabilities. As a result of this, improvements have been made to the user interface of the site.
A cross-functional working group also meets regularly to discuss and take action on improving the accessibility of scholarly content hosted on Cambridge Core. This is a particular challenge for us given that Cambridge University Press is one of the oldest publishers in the world and we therefore have content dating back hundreds of years.
Going forward, we continue to expand our knowledge of accessibility by training our product teams in best practice to ensure inclusive design is central to all new feature development. In short, this is an area we are extremely passionate about and are continuously finding ways of adapting our processes to protect the accessibility of Cambridge Core.