Accessibility Statement

The Start platform, accessed at, is a website run by U-Explore Ltd.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website.

For example, that means you should be able to:

  • Choose the Dyslexic mode in the footer to help you read the text using a font which is intended to help with common symptoms of dyslexia.
  • Zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • Navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • Navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • Listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recentversions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand. The platform is mainly used by learners in secondary and further education, and therefore the content is written for users in school year 7 (aged 11) and upwards to be able to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

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

  • Our video case studies, and other video contributions from employers do not currently have captions available
  • Some graphic illustrations and infographics do not currently have a full text alternative
  • Maps in our Where to Learn section disappear when you zoom in beyond 175%
  • The markup on some of our older pages may require users of screen readers to navigate through initial sections in order to access the main content
  • Some images are missing alternative text for screen readers
  • You cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • Occasional linked PDF documents may not be fully accessible to screen reader software

What to do if you cannot access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format you should email us at with the subject ‘Accessibility’ and some detail about your requirements. We will consider your request and get back to you within 7 days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, then please contact us via, with the subject ‘Accessibility’ and providing as much detail as you can about how you believe Start could improve your experience.

Enforcement 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).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

U-Explore is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below with regard to previously developed functionality. We are ensuring that all new functionality meets this standard.

Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons:

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

We are planning to address these issues by September 2020 following the implementation of some UX improvements across the platform.

Non-text Context
Some images do not currently have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access a description of the image content, such as for employer logos and the supporting image for a job bank entry. This would fail WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

Some choices of background colour for panels and link colours on older pages where links sit on darker backgrounds do not fully meet the expectations of contrast in WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3.

Images of Text
Some graphic illustrations and infographics are used for which there is no text alternative available currently. While these graphics feature purposely large and therefore accessibly readable text for most users, this would fail WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.5. This is, however, noted and will be revisited as part of the ongoing UX review.

While our site is generally responsive to different orientations and screen sizes, to cover tablets and phone size devices, two list pages are known to involve some scrolling in two dimensions for users on smaller screens; the Employer Programmes list (which is a teacher-specific tool) and Local Employers list which only shows to users where we have regionalised content for a specific area. These issues would fail WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10.

Text Spacing
Current line height for article page content is 1.42 and does not technically meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.12 which stipulates “at least 1.5 times the font size”. There would be some impacts to the current layout of certain pages on making this change, and so it will be addressed within the planned UX improvements across the platform.

Navigation and accessing information
The markup on some of our pages could be improved to allow screen readers to ‘skip to main content’ easier, which would fail WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks).

Disproportionate burden

Pre-recorded Video
Our site contains a library of historic pre-recorded video content, for which there is neither an alternative caption available or an audio description available currently. These points would fail WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.1 and 1.2.5 respectively.

There is currently no timeframe to address this as we are in the process of reviewing all content on the platform. This review will include all video content, which may be further edited, compiled with other content, replaced or, in some cases, potentially omitted. It would be a disproportionate burden to address this matter before this review of video content has been concluded. We anticipate this to be reassessed in the summer of 2020.

Maps currently disappear when a zoom level beyond 175% is used because they are purposely hidden from smaller phone-size devices where the functionality is restricted on a small screen and the browsing for local education providers or opportunities is alternatively handled by text results.

This is a disproportionate burden to address immediately but will be reviewed following our UX review, which we intend will also improve this area of functionality.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents
Occasionally our articles can link to a supporting PDF authored by our own team, or more often a third party. These documents do not meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2.

These are supportive references and are not essential to understanding the core content on the page, and we will assess if accessible HTML pages are a viable alternative. Public Sector website accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they are not essential to providing our services but any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 16th September 2019.

The test was carried out internally by our technical team, using the core pages and sections which are available from our top navigation, and a sample of job bank, employer and article pages. These samples allowed us to test and review pages where there the structure and technical delivery is constant, but the content being presented will vary.

We tested the Start platform which is accessed at by logging in with at with a registered account, and also our Guest Access version at which presents non user-specific content without requiring a login.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are ensuring that accessibility is reviewed and improved as part of our current UX review which will make typical user journeys clearer and easier for our users, with the intention to implement these by the start of the next academic year in September 2020.

Certain improvements will be rolled out prior to this date, as part of our release cycles which are generally timed with school term breaks so as to avoid any disruption to our user base. We update and notify contacts at registered schools of changes to the platform.

This statement was prepared on 17th September 2019.