Accessibility statement

Disproportionate burden assessment: Interactive chat tool

As part of our accessibility assessment process we have conducted a disproportionate burden assessment for Live Chat on the university website. This page outlines the outcome and next steps.

The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications)(No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 require public sector bodies, subject to various exemptions and conditions, to:

  1. Make public sector websites and mobile applications accessible.
  2. Provide an accessibility statement.

The accessibility regulations state that a public sector body does not need to meet the accessibility requirement if this would put a disproportionate burden on them, provided that a disproportionate burden assessment is undertaken. This disproportionate burden assessment relates to accessibility issues identified in our interactive chat tool, which is present on a number of website pages.

The interactive chat tool is provided via a third party javascript widget, which is provided by a third party solutions company called LiveChat. This is 'skinned' to look like our website.

The current interactive chat tool does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA standard for the following reason:

WCAG 1.4.10 Reflow

When the screen is at 400% zoom, the chat box covers multiple content which is not visible for the users as the user scrolls through.


The current interactive chat tool was contracted prior to September 23rd 2020, before the university's obligations under the Act changed. As it is provided by a third part under contract, the university does not have direct access to the design or codebase, which would be necessary to update the interactive chat tool to meet current obligations.


The current interactive chat tool provides chat services that are an integrated part of the university's prospect and recruitment process. This includes safe and secure two-way conversations between prospective and current students with the university, and tracking and monitoring thereof. The tool and the services it provides cannot be replicated or replaced outside of a contracting cycle for the purchased system, or without recoding on the part of the system provider.

Mitigation and next steps

The university commits to:

  • Review text information (currently displayed as a 'bubble' when the chat tool opens) to reduce its impact during reflow. This review is underway. If text changes are deemed possible they will be implemented by September 2023.
  • Review the contract and/or provider's obligation to provide a fully compliant interactive chat tool. This will ensure that no reflow issues exist on the system's update or replacement. This action will be completed by April 2024.