Churchill Archive Platform - Accessibility

Does the Bloomsbury Publishing Platform meet accessibility standards?

Bloomsbury Digital Resources is committed to ensuring equal access for all users of our resources, regardless of technology or ability. For all our resources, we aim for compliance with Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 ( You can read more about our commitment to accessible digital resources, as well as the measures by which our sites have been tested to ensure compliance with WCAG standards, on our General BDR Accessibility Statement.

Our sites are all built using code compliant with W3C standards for HTML and CSS. The site displays correctly in current browsers and using standards-compliant HTML/CSS code means that any future browsers should also display it correctly. Where possible content is displayed as HTML full text which can easily be resized or read with assistive technology, with mark-up that allows screen readers and keyboard-only users to navigate easily and intuitively.

We're working hard to achieve our goal of Level AA accessibility, but our testing has identified a small number of areas that still need improving, and these are listed below under 'Areas for Further Improvement' within each section. We have updated this statement with recently implement fixes listed under the 'Areas of Recent Improvement' within each section, and will continue to do so as more are rolled out.

Can I resize the text to make it easier to read?

Yes, most text content is presented as HTML so it is resizable and reflowable. The site has been tested with 200% browser zoom to ensure that text still renders correctly and legibly, without losing any of the site's functionality or navigation.

Archive documents are presented as facsimile images that are viewed in an image browser. This allows zooming, scanning and full screen view for ease of reading.

Can I navigate the site using the keyboard only?

Yes, the site has been tested thoroughly to assess how sight-impaired or mobility-impaired users would access the content, and most of the site's functionality is fully accessible via keyboard. The focus order moves correctly in most cases, and there are no 'keyboard traps' in the site.

Following the recent migration of the Churchill Archive product to the Bloomsbury Publishing Platform, the following issues identified on the previous site version have been rectified:

Areas of recent improvement:

  • A ‘Skip to Main Content’ link is now available on all image viewer, catalogue, and search results pages.
  • Keyboard-only users can now expand/collapse the post-search filters, as well as access further details about catalogue entries using the expand/collapse icons.
  • Keyboard-only users can now expand/collapse the Accordion links on the Explore By pages
  • Keyboard focus is now visible on 'Search' and 'Go' buttons.
  • All elements on the homepage, as well as other About or information pages, can now be navigated using keyboard tabs only.
  • Tab focus is now accessible on filter links under the Filter and Sort heading on Search results page.
  • Keyboard focus is now visible in the 'Explore By' and 'Browse Contents' navigation menus.
  • Modal windows such as 'Share', 'Cite', or 'Subscription Required' can now be closed using keyboard navigation only.

Areas for further improvement:

  • Users are currently unable to select thumbnail images from the slider element underneath the main image viewer using keyboard navigation only.

Does the site support screen readers?

Yes, the site has been manually tested throughout using JAWS 18, NVDA 2018, Apple VoiceOver and Android Talkback.

On main content pages such as book chapters, all content is correctly tagged to allow screen reader users to navigate the content and understand its structure. Screen reader users are able to follow text in the correct reading order throughout.

Areas of recent improvement:

  • Automatic error notifications are now provided upon inputting invalid entries in forms, including incorrect logins, zero search results, and exceeding character limits.
  • All mandatory form fields are now identified as such for screen reader users.
  • Screen readers no longer read all carousel slides on page without selecting them on Homepage.
  • Screen readers now read the ‘close’ buttons on modal windows such as Download, Share, and Cite.
  • Screen readers now shift focus to the popups/modal windows when selecting Download, Share, Print and Citation widgets on Image Browserv and Catalogue pages.
  • Appropriate element tags have been applied to all interactive features on search and advanced search pages.
  • Navigation bar links are now correctly tagged as headings for screen reader users.
  • Appropriate text labels have been added to form fields and drop down menus on the Advanced Search, Login, Contact Us, and Personal Account Sign Up pages, as well as other search and navigation fields across the platform.

Areas for further improvement:

  • The primary content of the Churchill Archive is facsimile images of historical documents, primarily typewritten or handwritten text. There is detailed cataloguing information provided, including text descriptions and quotations from the documents, but only a small minority of the images have full transcripts. Screen reader users and can therefore not access the full information included in the images, and other visually impaired users may have difficulty accessing the content.

Do the images include alt text and descriptions?

The historical documents in Churchill Archive are accompanied by textual descriptions, often including quotations from the documents, and a small minority of the images have full transcripts. Most images featured elsewhere in the site have alternative text.

Areas of recent improvement:

  • Supporting images such as the hompage carousel, the logo in the site header, and the graphical links on the Collection Highlights page, now support appropriate alt text.

Areas for further improvement:

  • As above, the images of documents in the Digital Archive view do not contain meaningful alt text, so this content is not accessible to vision-impaired users.
  • Some alternative text for image links is inappropriate or unnecessary (e.g. 'Login Icon', 'Header Logo').

Has the site been tested for color contrast and color-blindness?

To ensure accessibility for low-vision or colorblind users, we aim to ensure that the color contrast ratio for all interactive elements meets the WCAG standard minimum of 4.5:1. We also aim never to use color as the only source of information: whenever color is used to convey meaning this is also conveyed using text equivalents and HTML tags.

Areas of recent improvement to meet this standard include color changes throughout the sites to the 'Back to top' link, the 'Search' icon in main navigation bars, and the expand/collapse icons. In addition:

  • Validation errors on form pages are now notified via a screen reader, rather than relying on colour only.
  • Headings on the Teaching and Research now meet the standard ratio of 4.5:1.
  • Icons and logos no longer disappear in high contrast mode.

How do I contact Bloomsbury to get further help with accessibility?

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you require assistance, or have any queries or feedback relating to accessibility, via the email address Alternatively, use the Contact Us form, and select 'Access or Technical Problem' from the Inquiry drop-down.

If required, we will be happy to provide a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) which gives further details of this site's compliance with both the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act.