Platform accessibility

We recognise the importance of our products being accessible to all. Delivering an accessible user experience is one of AM’s core responsibilities.

We are committed to improving and maintaining the quality of our products in line with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

Industry standards

We strive to ensure that our platforms and content conform to the regulations outlined in the WCAG, with a focus on the WCAG2.1 AA standard. As a digital publisher with a catalogue stretching back 30 years, we continually re-evaluate historical design decisions to bring our products in line with modern expectations. This results in an ongoing schedule of improvements, and our progress in delivering these to industry standards is documented via VPATs and accessibility statements for each of our platforms.

We believe in delivering to WCAG2.1 AA standards and providing VPATs, we also speak to website requirements for Section 508.

Delivering accessible platforms

We appreciate that compliance is just one step in delivering an accessible user experience, and commit to engaging with library, archive and education communities to ensure that our products can be used in practice by those with a wide range of different user needs.

Web coding standards
We build new platform developments with accessibility in mind. Accessibility is a standard non-functional requirement for our software delivery teams and regular audits and testing take place to ensure our quality standards remain high. The accessible elements our software engineers apply include:

  1. Robust, parsed code.
  2. Highlight and focus states for interactive elements.
  3. Appropriate Aria labels
  4. Practical keyboard controls and shortcuts.

Design and styling
Our award-winning products have always had an excellent reputation for innovative, attractive designs and user experience. We understand that these designs must be produced within the parameters that fulfil accessibility requirements, such as:

  1. Utilising responsive design for mobile and tablet use.
  2. Offering the ability to zoom.
  3. Appropriate use of colour contrasts.
  4. Provision of an additional high contrast option.
  5. Structured content layout with appropriate use of headings.
  6. Ability to pause and adjust speed of image transitions.

In addition, for our Quartex platform customers, we provide tools and guidance to help make accessible design choices for their websites.

Enhancing content
To ensure that archival materials are fully web accessible, they often require digital enhancements or additional material to be created. Our Editorial teams are committed to providing basic additions such as Alt Text for image content, and ensure digitised materials can be read by screen-readers by creating:

  1. OCR transcripts for printed content.
  2. HTR transcripts for manuscript content.
  3. Synchronised transcripts and closed captions for video content.

We are constantly reviewing our backlist publications, with a view to adding transcript content where it was not originally created. 

Equivalent tools are available for customers of our Quartex platform, enabling libraries and archives to enhance their own materials to attain their own accessibility goals.

Validation and documentation
AM products and services are delivered via three platforms, and we have VPATs and Accessibility statements for each. These documents, available to download, also outline areas that need to be improved.

Customers of our Quartex platform can use the Quartex VPAT and accessibility statements as a guide to platform capabilities.

A small minority of products remaining on our Framework platform are being migrated to our latest Quartex platform throughout 2022 and accessibility improvements for these sites will be delivered via this migration.

Seeking feedback

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of our platforms and would like to engage with users and customers who have feedback or would like to discuss accessibility.