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We want everyone who visits Cambridge Core to feel welcome and find the experience rewarding.

What are we doing?

We are continually working to make Cambridge Core as accessible and usable as possible. To help us make it a positive place for everyone, we've been using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities, and user friendly for everyone.

The guidelines have three levels of accessibility (A, AA and AAA). The target for Cambridge Core is level AA.

Available functionality

The following is a summary of currently available functionality:

Page structure
  • Unique, descriptive page titles are present on every page
  • Logical heading structure is used – all pages have unique <h1> followed by descriptive <h2> and so on *
  • Lists are used where possible (e.g. navigation)
  • Tables are used for tabular data only, <th> tags used for header rows and header columns
  • The reading and navigation order is logical and intuitive
  • Instructions do not rely on shape, size, colour, sound, etc.
  • Skip to content link(s) are present
  • Text is re-sizable without loss of content (text reflows)

Colour contrast
  • Colour alone is not used to convey content (e.g. colour coding)
  • Colour contrast ratio (foreground vs. background) is at least 4.5:1

  • All images have a valid alt attribute (decorative images have alt value of null)
  • Linked images have an alt attribute that describes the destination page
  • Button images have an alt attribute that describes the function of the button

Audio and video
  • Subtitles and transcript/descriptive text is provided for audio/video *
  • Audio description is provided for video *
  • Audio can be stopped, paused and muted
  • All controls are accessible via keyboard*

Moving Content
  • The user can switch off any time-limits
  • Automatically moving, scrolling or updating content can be paused, stopped or hidden by the user
  • No content flashes more than 3 times per second

  • Buttons have descriptive values
  • All form fields have associated text labels
  • Related form elements are grouped with field set/legend
  • All form labels are unique and informative
  • The form label provides instructions e.g. if required, minimum length, etc.
  • Form error/validation messages are clear and intuitive, providing instructions and suggestions

  • Link text is unique and makes sense out of context
  • Multiple ways to navigate through the site - navigation, sitemap, crumb trail, search, etc.
  • Links are distinguished from surrounding text - e.g. underlined, bold, etc. 
  • Highlighted state of links - active, hover, focus

Keyboard access
  • All functionality is available via keyboard - e.g. forms, tabbing through the links, etc.
  • Access keys / keyboard shortcuts are better avoided (due to compatibility issues)
  • Keyboard focus is never locked or trapped
  • It is visually apparent which element has the current keyboard focus (dropdowns open) *

  • No unexpected changes to the page, e.g. on focus or interactions or auto-updates 
  • Consistent elements throughout sites, e.g. navigation, search boxes, general layout etc.

  • Lang attribute is set, e.g. <html lang="en">
  • Page content in a different language is identified, e.g. <blockquote lang="es"> *
  • Significant HTML validation/parsing errors are avoided
  • Mark-up facilitates accessibility including HTML specifications and using forms, form labels, frame titles, etc. appropriately. Use of WAI-ARIA for dynamic content changes, roles and keyboard access

*currently under review

Known issues

  • Older archive content reproduced from original printed sources is presented in the form of scanned PDFs with accompanying background text, produced using OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
  • HTML content tables are generally presented as images
  • HTML content images don’t include alt tags but most include adjacent description
  • Synchronized captions are present for some videos. No audio descriptions are present

Requests for the Reading Impaired

Cambridge University Press now publishes the majority of its new titles, and many older titles, in accessible ebook formats either for individual purchase or on platforms suitable for institutions. Where a work is unavailable for purchase in a suitable format, we welcome enquiries from both individuals and institutions to provide one. More information and the Accessibility Request Form can be found here.

Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) is a document which evaluates how accessible a particular product is according to the Section 508 Standards in the US. It is a self-disclosing document produced by the vendor which details each aspect of WCAG 2.0/Section 508 requirements and how the product supports each criteria.
Download VPAT for Cambridge Core (MS doc)

Using Cambridge Core


Content areas of Cambridge Core use in-page text zoom function (Aa, Aa). For the rest of the site CTRL + can be used to magnify the text. The text will reflow to fit the page. In-built browser zoom function can also be used (-  100%  +).

Text and background colours

In-built browser functions can be used to adjust both text and background colours. Different browsers include these options under different menus – they can usually be found under Tools, Settings, Options, Content or Reading View depending on the browser.
Browser plugins (e.g. Theme Font & Size Changer for FireFox) or third party tools (e.g. ATbar) can also be helpful.

Text to speech

Text to speech has been tested on Cambridge Core with a range of browser plugins and third party tools, e.g. ClaroRead for Chrome browser. Selected text will be read out by clicking the play button. Various settings (e.g. speed of reading, voice, accent, etc.) can easily be adjusted.

PDF downloads

To view or download content in PDF format you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which may be downloaded from the Adobe website.

Compatible tools

We have tested our platform with the following assistive technology tools:

  • Keyboard only
  • NVDA Screen reader
  • JAWS
  • VoiceOver
  • Adobe Read Out Loud
  • Various Text-to-speech software

Browser support

Cambridge Core has been cross-platform and cross-browser tested. It is optimised for modern browsers including Microsoft Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Google Chrome. Older browsers may offer limited functionality.

Mobile device support

Cambridge Core is responsive, it re-organises itself depending on the screen size and orientation of the device being used to view it. We test the experience on various devices including most popular IOS, Android and MS Windows phones and tablets.


Cambridge University Press have engaged with the RNIB Bookshare collections (formerly Load2Learn) by donating digital files to the collection which ensures that accessible content reaches print disabled learners as fast as possible.

We have also recently taken part in The e-book accessibility audit, a joint project between several UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) disability and library services, Jisc and representatives from the book supply industry. The audit supports an inclusive approach by seeking to introduce a benchmark for accessibility in e-book platforms.  The focus is on key areas of practical user experience to measure basic accessibility functionality and guide targeted platform improvement.

Let us know what you think

If you enjoyed using Cambridge Core, or if you had trouble with any part of it, please get in touch. We'd like to hear from you in any of the following ways: