This accessibility statement applies to the ETH Zurich website (www.ethz.ch), including all sites in the official content management system (CMS). The statement is linked in the footer wherever it is valid.
Accessibility statement for the ETH Zurich website
The ETH Zurich website should be as accessible as possible for everyone. In the sections below, ETH Zurich provides a transparent overview of what is already accessible, where there are still obstacles, and which content cannot be made accessible and why.
The Corporate Communications and IT Services departments provide the infrastructure and the CMS for the ETH Zurich website. The parties responsible for the content are listed in the publishing information. These efforts generally apply to all ETH Zurich websites.
The ETH Zurich website is designed to be used by as many people as possible. They should be able to do the following things (not an exhaustive list):
Zoom to 400% without any problems.
Increase spacing between lines, words, letters and paragraphs without limiting usability.
Navigate without a mouse or other pointing device (by keyboard only). Keyboard selection should be easily visible, and the sequence of keyboard navigation should be logical.
Circumvent or skip over sections (e.g., navigation, header) with a keyboard. See a visual display of jump links while doing so.
Be able to navigate using voice recognition.
Be able to navigate using high contrast mode.
Be conveyed information that is understandable irrespective of colour vision deficiency and without being disturbed by flashing elements.
Be able to recognise clear, meaningful titles on each website that describe the topic/content as well as the owner.
Be able to access most content in at least two of three ways (navigation, search, site map).
Be able to recognise information in breadcrumb lists by non-visual means.
Be able to identify and navigate webpage sections (e.g., header, navigation, footer) by non-visual means.
Read most of the website using a screen reader (including the latest versions of JAWS, NVDA, VoiceOver and TalkBack).
Operate most of the website on a smartphone regardless of screen orientation (vertical or horizontal).
Be able to identify the names, roles and status of most widgets and components on the site in an accessible way.
Measures to promote accessibility
ETH Zurich takes the following measures to ensure the accessibility of its website:
Codifying accessibility in our mission statement
Having a centralised content management system and monitoring tool, both of which ensure the highest level of accessibility when taken together
Checking all technical upgrades for accessibility before implementation
Ongoing training of staff on the topic of accessibility
Setting clear targets and assigning clear ownership of accessibility issues
In accordance with Art. 10 para. 1 of the Behindertengleichstellungsverordnung (Disability Discrimination Ordinance), ETH Zurich uses the following national and international accessibility standards as a guide:
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) set out requirements for designers, developers, content editors, etc. in order to improve access to digital content for people with disabilities. There are three levels of conformance in the WCAG: levels A, AA and AAA.
The eCH-0059 Swiss accessibility standard makes reference to the WCAG and in some areas goes beyond it (e.g., making content available in sign language and Easy Language).
The ETH Zurich website partially fulfils the aforementioned standards. Partial conformance means that some sections are not fully compatible with the accessibility standard that the university strives for.
Limitations and alternatives
Despite our efforts to ensure accessibility to the ETH website, there may be some limitations. Below you will find a description of the limitations that we are already aware of along with possible solutions. Please contact us if you encounter an issue that is not listed here.
Known limitations on the website
The room information on the website does not comply with accessibility standards. The system is based on a visual depiction of the premises and contains a multitude of in-house floor plans. Assistive technologies may not be able to grant users access to the information conveyed in these images. WCAG success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content) is not met in this instance.
Alternative: We offer phone and email advice to people with visual impairments who need information about the availability or equipment status of the rooms at ETH. We can also manually make bookings on their behalf (by phone or email). Give us a call: Room Request, telephone: +41 44 632 20 69, or send us an email to .
Illustration of research priorities
There are graphics with complex content integrated into news announcements and on pages that focus on research topics. We make an effort to make this complex content part of the accompanying text as precisely as possible. Alternative text may potentially not do justice to the complexity of the content.
On some pages the graphics do not always have appropriate alternative text. Assistive technologies may not be able to grant users access to the information conveyed in these images. WCAG success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content) is not met in these instances.
Some headline structures are not consistent, e.g., some headline content is not formatted as such. This makes it difficult for users of screen readers to navigate the website. WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships) is not met in these instances.
Automatic hyphenation is the default setting on the ETH Zurich website. This causes screen readers to have unusual pronunciation in parts. Solution: In the jump links, there is a screen reader “reading mode” available as the first option. If this setting is activated, a version of the text without hyphenation will be read aloud, retaining the usual pronunciation of the words.
Some tables only have column headlines, even though row headlines would also be necessary (or vice versa). Sometimes they contain empty cells. This means that assistive technologies cannot read the tables correctly (linearisation). WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships) is not met in these instances.
Additional limitations on the website
The content listed below does not meet the desired level of conformance; the ETH Zurich website is not completely accessible in all parts. For example,
there are virtually no videos with audio descriptions,
there is virtually no content available in sign language,
there is no content in Plain English or Easy English,
some buttons are not properly identifiable,
some forms have error messages that are not informative and not linked to the field in question,
there are some animated graphics that cannot be hidden, paused or stopped,
there are some graphics and other content that do not have sufficient levels of contrast. The WCAG success criteria 1.4.3 (contrast (minimum)) and 1.4.11 (non-text contrast) are not met in these instances.
some third-party components integrated into the website do not offer accessible navigation, e.g., the podcast components,
many documents available in PDF format and other non-HTML formats are not accessible, for instance, because they have not been structured properly and lack sufficient metadata.
on some pages, standard language is not used, and sometimes more than one language is used per page (German and English). This means that the screen reader cannot read out the content properly. WCAG success criterion 3.1.2 (language of parts) is not met in these instances.
some pages cannot be found via several means of navigation (e.g., search and menus). WCAG success criterion 2.4.5 (multiple ways) is not met in these instances.
Each academic and administrative department publishes their own content on ethz.ch and is responsible for ensuring that accessibility criteria are met. We will update this statement once these issues are addressed.
Ongoing optimisation efforts
ETH Zurich is working to improve the accessibility of its website on an ongoing basis. The following measures support this goal:
Content is regularly reviewed with the help of a monitoring tool. This tool flags the kind of accessibility barriers that can be checked automatically. Whoever publishes information on ethz.ch – either departments or contracted third parties – is responsible for ensuring that their content is in accordance with the accessibility guidelines. For this reason, we are prioritising internal awareness raising, putting out clear guidelines and offering courses and training.
Images and text with insufficient contrast are being improved. The ETH Zurich corporate colours comply with the WCAG guidelines. If they are used correctly, there will be no issues with poor contrast.
Images and graphics are being regularly tagged with informative alt text.
Incorrectly structured content (text, lists, tables) is checked on an ongoing basis with the assistance of the aforementioned monitoring tool.
All content that is relevant to studying and working at ETH Zurich is prioritised.
Some content and documents on the ETH Zurich website will not be made accessible:
Maps are an exception to the guidelines for images and graphics (according to eCH-0059). However, we will make an effort to offer alternative information wherever possible (for instance, how to get to a certain place at ETH).
Scientific texts, research findings and information about studying, working or completing a doctorate at ETH Zurich will not be offered in Plain English, Easy English or sign language. A disproportionate amount of effort would be required to do so.
Previously published PDF documents will not be made accessible. A disproportionate amount of effort would be required to correct this.
Previously published videos will not be subtitled or given an audio description. A disproportionate amount of effort would be required to correct this.
We would be happy to receive feedback regarding the accessibility of the ETH Zurich website. Please let us know if you encounter any obstacles when using our site. Please include the following information:
the web address (URL) of the content and
your contact information (email and name).
You can get in touch with us in one of the following ways:
We will try to respond to any feedback within one week.
The accessibility of the website is dependent on the technologies listed below in combination with the web browser, assistive technologies and/or plugins installed on the end user’s computer:
These technologies have been chosen due to their conformance with our accessibility standards.
ETH Zurich evaluates the accessibility of its website using the following methods:
Self-evaluation: We have hired specialists who regularly assess the accessibility of web content (both new and previously published) and make suggestions for improvement.
External evaluation: external pageAccess for Allcall_made periodically reviews ETH’s website and most commonly used applications in terms of their accessibility. ETH Zurich aims to remove any barriers that are identified.
Formal approval of this Accessibility Statement
This statement has been approved by: ETH Zurich, Corporate Communications, Accessibility Office.