Statement on handicapped accessibility

The University and State Library of Münster (ULB) is committed to improving handicapped accessibility on its websites and mobile applications in compliance with the EU Directive 2016/2102. The following statement documents the status of implementation of handicapped accessible services by the ULB, offered via, in accordance with the Law for Equal Access for Handicapped Persons (BGG) and the Regulations for the Creation of Accessible Information Technology as mandated by the BGG NRW.

Status of regulatory compliance

This website partially complies with the provisions of the Law for Equal Access for Handicapped Persons (BGG), § 12a of the Regulations for the Creation of Accessible Information Technology, and the EU Directive 2016/2102.
The criteria of handicapped accessibility are based on the internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), the conformity level AA and the European standard EN 301 549, version 3.1.1. For PDF documents, the international standard PDF/UA-1 serves as the basis for handicapped accessibility guidelines.

Assessment method: self-evaluation (Art. 3 (1), lit. a), first bullet point of the implementation decision (EU) 2018/1523 of 11 Oct. 2018)
Published: 21 Sep. 2020
Last update: 21 Sep. 2020

Non-accessible content for disabled users

We are constantly working to improve the accessibility of our website. Because of its size and complexity, we ask for patience as we implement further measures. The following non-accessible content can still be found on various pages of our website:

  • Occasionally missing alternatives or alternative texts for images, graphics or navigational tools.
  • Some tables may lack descriptions and table cell allocations.
  • The hierarchy of headings is not always consistent.
  • Links may occasionally be incomprehensible.
  • Audio transcriptions are not yet available for integrated videos.
  • Subtitles are only available for some integrated videos.
  • Integrated documents, such as PDFs, are not always provided in handicapped accessible form.
  • The colour contrast of certain buttons is occasionally insufficient.
  • The website does not offer content in sign language.
  • Words and sentences in other languages are seldom designated as such.
  • The integrated campus map has not yet been supplemented with a text version.
  • The position of the keyboard focus is not always apparent.
  • In some cases, moving content (sliders) cannot be disabled.

Non-handicapped accessible content exempted from legal provisions

The following content is not handicapped accessible as it is explicitly exempted from compliance in accordance with § 4 BITVNRW in conjunction with Art. 1 (4) of the EU Directive 2016/2102:

  • File downloads created before 23 Sep. 2018 which are not required for current legal procedures or active administrative processes
  • Audio/video files posted before 23 Sep. 2020
  • Live audio or video streaming
  • Content and documents created by third parties, as these lie beyond the scope of responsibility of the ULB and are neither financed nor developed by the ULB
  • Intranet areas which have not been extensively modified since 23 Sep. 2019
  • Archival areas which have not been updated since 23 Sep. 2019. These can include old projects which include information for documentation purposes only.

Lack of handicapped accessibility due to disproportionate burden

Audio descriptions are not available for most videos produced prior to 23 September 2020. In accordance with § 10 (4) and (2) of the NRW Law for Equal Access for Handicapped Persons (BGG NRW) and § 4 (2) of the Regulations for the Creation of Accessible Information Technology as mandated by the BGG (BITVNRW) in conjunction with Art. 5 of the EU-Directive 2016/2102, the provision of these videos in a handicapped accessible form has been deemed to be a disproportionate burden as their content is not required for active administrative duties and is available in an alternative handicapped accessible form. Furthermore, the technical effort necessary to create audio descriptions for these is disproportionate to their user frequency as neither the provided media player nor YouTube offers an additional track for audio descriptions.

The videos do not contain exclusive information, and text-based alternatives are available elsewhere on the website of the ULB. You can submit your questions to the online editors of the ULB.
The online editorial team will get back to you within several days with information, e.g. regarding

  • the responsible department or office you should contact for further assistance
  • alternative methods of usage

Handicapped accessible alternatives

If you come across non-handicapped accessible documents, webpages or web applications, please contact the information desk of the ULB Central Library, the Social Sciences Branch Library or the Medical Branch Library. The staff at the information desk would be happy to help if you are unable to use or understand web content for lack of handicapped accessible options. You can receive assistance, for example:

  • in a personal meeting
  • on the phone
  • by email
  • via postal correspondence

The staff of the information desk offers other support services, also in simple language.


If you discover content on our website which does not (fully) comply with the handicapped accessibility requirements, you can inform the online editors of the ULB and request information on content which is exempted from the EU Directive.
In the subject line, please type the keyword "Barrierefreiheit" (handicapped accessibility), and in your message, be sure to include the corresponding URL so that we can locate the content to which you refer. We will work to resolve the matter, either by:

  • fixing the problem
  • notifying the responsible office/department
  • providing information on alternative methods of usage

Enforcement procedures

If you do not receive a satisfactory response to your inquiry on handicapped accessibility within six weeks, you can obtain the services of the Ombuds Office for Accessible Information Technology. The ombuds office is managed by the Representative for the Interests of the Disabled in accordance with § 11 of the NRW Law for Equal Access for Handicapped Persons. If you enlist the services of an ombudsperson, please fill out the corresponding application form and send it via email to the ombuds office.

Ombudsstelle für barrierefreie Informationstechnik des
Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen bei der Landesbeauftragten
für Menschen mit Behinderungen

Fürstenwall 25
40219 Düsseldorf

Further information on using the ULB with a disability

Services for handicapped people