Accessible documents policy

Accessible documents at the Air Accidents Investigation Branch

This policy explains how accessible the documents the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) publishes on GOV.UK are. It primarily concerns PDFs. It does not cover content published on GOV.UK as HTML: the main GOV.UK accessibility statement will cover that.

Using our documents

AAIB publishes documents in a range of formats, predominantly PDFs.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use those documents. For example, when we produce a document we make sure to:

  • provide an HTML option or summary where possible
  • tag headings and other parts of the document properly, so screen readers can understand the page structure
  • include alt text alongside non-decorative images, so people who cannot see them understand what they are there for
  • avoid using tables, except when we are presenting data
  • write in plain English where possible (some technical language is required due to the nature of our investigation reports)

How accessible our documents are

We are working towards making all new documents and those published after 23 September 2018 fully accessible.

Many older documents (published before 23 September 2018) are less accessible. For example, some of them:

  • are photocopies and are not marked up in a way that allows screen reader users to understand them
  • are not fully tagged - for example, they do not contain proper headings
  • are not written in plain English, in part due to the nature of the document

This mostly applies to our investigation reports. These types of documents are exempt from the regulations, so we do not currently have any plans to make them accessible.

If you need to access information in one of these document types, you can contact AAIB’s publications team and ask for an alternative format.

What to do if you cannot use one of our documents

If you need a document we have published in a different format:


Air Accidents Investigation Branch
Farnborough House
Berkshire Copse Road
Aldershot, Hampshire
GU11 2HH
United Kingdom

We will consider the request and get back to you in 7 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with one of our documents

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of our documents. If you find any problems not listed on this page or you think we are not meeting accessibility requirements, contact our publications team.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you are not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about the accessibility of our documents

AAIB is committed to making our documents accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The documents AAIB publishes are not compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. The non-accessible sections are listed below.

Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

Some of our documents are produced by third parties, particularly those published as annexes to our investigation reports. We are not always able to make these fully compliant, for example adding alternative text to images or diagrams. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

Where possible, we will try to fix these. If you want a particular document in an accessible format email the publication team, and we will see if we can help.

Disproportionate burden

There over a thousand historic PDF documents on our website. New publications will be our priority, but we aim to fix any older documents that are relevant and frequently downloaded, as soon as we can.

We do not intend to make every PDF fully accessible. However, if you want a particular document in an accessible format email the publication team, and we will see if we can help.

Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

Many of our older PDFs documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they are accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.10 (section headings).

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they are not essential to providing our services. For example, we currently do not plan to fix:

  • publications related to our investigations published before 23 September 2018

Any new PDFs or other content we publish will meet accessibility standards where possible.

How we tested our documents

We last tested a sample of our documents on 23 September 2019.

We tested:

  • A cross section of PDFs

What we are doing to improve accessibility

AAIB staff are currently undergoing relevant training and procedures will be put in place to ensure that all new documents we produce are accessible.

We are reviewing content published after 23 September 2018 to make them more accessible to people using screen readers.

We will review content published before 23 September 2018 depending on relevance, frequency of use or if requested to do so.

This page was prepared on 21 September 2019. It was last updated on 24 September 2019.