Accessible documents policy

This accessibility statement applies to documents published by the Animals in Science Committee.

Using our documents

The Home Office Science Secretariat publishes content in a range of formats, including: PDF, Word, Excel, and plain text webpages.

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

  • tag headings and other parts of the document properly, so screen readers can understand the page structure
  • make sure we include alternative text alongside non-decorative images, so people who can’t see them can understand what they’re there for and, in the case where the image presents information, where it has come from
  • avoid using tables, except when it is the best way of presenting information
  • use plain English whenever possible, though it should be recognised that we publish scientific documents

How accessible our documents are

New documents should be fully accessible.

We know that some of our older documents (published before 23 September 2018) are not accessible. For example, some of them:

  • are photocopies or in a print format and aren’t marked up in a way that allows screen reader users to easily understand them
  • aren’t tagged consistently

Whilst we will amend documents published after 23 September 2018, we do not intend to amend documents published before this date. However, if you need to access information in them, you can contact us and request an alternative format.

What to do if you can’t use one of our documents

If you need a document we have published in a different format, please contact us by email, post or through the Home Office’s central phonelines who will forward your query onto us:

Email: asc.secretariat@homeoffice.gov.uk

Telephone: 020 7035 4848

Textphone: 020 7035 4742 for Deaf and hard of hearing people

Post:

ASC Secretariat
Home Office Science Secretariat
14th Floor, Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road
Croydon, CR9 2BY

As part of providing information in another way we may need to send you messages or documents. Please tell us how you would like us to send this information, such as in a different format, for example large print, audio recording or braille.

Reporting accessibility problems with one of our documents

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our documents. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page, or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact us by email, post or through the Home Office’s central phonelines who will forward your query onto us:

Email: asc.secretariat@homeoffice.gov.uk

Telephone: 020 7035 4848

Textphone: 020 7035 4742 for Deaf and hard of hearing people

Post:

ASC Secretariat
Home Office Science Secretariat
14th Floor, Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road
Croydon, CR9 2BY

Enforcement procedure

In England, Wales and Scotland, 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’re not happy with how we respond to your query or complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

In Northern Ireland, the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your query or complaint, contact the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

Technical information about the accessibility of our documents

The Home Office Science Secretariat is committed to making their documents accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The documents that we publish are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non accessible content

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

Noncompliance with the accessibility regulations

Some of our documents are not properly tagged, or do not use accessible headings or structures. This means that they do not meet the success criteria for navigation set out in standard 2.4.6 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA.

We plan to add descriptive headings and labels in all documents published after 23 September 2018 by September 2020. We will be prioritising the documents that are most frequently read.

When we publish new documents we’ll make sure our use of tagging, headings and content structures meets accessibility standards.

Some of our documents include diagrams and other visual elements presented without a text alternative. This means that they do not meet the success criteria for perception set out in standard 1.1.1 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA.

We plan to add text alternatives to visual elements in those documents published after 23 September 2018 that fail to meet the accessibility guidelines by September 2020. When we publish new documents we will ensure our use of diagrams and other visual elements meet accessibility standards.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

Some of our documents may have been produced in a print format before 23 September 2018. It is possible that this type of document cannot be read by screen readers and other forms of assistive technology, so it fails to meet the success criteria for perception set out in standard 1.1.1 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA.

Some of our documents produced before 23 September 2018 are not properly tagged, or do not use accessible headings or structures. This means that they do not meet the success criteria for navigation set out in standard 2.4.6 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA.

The accessibility regulations do not require the amendment of PDFs, or other documents published before 23 September 2018, if they are not essential to providing our services. As such we do not intend to amend:

  • non-statutory guidance that doesn’t relate to the provision of a service
  • consultation responses
  • policy papers
  • independent reports
  • corporate reports
  • correspondence
  • research and statistics
  • transparency data
  • Freedom of Information releases

Any new PDFs or Word documents that we publish will meet accessibility standards.

You can request details of any information excluded from the scope of the Regulations by contacting us by email, post or through Home Office’s central phonelines who will forward your query onto us:

Email: asc.secretariat@homeoffice.gov.uk

Telephone: 020 7035 4848

Textphone: 020 7035 4742 for Deaf and hard of hearing people

Post:

ASC Secretariat
Home Office Science Secretariat
14th Floor, Lunar House
40 Wellesley Road
Croydon, CR9 2BY

How we tested our documents

We last tested a sample of our documents in November 2019. The test was carried out by the Home Office GOV.UK Content Team.

We tested:

  • 10% of PDF documents published after September 2019
  • Any forms which have had more than 100 unique page views in the past year

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

The Science Secretariat are improving accessibility by carrying out accessibility checks on all new documents.

We are also training our staff to create accessible documents.