This policy explains how accessible the documents Cefas publishes on GOV.UK are. It covers PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations and other types of document. It does not cover content published on GOV.UK as HTML: the main GOV.UK accessibility statement will cover that.
Using our documents
Cefas publishes documents in a range of formats, including:
ODT (OpenDocument Text)
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 where possible
tag headings and other parts of the document properly, so screen readers can understand the page structure
make sure we include alt text alongside non-decorative images, so people who cannot see them understand what they’re there for
avoid using tables, except when we’re presenting data
write in plain English
How accessible our documents are
New documents we publish and documents you need to download or fill in to access one of the services we provide should be fully accessible.
However, we know that some of our older documents (published before 23 September 2018) are not accessible. For example, some of them:
are not tagged up properly - for example, they do not contain proper headings
are not written in plain English
are online forms that are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
contain images without a textual description
include complex tables
are forms which have guidance in a separate PDF to help completion
This mostly applies to our:
These types of documents are exempt from the regulations, so we do not currently have any plans to make them accessible.
But if you need to access information in one of these document types, you can contact us and ask for an alternative format.
What to do if you cannot use one of our documents
If you need a document we’ve published in a different format:
We’ll consider the request and get back to you in 15 working days.
Reporting accessibility problems with one of our documents
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our documents. If you find any problems not listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact our content team: email@example.com.
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 complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
Cefas is committed to making our documents accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
Technical information about the accessibility of our documents
The documents Cefas publishes are not 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.
Non compliance with the accessibility regulations
For all non-compliant documents published since 23 September 2018, we plan to fix these by September 2020. When we publish new documents, we’ll make sure our documents meet accessibility standards.
A few of our documents have diagrams with no text alternative. The information in them is not available to people using a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). We will add text alternatives for all diagrams.
Some of our documents have diagrams that do not meet the colour contrast ratio of at least 3:1. These diagrams may be difficult to see, or completely missed, by people with a visual impairment. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.11 (non-text contrast). We will make sure our diagrams meet colour contrast requirements.
A few of our documents have diagrams that use colour as the only means of conveying information. The information in these diagrams may not be perceived by users with colour deficiencies. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.1 (use of colour). We will make sure information is not only conveyed through colour.
Some of our forms do not have page functionality available for using a keyboard. This content cannot be operated through a keyboard or keyboard interface. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (keyboard). We will make sure forms meet the keyboard requirements.
Some of our documents are published in an unstructured PDF. Headings, list items and paragraphs may not be recognised by a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships). We will make sure documents are published with the appropriate structure.
Some of our spreadsheets may not be clearly structured with labelled tables, and labelled headings. Columns headings may be blank. Workbooks tabs may not have a clear title. This does not meet success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships). We will make sure they have an appropriate structure.
Some of our documents are published using tables to lay out text in columns on the page. This often hides content from the navigation pane or table of contents. This does not meet success criterion 2.4.6 (headings and labels) or success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships). We will make sure that tables aren’t used to lay out text.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).
The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.
Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.
Some of our documents contain maps. This does not meet a number of WCAG 2.1 success criterion, including 1.3, 1.4, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1 and 3.2. These types of documents are exempt from the regulations, so we do not currently have any plans to make them accessible. We will consider the use of maps in our documents and provide a text alternative if appropriate.
How we tested our documents
We last tested a sample of our documents in September 2019. The test was carried out by Cefas’s communications team.
We decided to test this types of document, as aside from HTML, it is the most commonly used document format.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
updating corporate Word and PDF templates to an accessible format
creating reports as HTML rather than PDF where possible
raising awareness across the organisation and encouraging the use of clear English in reports
training staff on meeting accessibility standards
testing with disability networks and assistive technology software
This page was prepared on 20 September 2019. It was last updated on 20 September 2019.