Accessible documents policy

Accessible documents at Department for Transport

This policy explains how accessible the documents for the Maritime Coastguard Agency publishes on GOV.UK are. It covers PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations and other types of document. It doesn’t cover content published on GOV.UK as HTML: the main GOV.UK accessibility statement will cover that.

Using our documents

The Maritime Coastguard Agency publishes documents in a range of formats, including PDFs, Excel and Word. 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:

  • 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 can’t 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) aren’t accessible. For example, some of them:

  • are just photocopies and aren’t marked up in a way that allows screen reader users to understand them
  • aren’t tagged up properly - for example, they don’t contain proper headings • aren’t written in plain English

This mostly applies to our closed consultations, withdrawn documents and transparency documents. These types of documents are exempt from the regulations, so we don’t 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 can’t use one of our documents

  • email: infoline@mcga.gov.uk
  • phone: 0203 817 2000

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 28 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 that aren’t listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact: infoline@mcga.gov.uk

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’re 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

The Maritime Coastguard Agency 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 the Maritime Coastguard Agency 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

We plan to add text alternatives for all diagrams by September 2020. When we publish new documents we’ll make sure our use of diagrams meets accessibility standards.

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

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

The accessibility regulations don’t require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. For example, we don’t plan to fix closed consultations.

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

How we tested our documents

We are working through our older documents to test them for accessibility, and updating them with accessible versions as required.

This statement was prepared on 20.09.2019. It was last updated on