Accessible documents policy

This accessibility statement applies to documents published by NaCTSO.

This policy explains how accessible the documents NaCTSO 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

NaCTSO publishes documents in a range of formats, including PDF, Excel, CSV, ODT and ODS. 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 can understand what they’re there for
  • avoid using tables, except when we’re presenting data
  • write in plain English whenever possible

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 just images or documents in a print format 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

We will make these documents accessible as they are updated or replaced, but if you need to access information in them, 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:

Telephone: +44 (0)207 931 7142

Post:

PO Box 849
London
SW1P 1XD
United Kingdom

As part of providing documents in another way, we will need to send you messages or documents. Tell us how you want us to send messages and documents to you. Tell us if you need them 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 not listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact:

Telephone: +44 (0)207 931 7142

Post:

PO Box 849
London
SW1P 1XD
United Kingdom

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 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 complaint, contact the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

Technical information about the accessibility of our documents

NaCTSO 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 NaCTSO publishes 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.

Non compliance 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 tag and use accessible headings and structures in all documents published after 23 September 2018 by September 2020.

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 all documents produced after 23 September 2018, that fail to meet the accessibility guidelines, by September 2020. When we publish new documents we’ll make sure 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 were produced in a print format before 23 September 2018. 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.

Some of our documents produced before 23 September 2018 are essential to providing our services. For example, we may still have some PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms that are not accessible. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

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, but we will strive to update all documents where possible by September 2020.

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

How we tested our documents

We last tested a sample of our documents on 25 October 2019. The test was carried out by NaCTSO.

We tested:

  • PDF and ODT documents
  • Representative 10% of NaCTSO pages

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We’re improving accessibility by carrying out accessibility checks on all our new documents.

We’re reviewing the accessibility of older documents that are covered by the accessibility regulations, starting with the ones which are being used the most and getting the highest number of unique page views.

We’re training our staff to create accessible documents. We are implementing processes and requirements to ensure that all our publications must meet the accessibility requirements in WCAG 2.1. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA.