Accessible documents policy

This policy explains how accessible the documents are that Sellafield Ltd publishes on GOV.UK.

It covers PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations and other types of documents.

It doesn’t cover content published on GOV.UK as HTML: the main GOV.UK accessibility statement will cover that.

Using our documents

Sellafield Ltd publishes documents in a range of formats, including: PDFs and Excel documents.

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 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 office file formats which are needed for active administrative processes. These types of documents are exempt from the regulations, we currently don’t have any plans to make them accessible.

What to do if you can’t 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 5 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 that aren’t listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, use the details above to contact us.

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 happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Services (EASS).

Technical information about the accessibility of our documents

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

The documents 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.

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • A few of our documents have diagrams. These images don’t have a text alternative, so the information in them isn’t available to people using screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content)

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

  • A few of our audio files have no captions/subtitles. These files don’t have a text alternative, so the information in them isn’t available to people with hearing difficulties. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.1 Audio-only and Video-only (Pre recorded)

We plan to add subtitles to all audio files by September 2020. When we publish new documents we’ll make sure our audio files meets accessibility standards.

  • 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.

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our service. 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.

Disproportionate burden

Content that’s not within the scope of 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 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 any of our strategy documents.

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 5 September 2019.

We tested:

  • A PDF document
  • An Excel document
  • A Word document

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are ensuring that all authors of documents that are published externally are aware of the requirements to create accessible document, and we are training employees responsible for creating and publishing documents so that they can check that all future publications meet accessibility standards.

The last 12 months of published PDF documents will be converted in a PDF/A, PDF/X or PDF/E format and republished on GOV.UK. For those documents that are in an Excel format, these will be converted into HTML files and also republished on GOV.UK.

Where Word documents have been used, these will be checked against the Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Office and amended if needed. These documents will then be republished on GOV.UK

This page was prepared on the 17 September. It was last updated on the 17 September.