Guidance

Accessibility statement for public Home Office services

We want everyone to be able to do what they need to do with our websites and services, regardless of their access needs, due to a disability or condition.

This page describes:

  • how accessible our websites and services are
  • what do if you have a problem
  • what we are doing to meet the regulations

This accessibility statement applies to Home Office websites and Home Office services on GOV.UK.

There is a separate accessibility statement for documents, including Word and PDF forms that we publish on GOV.UK.

Using our websites and services

We want as many people as possible to be able to use our websites and services. For example, on many of our sites you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels, zoom and fonts
  • complete tasks without a mouse by using input controls such speech or a keyboard
  • listen using a screen reader

We’ve also tried to make the content simple to understand.

There are many ways of making your device easier to use if you have access needs. Find out more on the My Computer My Way site by Abilitynet.

How accessible our website and services are

We aim to meet international accessibility guidelines, however this may not always be possible, or we may have missed a problem.

What to do if you have difficulty using this service

If you have difficulty using one of our websites or services, first use the contact details provided on the website or service to ask for help.

If you cannot contact the website or service directly, contact us at:

Email: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gov.uk

Telephone: 020 7035 4848

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

Post:

Direct Communications Unit
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1P 4DF
United Kingdom

As part of providing this service in another way, we may need to send you messages or documents. Tell us how you want us to send messages or documents to you. Tell us if you need them in a different format, for example large print, audio recording or Braille.

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our websites and services. If you find any problems or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, use the contact details above to tell us.

Read tips on contacting organisations about inaccessible websites.

If you are unhappy with how we respond to your report

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 this service’s accessibility

Home Office is committed to making our website and services accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Some of our websites and services are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exceptions listed below.

Some of our websites and services are not compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. The non-compliances and exceptions are listed below.

Non accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Some people may find parts of our websites and services difficult to use because:

  • the design cannot be overridden by personal settings for colours and fonts
  • the design does not adapt effectively to changes in the window size or level of zoom
  • there are parts that are difficult or impossible to understand or use with a screen reader
  • there are parts that are difficult or impossible to reach or use without a mouse or by touching the screen
  • the text is not written in plain English
  • the design is confusing or inconsistent
  • audio/video elements may not have captions, transcripts, signing or audio description

These issues mean that our websites and services may not meet some WCAG 2.1 success criteria.

We are working on identifying and resolving as many of these issues soon as possible.

As we do this we will publish accessibility statements for separate sites.

Disproportionate burden

We have not yet identified websites or services where it would be a disproportionate burden on the Home Office to resolve the non-compliance. If this is the case with some of our websites and services, we will publish full details here explaining our decision.

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

Some of our old PDF and Word documents may not be accessible in various ways.

For example, some may not be properly tagged, or do not use headings. This means that they may be hard to navigate using assistive technology such as screen readers. This does not meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 success criterion 2.4.6 (Headings and Labels).

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.

The accessibility regulations do not apply to:

  • pre-recorded time-based media such as video and audio
  • online maps and mapping services, as long as essential information is provided in an accessible digital manner for maps intended for navigational use
  • third-party content that is neither funded nor developed by, nor under the control of Home Office
  • reproductions of items in heritage collections that cannot be made fully accessible
  • archived content

We do not plan to fix this content. However, requests can be made to make specific content accessible for those who need it. For more information use the contact details above.

How we tested

Some of our websites and services have had more testing than others. Testing has been conducted by Home Office staff and by contracted agencies. Where they have been checked for compliance, it has been against WCAG 2.0 AA and more recently WCAG 2.1 AA. We also increasingly test for compatibility and usability with assistive technologies such as screen readers.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are reviewing our approach and working towards meeting the regulations by:

  • developing our accessibility capability across the department
  • building teams to test for accessibility issues and recommend fixes to suppliers and delivery teams
  • continuing to train our staff to create accessible services
  • increasing the use of automated and manual accessibility testing in our development process
  • continuing to conduct user research with people who have access needs
  • putting in place alternative arrangements for those who need them and where feasible making additional adjustments if these are not enough.
  • putting in place stronger measures to make accessibility a key part of our procurement processes and contracts
Published 25 September 2019