Accessibility statement

This statement applies to content published on the www.gov.uk domain. It does not apply to content on service.gov.uk subdomains (for example, www.registertovote.service.gov.uk).

This website is run by the Government Digital Service. It is designed to be used by as many people as possible. The text should be clear and simple to understand. You should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 300% without problems
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • use most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

How accessible this website is

Parts of this website are not fully accessible. For example:

  • some pages and document attachments are not written in plain English
  • some tables do not have row headings
  • some documents have poor colour contrast
  • some heading elements are not consistent
  • some images do not have image descriptions
  • some buttons are not correctly identified
  • some error messages are not clearly associated with form controls
  • many documents are in PDF format and are not accessible

Each department and agency which publishes content on GOV.UK is responsible for making sure it meets the accessibility regulations. We will update the statement when issues are fixed or when we expect them to be fixed.

GOV.UK services

Each service has its own accessibility page, with details of how accessible the service is, how to report problems and how to request information in an alternative format. You can access these pages from the footer inside the service.

Feedback and contact information

Tell us if you need information in a different format.

In your message, include:

  • the web address (URL) of the content
  • your email address and name
  • the format you need - for example, plain text, braille, BSL, large print or audio CD

You can request a PDF in an accessible format from its page. Click ‘Request an accessible format’ to contact the organisation that published the document.

You can also view the organisation’s accessible document policy to report any problems or request documents in an alternative format.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting the accessibility requirements, contact us.

Enforcement procedure

If you contact us with a complaint and you’re not happy with our response contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

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’).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The Government Digital Service is committed to making its websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  1. Some tables in content do not have table row headers when needed. This means assistive technologies will not read the tables correctly. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).
  2. Images on some pages do not always have suitable image descriptions. Users of assistive technologies may not have access to information conveyed in images. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content).
  3. Some pages have duplicate titles. This may make it difficult for users to orient themselves and find the right content. This fails WCAG 2.4.2 success criterion (Page Titled).
  4. The change in the default written language is not correctly identified on some pages. This means screen readers will not read content correctly. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.1.2 (Language of Parts).
  5. Some features are inconsistently named, for example accordions, tables of contents, search boxes and translation navigation. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.2.4 (Consistent Identification).
  6. Some pages cannot be found through more than one type of navigation. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.5 (Multiple Ways).
  7. Some buttons look like links. This means it is difficult for some users to complete a transaction or onward journey. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).
  8. Some pages have inconsistently-placed language navigation. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.2.4 success criterion (Consistent Identification).
  9. Some content looks like headings but is not. This makes it difficult for screen reader users to navigate the page. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).
  10. Some pages have poor colour contrast. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.1 (Use of Colour).
  11. Many documents are in less accessible formats, for example PDF. Non-HTML documents published on or after 23 September 2018 must have an accessible format.

PDFs and non-HTML documents

Many documents are not accessible in a number of ways including missing text alternatives and missing document structure.

View the accessible document policy of the organisation that published the document to report any problems or request documents in an alternative format. If more than one organisation is listed, view the accessible document policy of the first.

Disproportionate burden

We believe that fixing the accessibility problems with some content would be disproportionate because the relevant platform will be retired soon.

Applying for licences

Some of the content used to apply for some types of licence is non-accessible. For example, applying for a Temporary Events Notice:

  • adjacent links to the same pages mean it’s not easy to navigate using keyboard alone - this fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard)
  • some forms controls are not detectable by screen reader software - this fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value)
  • some pages are missing a heading - this fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships)

Performance information

Some of the content published at www.gov.uk/performance is non-accessible:

  • broken ARIA reference, this fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships) and WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value)
  • some foreground and background colours lack contrast, so users with low vision may find it difficult to, for example, pick out rows in tables - this fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (Contrast)
  • some pages are missing a heading - this fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships)
  • adjacent links go to the same URL, which means additional navigation and repetition for keyboard and screen reader users - this fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard)

The non-accessible content used to apply for some types of licence and the non-accessible content published at www.gov.uk/performance is published through platforms which we are transitioning to new arrangements. We believe that fixing the problems causing content to be non-accessible on the old platforms would be disproportionate.

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

Non-HTML documents published before September 2018 do not need to be accessible - unless users need them to use a service.

How we tested this website

We use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines V2.1 level A and level AA to test how accessible GOV.UK is.

We used the Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) approach to decide on a sample of pages to test.

We also tested a sample of pages involved in applying for licences and a sample of pages published at www.gov.uk/performance.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Departments and agencies are urgently fixing content which fails to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. We will update this page when issues are fixed.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 23 September 2019. It was last reviewed on 22 September 2020.

Last updated 23 September 2020