Accessibility statement for nidirect
This page explains how accessible the nidirect website is and what we are doing to improve accessibility.
This statement applies to content published on the www.nidirect.gov.uk domain. It does not apply to content on nidirect.gov.uk subdomains (for example https://identity.nidirect.gov.uk/) and third party domains hosting nidirect services.
This website is run by the Department of Finance. 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 per cent 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 clearly written
- some tables do not have row or column headers
- some heading elements are not consistent
- some images and icons do not have good alternative text
- some complex images do not have sufficient descriptions
- some video content does not have a text alternative
- many documents are in PDF and MS Office formats and are not accessible
How to request content in an accessible format
If you need information in a different format contact us by using the feedback form and tell us:
- the web address (URL) of the content
- your name and email address
- the format you need, for example, audio CD, braille, BSL or large print, accessible PDF
Reporting accessibility problems with this website
We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact us by using the feedback form.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’) in Northern Ireland. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
nidirect is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
The content that is not accessible is outlined below with details of:
- the accessibility problem(s)
- where it fails the success criteria
- and when we plan to fix it
- there are a number of pages which have insufficient page titles. This may result in a loss of meaning for users of screen readers. This fails WCAG 2.1 Level A, 2.4.2
- on pages that display alternative languages, the code does not make a distinction between the change in language which can confuse users of assistive technologies. This is a failure of WCAG 2.1, Level AA, 3.1.2; Level A 1.3.1; 2.4.4
- there are broken links on some pages. This is a failure of WCAG 2.1, Level A, 2.4.4
- some pages contain empty headings. This is a failure of WCAG 2.1, Level AA, 2.4.6
- some pages have section headings which are not clearly identified using HTML but <strong> tags. This is a failure of WCAG 2.1, Level A, 1.3.1
We plan to repair the above within the next 12 months, by September 2022.
A number of documents including PDFs are non-accessible for a number of reasons which may result in a loss of meaning for users of screen readers or present issues for users with moderately low vision. For example, some documents:
- do not have a meaningful title. This is a failure of WCAG Level A, 1.3.1, 2.4.2
- do not have a language attribute set. This is a failure of WCAG 3.1.1 (language of page)
- have areas of insufficient colour contrast. This is a failure of WCAG 1.4.3 (contrast minimum)
- have poor colour contrast in infographics which cause issues for people with low vision. This is a failure of WCAG 2.1, Level AA, 1.4.11
- have used colour to convey meaning but do not also have a text alternative. This is a failure of WCAG 2.1, Level A, 1.4.1
- do not have required bookmarks in documents that have over 20 pages to help users with screen readers navigate within the document. This is a failure of WCAG Level A, 2.4.5
- do not have a correct reading order. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 (info and relationships) and 1.3.2 (meaningful sequence)
- do not have alternative text for images. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content)
- have tables which are not marked up correctly. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 info and relationships)
- are scanned documents with errors in elements including reading order, language, and title. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 (info and relationships)
- are PDFs that do not resize to reading pane so can’t be read on mobile devices or magnified. This is a failure of WCAG Level AA, 1.4.10
We plan to repair this within the next 12 months, by September 2022.
If you find you require one of our non-accessible documents published since September 2018 before it is repaired, contact us using the feedback form.
Any new PDFs or other documents we publish will meet the required accessibility standards.
Images and Video
- some images do not have a text alternative (alt text), so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content)
- a small number of complex images and charts do not convey meaningful information and cannot be described in a text alternative. Detailed descriptions are not currently available which is a failure of WCAG 2.1 1.1.1 (non-text content) and 1.3.1 (info and relationships)
- some images include text which do not have sufficient contrast against the background, so people with moderately low vision may not be able to access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (contrast)
- a small number of pages have embedded video content without text alternatives, closed captions or audio descriptions. This may prevent users from adapting the material through any sensory modality (for example, visual, auditory or tactile) to match their needs. This fails WCAG 2.1 1.2.1 (audio-only and video-only (pre-recorded)), 1.2.2 (captions), 1.2.3 (audio description or media alternative (pre-recorded) and 1.2.5 (audio description (pre-recorded)
We plan to repair the above within the next 12 months, by September 2022. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images and video meets accessibility standards.
A small number of pages have tables which do not have row or column headers and are non-accessible. This may result in a loss of meaning for users of screen readers. This fails WCAG 2.1, Level A, 1.3.1 (info and relationships).
We plan to repair these pages within the next 12 months, by September 2022.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
As a website published before 23 September 2018, we are required to comply with the web accessibility regulations from 23 September 2020.
However, some of our content is exempt from the accessibility regulations:
- pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020
- heritage collections
- PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 - unless required for the use of a service, for example a form
- third party content that is not within our control, for example, embedded video players like Vimeo or YouTube, and embedded Google Maps
- third party domains hosting nidirect services
If you have any problems using this website, tell us using the feedback facility.
PDFs and other documents
Many documents are non-accessible in a number of ways including missing text alternatives and missing document structure.
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.
Any new PDFs or other documents we publish will meet the required accessibility standards.
How we tested this website
This website was and is currently being tested for compliance using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 level A and level AA, and Microsoft accessibility guidelines. These tests have been carried out externally and independently.
We used the Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) approach to deciding on a sample of pages to test.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
Maintaining an accessible site is an ongoing process and nidirect is continually working to offer an accessible and user friendly experience.
We plan to identify and fix issues according to the timescales shown for each area above.
This statement was prepared on 18 September 2020. It was last updated on 15 September 2021.