Accessibility statement for Planning Appeals Commission and Water Appeals Commission (PACWAC)

This page explains how accessible the nidirect Planning Appeals Commission and Water Appeals Commission (PACWAC) is and what is being done to improve accessibility.

Accessibility statement

This service is part of the wider nidirect website. There’s a separate accessibility statement for the main nidirect website.

This page only contains information about the nidirect Planning Appeals Commission and Water Appeals Commission.

This statement applies to the (PACWAC) services web based application which is accessible via the www.nidirect.gov.uk

This application is run by the Department of Justice. 

It is designed to be used by as many people as possible. The text should be clear and simple to understand.

When accessing the application through the web browser, you should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 300 per cent without problems
  • navigate most of the application using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the application using speech recognition software
  • use most of the application using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and Voice Over)

How accessible this web application is

Parts of this web application are not fully accessible. For example:

  • provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.
  • create content that can be presented in different ways e.g. simpler layout without losing information or structure.
  • make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  • make text readable and understandable.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information in a different format please contact us by calling us on 028 9024 4710 or email info@pacni.gov.uk to advise of the following:

  • 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

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this application. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact us on 02890 24 4710 or by email at info@pacni.gov.uk and we will investigate the issue.

Enforcement procedure

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 web apps accessibility

nidirect is committed to making its website and apps accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance Status

The PACWAC service does not meet WCAG 2.0 A or AA as a whole. The ‘non-compliances are listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content that is not accessible is outlined below with details of:

  • the accessibility problem(s)
  • where it fails the success criteria, and

Perceivable

Level A - 1.1.1 Non-text content. All non-text content that is presented to the user has a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose, except for the following situations; Controls Input, Time Based Media, Test, Sensor, CAPTCHA and Decorating, Formatting, Invisible.

Level A - 1.3.1 Info and relationships. There are no landmark tags across the service or any regions to indicate structure of the pages. There are no headings on the page.

Level A - 1.3.2 Meaningful sequence. When the sequence in which content is presented affects its meaning, a correct reading sequence can be programmatically determined.

Level AA - 1.4.3 Contrast (minimum).  A colour contrast for normal text of 4.5:1, and large text at 3:1, is required to provide enough contrast between text and its background so that it can be read by people with moderately low vision or visual impairments such as colour blindness.

Level AA - 1.4.4 Resize text.  Except for captions and images of text, text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality.

Level AA 1.4.10 Reflow. The pages do not respond to emulating the page on a mobile device. The whole page scales when emulating on mobile. This can make it hard for users to see the content and text, as it is very small.

Level AA - 1.4.11 Non-text contrast (added in WCAG 2.1). It is recommended to increase the contrast between the background colours of the page states to achieve 3:1, invert the colours of the current page so that it is visually distinguished, or instead use another method of indicating page state. This will benefit users with visual limitations such as colour blindness or low vision.

Operable

Level A - 2.1.1 Keyboard.  All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes, except where the underlying function requires input that depends on the path of the user's movement and not just the endpoints.

Level A (Added in WCAG 2.1) 2.1.4 Character key shortcuts.  Each navigation button on the form pages has its attribute access key defined as “1”. This firstly means that it is not unique for either button, so the keyboard shortcut will likely not work and can cause unexpected effects.

Level A - 2.2.1 Timing adjustable. The system times out after a short amount of time without notifying the user or allowing the user to extend, adjust or turn off the time limit.

Level A - 2.4.2 Page titled.  Web pages have titles that describe topic or purpose.

Level A - 2.4.3 Focus order.  If a Web page can be navigated sequentially and the navigation sequences affect meaning or operation, focusable components receive focus in an order that preserves meaning and operability.

Level A - 2.4.4 Link purpose (in context).   The back and next buttons are read out by screen readers as “Less less back” and “Next greater greater”. Whilst context and meaning are not lost, and users will still understand the link’s purpose, these additional characters being read out may be disorientating.

Understandable

Level A - 3.1.1 Language of page.  The default human language of each Web page can be programmatically determined.

Level A - 3.3.1 Error identification.  If an input error is automatically detected, the item that is in error is identified and the error is described to the user in text.

Level A - 3.3.2 Labels or instructions. Labels or instructions are provided when content requires user input.

Robust

Level A - 4.1.1 Parsing. In content implemented using markup languages, elements have complete start and end tags, elements are nested according to their specifications, elements do not contain duplicate attributes, and any IDs are unique, except where the specifications allow these features.  

Level A - 4.1.2 Name, role, value. For all user interface components (including but not limited to: form elements, links and components generated by scripts), the name and role can be programmatically determined; states, properties, and values that can be set by the user can be programmatically set; and notification of changes to these items is available to user agents, including assistive technologies.

Level AA (Added in WCAG 2.1) 4.1.3 Status messages.  No error containers across the service are read out to screen readers on submission of a form. Utilise role=”alert” and ariaatomic=”true”. This will ensure that on submission of an error, issues are immediately read out to screen reader users and it will inform them how to proceed. Make sure that when error summaries are injected and displayed, they get read out by screen readers.

Disproportionate burden

Not applicable.

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

As a web application published before 23 September 2018, we are required to comply with the web accessibility regulations from 23 September 2020.

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 web application

This web application was and is currently being tested for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 level A and level AA, and 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

We are currently working towards a timeline of when we plan to fix these issues and this will be made available once completed.

This statement was prepared on 17 February 2021. It was last updated on 17 February 2021.

 

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