Accessibility statement for Rates Payment Service
This page explains how accessible the nidirect Rates Payment Service is and what is being done to improve accessibility.
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 Rates Payment Service.
This statement applies to the Rates Payment Service web based application accessible via the www.nidirect.gov.uk website.
This application 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. 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:
- the nidirect logo has alternative text (“n i direct government services”), however this could be improved by being more specific about what this image actually is for example ‘NI direct government services logo’
- some pages include missing landmark tags
- on the employee portal there is a page has inputs that are required and they are indicated by an asterisk (*). However, the page needs to provide an instruction to users that the asterisk (*) means that the inputs are required for example “* Indicates a required field”
- some pages and elements have poor colour contrast
- some pages have not the required level of contrast ratio
- some pages have loss of content or functionality
- on the customer portal it is possible for steps 1 - 6 to time out, ending the session for the user. Consider warning the user before they begin that this is a time limited process or at least provide the user with a warning before time expires, and give them at least 20 seconds to extend the time limit with a simple action for example press the spacebar to extend time
- on the employee portal there is no skip link that on activation will allow users to skip to the main content of the page
Feedback and contact information
If you need information in a different format contact us by either calling the nidirect contact centre who handle calls on behalf of Land & Property Services on 0300 200 7802, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and advise us of:
- 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 web application
We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website application. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact us on 0300 200 7802 or by email at email@example.com and we will investigate the issue.
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 application 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.
This web application is not compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. The ‘non-compliances are listed below.
The content that is not accessible is outlined below with details of:
- the accessibility problem(s)
- where it fails the success criteria
Level A - 1.1.1 Non-text content. There are not many images used on the customer portal. Where images are used, they are used for the logo and for error icons.
Level A - 1.3.1 Info and relationships. Across the customer portal, there are missing or landmark tags.
Level A – 1.3.3 Sensory characteristics. On the employee portal there is a page that has inputs that are required and they are indicated by an asterisk (*). However, the page needs to provide an instruction to users that the asterisk (*) means that the inputs are required for example “* Indicates a required field”.
Level A - 1.4.1 Use of Colour. Colour is not used as the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.
Level AA - 1.4.3 Contrast (minimum). The visual presentation of text and images of text has a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1, except for the following: Large Text, Incidental and Logotypes.
Level AA 1.4.10 Reflow. On the customer portal when displayed on an iPad in portrait mode the progress bar does not gracefully degrade in design, even though the functionality works as expected. Review the approach on the iPad and smaller screen sizes. Consider positioning the confirmation step further to the left of the screen
Level AA - 1.4.11 Non-text contrast (added in WCAG 2.1). The visual presentation of the following have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent colour(s): User Interface Components and Graphical Objects:
Level AA - 1.4.12 Text spacing (added in WCAG 2.1). Some pages have loss of content or functionality.
Level A - 2.2.1 Timing adjustable. On the customer portal it is possible for steps 1 - 6 to time out, ending the session for the user.
Level A - 2.4.1 Bypass blocks. A link is provided to skip navigation and other page elements that are repeated across web pages.
Level AA - 2.4.5 Multiple ways. On both the customer and employee portals the main navigation is consistent in terms of the labels used and it’s positioning. However there needs to be improvements to the colours used as described in section 1.4.3 Contrast (minimum).
Level AA 2.4.6 Headings and labels. Page headings and labels for form and interactive controls are informative. Avoid duplicating heading (for example "More Details") or label text (for example "First Name") unless the structure provides adequate differentiation between them.
Level AA 2.4.7 Focus visible. The NI Direct logo has a focus style, but it could benefit from being stronger with a thicker stroke weight to indicate to the user when they have reached that point on the site.
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.
Level AA (Added in WCAG 2.1) 4.1.3 Status messages. Across the pages audited the error messages do not contain aria-live tags. It is recommended to use these tags to assist those who use screen readers.
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 5 October 2020. It was last updated on 5 October 2020.