How you can use this website
On this website, you should be able to:
- change colours, contrast levels, and fonts
- zoom in up to 300% with text staying visible on the screen, and most images scaling without resolution loss
- navigate most of the website using a keyboard
- navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
- read most of the website using a screen reader, including the latest versions of JAWS, NVDA, and VoiceOver
- read most of the website on devices without a screen, like a braille computer
We've made the website text as simple as possible to understand, aiming for a reading age of a 12 year old.
Some of our content is technical, and we use technical terms where there is no easier wording we could use without changing what the text means.
How accessible this website is
The majority of this website is fully accessible, and we run weekly audits to identify any new problems.
We know that some parts of the website aren't fully accessible:
- we have a large number of old publication documents which are in PDF format, and haven't been designed for accessibility
- some content is embedded in our website, such as maps and videos, and you cannot easily scale these on screen (but you can open a full screen version)
- data visualisation tools in the website currently use inaccessible technologies such as PowerBI and Tableau
Where our features are not accessible, we conduct a disproportionate burden assessment and publish them on our website.
Reporting accessibility problems
We're always looking to improve the accessibility of the website.
If you find any problems which aren't listed on this page, or think that we're not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
Technical information about this website's accessibility
The Health and Social Care Information Centre 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.
Issues with technology
The vast majority of our website works correctly on any web technology.
For security reasons, we only support TLS 1.2 and higher security protocols, and this means that some older browsers will not show the site.
How our site looks and work is based on HTML5, and we test for and support the following browsers:
We also test in the Lynx browser to ensure that the site renders correctly for non-screen users.
You may experience unexpected behaviour in other browsers, although we use fully validated code which should work on any modern (HTML5) browser.
Issues with links
We are aware of the following issues within the links on our site:
- some link text doesn't make sense when read on its own (for example 'click here')
- on some pages there are multiple links with the same link text but different destinations on one page
- many older PDF files contain broken links which do not resolve - we do not intend to resolve these as it is a disproportionate burden for files which are no longer in active use
We scan the site weekly for broken links, and look to fix them as soon as they are identified.
The content team are working through the links which don't make sense on their own, and we aim to have fixed these by August 2019.
Issues with PDFs and other documents
PDFs are not able to comply with the requirements of the web accessibility standard, and we do not generally upload new PDFs. Where we do create new PDFs, we use the PDF/A standard which is more accessible.
Our site contains a large number of PDFs created in previous years, especially in our data and information publications.
Where these are no longer being updated, we do not intend to recreate them in accessible versions as this would be a disproportionate burden. The accessibility regulations don’t require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.
By September 2020 we intend to have completed the process of converting PDFs and word documents still in active use into accessible web formats.
We do not generally add new PDFs to our site. There are some exceptions:
- we add some PDFs as downloads of reports or publications, but where a web page version is also available
- our annual reports, which must, by law, be laid before parliament in a printed version, and then appear unaltered
- our directions and data provision notices which must, by law, include a signature in order to be valid
- downloads intended for print purposes, such as posters
We also have a number of forms in Microsoft Word format, which are not accessible. We will either replace these with accessible HTML forms, or remove them, by September 2020.
Issues with images and video
We strive to make all of our content accessible. We are aware of the following issues with images and video on our site:
- Video content uses automated closed captioning and transcripting, and this is often inaccurate. By September 2019 we will review these captions and ensure their accuracy manually.
- Some of the images on our site are complex diagrams where suitable alt text is not possible. A list of these images is below. By September 2020 we intend to have reviewed all of these images, and where possible will have converted them to accessible format such as SVG, used a different visualisation method, built the visualisation in HTML5, or added detailed description text to the page
Issues with text and content
There are some issues with text and content which we are aware of:
- not all of our content reaches our target reading age of 12 years old. We are resolving this as content comes up through its review cycle, and this should be largely complete by September 2021.
- some of our page titles are long, causing a technical fail on descriptive titles for web pages which requires titles to be short. In most cases, this is related to legal or formal names for publications. We are not going to fix this, as the content is still understandable, and changing titles might cause compliance issues.
How we test this website
This website undergoes automated testing against the W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 using the automated Sitemorse tool weekly. This tool scans 100% of our web pages, and tests against all the criteria in the guidelines which are possible to automate.
The weekly report is reviewed by the website development team, with any actions taken and prioritised into our future work. We aim to fix all high priority issues with one week of them being identified.
In addition, we conduct internal testing against known accessibility issues which are not able to be found through automated testing, on a sampled basis. We last conducted an accessibility check on these areas in June 2019.
What we are doing to improve
We are actively looking to improve the accessibility on our website.
The improvements below have been identified on our current work schedule.
Accessibility improvement roadmap
||Item of work
||Type of work
||Information architecture change to publication titles in order to pass validation
||Finish removing unclear links, like 'See more'
||Remove deprecated markup from tables, in order to pass validation
||Change background colour of website to grey in order to better serve dyslexic users