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Accessibility guidelines

Anyone using our websites, or intranet, to source information, or to complete a task, should be able to do this as easily as possible.

What does accessibility mean?
Accessibility is about making sure your service can be used by anyone that needs to use it. This means that when we share content digitally, we need to make sure that it is delivered in a way in which nobody is excluded.

Why is it important?
It’s the LAW! New accessibility regulations come into force setting a legal duty for public sector bodies to make their websites accessible. The deadline for existing websites is 23 September 2020.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) will be monitoring public sector websites to ensure they meet The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

PDF – Please Don’t Fail
Documents published on public sector websites must meet the Accessibility Regulations too.

The corporate website currently hosts over 1000 forms and documents as PDFs and most will need to be updated due to accessibility issues.

We need you
The Digital Experience Team has added guidance to Connects on making a document accessible.

We’re asking that, as part of your regular review process for the website and the intranet, you consider the information contained in any documents linked to from your pages.

Sometimes PDFs contain duplicate information that is already on a webpage eg. leaflets and posters which have been created for print. If this is the case the PDF should be flagged to us for removal.

If the PDF contains information that supplements the content on the webpage, you will need to provide an accessible version.

Any new documents, or those that are updated regularly, should be created with accessibility as default.

Anyone using our websites, or intranet, to source information, or to complete a task, should be able to do this as easily as possible. This means that:

  • the information they need is PERCEIVABLE – meaning they can see, hear or feel it – think about how difficult it is to read a page of cluttered text with a font that might be small, or in a pale colour against a pale background – now consider how challenging this might be for someone with a visual impairment, or relying on assistive technology
  • pages must be OPERABLE – for example, someone using a keyboard to navigate should be able to complete tasks, like form filling, in the same way that someone using a mouse can
  • the information is UNDERSTANDABLE – this means using short sentences and plain English – for some people it can be difficult to process large amounts of text
  • pages need to be ROBUST – meaning they should work as expected with assistive technology like screen readers.

You can download Silktide’s free disability simulator toolbar for Google Chrome which allows you to experience pages with a range of simulated disabilities, including colour blindness and dyslexia.

We’re here to help
Accessibility is the responsibility of all of us. By working together we can make our services better for everyone that needs to use them.

Please get in touch with the Digital Experience Team if you have any questions.

The Communications Team have produced style guidelines which should be followed to ensure any online/offline material is on brand and accessible. You can find these on Connects here.

If you need advice on accessibility and style of publications and social media content please contact

Privacy Preferences
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