Accessibility

How you can use this website

This statement covers the website www.thegazette.co.uk, the UK’s official public record. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. On The Gazette website, you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader
  • use skip links that allow users to access the main content, skipping common structures such as special banners, titles and navigation.
  • use the website even if JavaScript is switched off

How accessible this website is

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard.

We know that some parts of the website aren’t fully accessible:

  • we have a large number of archive documents which are in PDF format and haven't been designed for accessibility
  • some content is embedded in our website, such as infographics and videos and you cannot easily scale these on screen (but you can open a full screen version)
  • a data interrogation tool (Flint SPARQL editor) is inaccessible
  • some of our live chat functionality is not compliant. However, there are accessible alternatives which are to contact us with your enquiry

Technical information about this website's accessibility

Issues with forms

We are aware of some instances of missing descriptive labels in our form fields which can result in some users, when using assistive technologies, not being able to identify the purpose of the form control. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships), 3.3.2 (labels or instructions) and 4.1.2 (name, role, value). We are working on fixing these issues by the end of June 2021

Issues with images

We are aware that some images do not have ‘alt’ text which may limit screen readers from being able to announce to the user what the images signifies or is trying to convey. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). We are also aware that we do not provide an accessible name for all images which open as the only content within a link, which may limit understanding and context of information being provided. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 (link purpose – in context), 4.1.2.(name, role, value). We are working on fixing these issues by the end of June 2021

Issues with text and content

Some of our content is technical, and we use technical terms where easier wording is not possible. We aim to produce all new content and content which comes up through its review cycle in accordance with Government Design Principles. If you have issues with any of our content, we would like to hear from you. Please contact us.

Issues with colour

We are aware that in some areas, the use of colour does not fully comply with the contrast levels suggested in the guidelines, e.g. form error messages. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (contrast – minimum). We are reviewing these issues and are aiming to fix these in line with the move to a responsive website throughout 2021

Issues with zoom

The site is not optimised for mobile use meaning some users may face difficulties accessing information on a mobile device. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10 (reflow). We are developing our website to ensure it is responsive for different size screens. We aim to deploy this functionality throughout 2021.

If you find the text on this site too small or too big, you can change it using your browser settings. The default size for most browsers is "100%". Below are links to instructions for changing the text size for some common browsers.

We would like to hear from you if you have had trouble with the text size on this website. Please tell us your operating system, for example "Windows 10"; your browser, for example "Internet Explorer 10" and your Internet Service Provider, for example "Virgin Media" or "BT". We would also like to know what size you have chosen as your browser text size, for example "medium".

This site allows the user to zoom in, however at some screen resolutions and zoom levels a user will have to use the horizontal scrollbar to read a full line of text. We are currently developing our website to ensure it is responsive for different size screens as well as increased zoom control. We aim to deploy this functionality throughout 2021.

Issues with Adobe® Acrobat® Portable Document Format (PDFs)

Some information published on The Gazette is contained within PDFs. In most instances, that information is primarily recorded in an alternative accessible format on site as notices. However, there are exceptions to this rule, outlined below:

  • Company Law supplement – we are working to introduce an accessible format for this information by the end of 2020
  • Ministry of Defence supplement
  • Queen’s Awards for Enterprise supplement
  • Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service supplement
  • Imperial Service Medal supplement
  • Polar Medal supplement
  • Extraordinary supplements e.g. announcing royal births
  • Victoria Cross supplement
  • Resignation/Dissolution Honours supplement
  • Order of Wear supplement
  • Civilian Gallantry List supplement

We have assessed the cost of converting these supplements into individual notices. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. Please contact us if you are experiencing difficulties accessing this content.

Our site contains content dating back to 1665 where paper copies of The Gazette have been scanned to provide an archive of the official public record. 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.

People using screen-reading devices may be unable to read PDF documents directly until they have an accessibility plug-in installed on their system. This plug-in is often available for free (for example from Adobe) and your screen reader may do this automatically. Adobe also has online tools that will convert PDF files to HTML on request. To get the plug-in and latest news about Adobe’s accessibility tools and services, visit the Adobe Accessibility Resource Centre.

Issues with tools

The Gazette has a Flint SPARQL Editor 1.0.3, which provides users with an interface to access information contained within the official public record. It is not accessible, and the Flint SPARQL Editor cannot be made accessible.

Issues with links

We are aware that some on-site links open in new windows, potentially causing navigation issues for users. We are working to implement the use of an icon in order to better signpost users and aid understanding of website functionality. We are reviewing these issues and are aiming to fix these in line with the move to a responsive website throughout 2021

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Currently our site is not optimised for mobile use. We are developing our website to ensure it is responsive for different size screens. We aim to deploy this functionality throughout 2021.

Reporting accessibility problems

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

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 contact us.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

How we test this website

This website has been tested using manual and automated accessibility tests. Both types of testing are run against the W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1. Test failures are reported to our development team and the issues are worked through on a priority basis.

We carry out manual testing by selecting a representative sample of web pages (typically between 10 and 20 pages) and check that they are compliant with the guidelines. Our testers use the WAVE Chrome browser extension, which applies a range of checks to the web page under test. Our testers also manually navigate around the pages and check that content is presented in a logical order. The last manual test took place on 8 September 2020.

We arranged for Sitemorse to conduct an automated scan of the website, focussing on the top-level pages. This allowed us to identify the most common breaches of the guidelines and prioritise our corrective actions. This website was last tested on 04 August 2020.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 03 June 2020. It was last reviewed on 2 June 2021.