Accessibility statement for www.gov.uk

This accessibility statement applies to the www.gov.uk website. It does not cover other GOV.UK subdomains such as service subdomains (for example design-system.service.gov.uk) or the blog subdomain (www.blog.gov.uk), which have their own accessibility statements.

This website is run by the Government Digital Service. Other government departments and agencies publish content on www.gov.uk.

How you should be able to use this website

We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. You should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts using browser or device settings
  • zoom in up to 400% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using a keyboard or speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We also make the website text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

Parts of this website are not fully accessible. For example:

  • some pages and document attachments are not written in plain English
  • some tables do not have row or column headers
  • some documents have poor colour contrast
  • some heading elements are not consistent
  • some images do not have image descriptions
  • some images used to convey information have poor colour contrast
  • some information in tables cannot be reached with a keyboard
  • many documents are in PDF format and are not accessible

GOV.UK services

Each service has its own accessibility page, with details of how accessible the service is, how to report problems and how to request information in an alternative format. You can access these pages from the footer inside the service.

Feedback and contact information

Tell us if you need information in a different format.

In your message, include:

  • the web address (URL) of the content
  • your email address and name
  • the format you need – for example, plain text, braille, BSL, large print or audio CD

You can request a PDF in an accessible format from its page. Click ‘Request an accessible format’ to contact the organisation that published the document.

You can also view the organisation’s accessible document policy to report any problems or request documents in an alternative format.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting the accessibility requirements, 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).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

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

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.2 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  1. Images on some pages do not always have suitable image descriptions. Users of assistive technologies may not have access to information conveyed in images. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content).
  2. Some tables do not have table row or column headers. This means assistive technologies will not read the tables correctly. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).
  3. Some tables are structured incorrectly, so screen readers cannot understand the relationships between information in the table. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).
  4. Some headings do not display correctly. They may look like normal text or a different type of heading. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).
  5. Some images use colour as the only way to convey meaning. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 1.4.1 (Use of Color).
  6. Some images include text with poor colour contrast to its background. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 1.4.3 (Contrast (Minimum)).
  7. Some pages use images of text instead of text. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 1.4.5 (Images of Text).
  8. Some images include elements with poor colour contrast to the background. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 1.4.11 (Non-text Contrast).
  9. If a table is too wide to fit on the screen, the hidden information cannot be reached with a keyboard. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard).
  10. On some pages, skip to main content links don’t skip straight to the main content. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 2.4.1 (Bypass Blocks).
  11. Some pages have duplicate titles. This may make it difficult for users to orient themselves and find the right content. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 2.4.2 (Page Titled).
  12. Some headings don’t accurately describe the content underneath. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 2.4.6 (Headings and Labels).
  13. The text on some buttons doesn’t accurately describe what the button does. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 2.4.6 (Headings and Labels).
  14. On some pages the back to top link at the bottom of the page can hide focussed elements. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 2.4.11 (Focus Not Obscured (Minimum)).
  15. Some images of text that are used as links have image descriptions that don’t include all of the text. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 2.5.3 (Label in Name).
  16. The change in the default written language is not correctly identified on some pages. This means screen readers will not read content correctly. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 3.1.2 (Language of Parts).
  17. Some pages have inconsistently-placed language navigation. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 3.2.3 (Consistent Navigation).
  18. Translation Navigation is inconsistently named. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 3.2.4 (Consistent Identification).
  19. Some links that reveal more content can cause some screen reader users to lose their position on the page. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value).
  20. The feedback buttons at the bottom of each page behave in an unexpected way that could be confusing for screen reader users. This fails WCAG 2.2 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value).

Many documents are in non-HTML formats, for example PDF. They are not accessible in a number of ways including missing text alternatives and missing document structure.

View the accessible document policy of the organisation that published the document to report any problems or request documents in an alternative format. If more than one organisation is listed, view the accessible document policy of the first.

Disproportionate burden

Some of the content used to apply for some types of licence is non-accessible. The non-accessible content is published through platforms which we are transitioning to new arrangements. We believe that fixing the problems causing content to be non-accessible on the old platforms would be disproportionate.

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

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.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are working alongside other government departments and agencies to fix content which fails to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.2 AA standard.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 23 September 2019. It was last reviewed on 3 April 2024.

This website was last tested in November 2023 against the WCAG 2.2 AA standard. This test of a representative sample of pages was carried out by the Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC).

We also used findings from our own testing when preparing this accessibility statement.

Last updated 3 April 2024