Accessibility statement for great.gov.uk

Using this website

This website is run by the Department for International Trade (DIT). It allows UK and international businesses to access services which make trade and investment to and from the UK easier.

DIT regularly tests its online services to ensure they meet accessibility requirements. Our internal development teams test constantly and we had the whole website tested by external audit agencies. We want our whole website to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA as a minimum.

We want all businesses to be able to use this website. This means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and font sizes
  • zoom up to 500% without the text spilling off the screen
  • 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 (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

The site will:

  • respond to different screen sizes or zoom levels
  • use words that are clear and simple to understand throughout the website
  • ensure all images have accessible descriptions where necessary

AbilityNet has tips on how to make your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

We are constantly improving the content and performance of our website to make sure it can best support UK and international businesses. Recent testing showed that small parts of the website are not fully accessible. For example:

  • some of our international facing services may not be fully accessible to screen reader users
  • the ‘Events’ section of our site has several inaccessible elements which may be difficult for those using a screen reader
  • some older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen readers
  • some of our videos do not have closed captions

We are actively working to fix these issues during regular service updates. We aim for all services to be fully compliant by September 2020.

What to do if you cannot access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format, email help@digital.trade.gov.uk.

If you have a problem with accessing any of the events on great.gov.uk you can contact us at eventsupport@trade.gov.uk. We’ll get back to you within 5 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, please tell us by using the reporting links at the bottom of each page.

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

DIT 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.

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

Technology

The vast majority of great.gov.uk is compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA but there are individual elements of the site which may be difficult to use for people using assistive technology. For example:

  • it’s not possible for users to modify text spacing or line height
  • form elements do not currently allow the use of an autocomplete feature
  • some form elements on contact and enquiry forms are unlabelled which may cause some difficulty for screen reader users or users who rely on audio feedback
  • some of the form elements on the contact form are non descriptive in the nature of the error when displaying error messages
  • some of the links on the site will open in a new window without informing users
  • the captcha on the contact form pages is difficult to complete for blind users using assistive technology to navigate the page

Images, video and audio

We have ensured that:

  • all images are descriptive where necessary
  • specialist voice control software works effectively throughout the site
  • the vast majority of our multimedia content is perceivable and operable to all users

We are aware that some of our videos don’t have captions. We plan to add captions to all of our embedded videos by September 2020.

Non accessible content

All content on great.gov.uk is designed by an experienced team of content designers to ensure we meet the highest web content standards.

We are aware that some elements of the site have outstanding description issues:

  • some link text doesn’t make sense when read on its own
  • some of the links on the website are non-descriptive

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

PDFs and other documents

great.gov.uk has a small number of downloadable PDF and word documents available through its site.

Some of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be marked up so they’re accessible to a screen reader.

We don’t have any PDFs or downloadable documents which are essential to using our services. 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 will either fix these or replace inaccessible documents with accessible versions or HTML content.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Disproportionate burden

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues listed under ‘Technical information about this website’s accessibility’ and believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We are actively working on all outstanding accessibility issues and carrying out regular testing. We will make another assessment when we next do a major redevelopment of the website, and plan to have any outstanding issues corrected by the end of December 2020.

Other accessibility issues

Events service

Our events service is built and hosted through a third party provider.

There are a number of issues with the events service including:

  • there is no indication for blind users, or users that rely on audio feedback, that results are populating on the page when typing into the ‘Keyword’ form element
  • the structure of the headings on the page is illogical
  • the menu button on mobile is unlabelled so it is unclear what the button relates to
  • there is no ‘skip to content’ link present on some of the pages
  • the language attribute used has an invalid value - ‘eng’ is not a recognised language, and may cause assistive technology to render the content incorrectly
  • a technical issue with some lists may cause content to not render correctly on versions of screen reader software
  • some of our events pages contain non-descriptive ambiguous links such as ‘find out more’
  • the tab index on some of our events pages is used incorrectly causing some screen reader users to briefly lose focus when tabbing through interactive elements

If you have a problem with accessing any of the events on great.gov.uk you can contact us at eventsupport@trade.gov.uk.

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues and believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We plan to work with our supplier to fix these issues by September 2020.

How we tested this website

This website was last audited externally on 31 March 2019. The test was carried out by The Digital Accessibility Centre.

The website is continuously tested using automated software and manually by the development team.

We manually test pages with users and technical development teams before they are made publicly available.

The last external audit looked at our:

  • main website homepage, available at great.gov.uk
  • Export Opportunities service
  • registration and account pages
  • main contact form and reporting function
  • Events service
  • domestic information pages
  • Export Finance service

This statement was prepared on 3 September 2019. It was last updated on 16 September 2019.