This statement applies to the content on the www.economy-ni.gov.uk domain. It does not apply to content on economy-ni.gov.uk subdomains and third party domains hosting economy-ni services (for example, the apps associated with the Insolvency Service at online.economy-ni.gov.uk).
This website is run by the Department for the Economy. It is designed to be used by as many people as possible. The text should be clear and simple to understand. You should be able to:
- zoom in up to 300% without problems
- navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
- navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
- use most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)
We use the principles of the Plain English Campaign to make our content as simple as possible to understand. Some areas, such as Energy and Insolvency Service can use technical language and we provide definitions of technical terms when a simpler term is not possible.
How accessible this website is
Parts of this website are not fully accessible. For example:
- some elements have poor colour contrast
- visible text in search bar needs to be included in HTML label
- some pages have empty headings
- some pages and document attachments are not clearly written
- many documents are in PDF and MS Office formats and are not accessible.
How to request content in an accessible format
If you need information in a different format contact us by using the feedback form and tell us:
- the web address (URL) of the content
- your name and email address
- the format you need, for example, audio CD, braille, BSL or large print, accessible PDF.
Reporting accessibility problems with this website
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact us by emailing email@example.com and our Press and Communications branch will investigate the issue.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’) in Northern Ireland. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
The Department for the Economy 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.
The content that is not accessible is outlined below with details of:
- the accessibility problem(s)
- where it fails the success criteria
- when we plan to fix it.
A number of accessibility issues are related to the underlying Drupal content management system (CMS) and will require developer and web design input.
These include but not limited to the following:
- Contrast issues (WCAG 2.1, Level AA, 1.4.3)
- Redundant links (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 2.4.4)
- Text labels (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 2.5.3)
- No Skip to Content link (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 2.4.1)
- Empty headings (WCAG 2.1, Level AA, 2.4.6 and 2.4.7)
Our underlying content management system is currently being upgraded from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. It is our intention to address these issues during that upgrade which is expected to be completed by September 2021.
PDFs and other documents
Many documents are non-accessible for a number of reasons which may result in a loss of meaning for users of screen readers or present issues for users with moderately low vision. For example, some documents:
- have charts and images which do not convey meaningful information for users of assistive technology (WCAG 220.127.116.11 and 1.3.1)
- do not have text alternative for images (WCAG 2.1, 1.1.1.)
- have incorrect reading order (WCAG 2.1, 1.3.1 and 1.3.2)
- have headings marked up incorrectly (WCAG 2.1, 1.3.1 and 2.4.2)
- have tables marked up incorrectly (WCAG 1.3.1)
- have areas of insufficient colour contrast (WCAG 1.4.3)
- have non-text content like bullet points and dotted lines which are read aloud incorrectly (WCAG 1.1.1)
- do not have a language attribute set (WCAG 3.1.)
- are scanned from hard copies with errors in elements including reading order, language, and title (WCAG 2.1
- have unclear link descriptions (WCAG 2.1, 1.3.1 and 1.4.1).
Between September 2020 and September 2021, we reviewed all documents published since September 2018 and took actions to make them compliant. This resulted in 96 documents being replaced on the site. It was not possible to fix some documents that had been produced by third parties for the department. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and our Press and Communications branch will investigate the issue.
Any new PDFs or other documents we publish will meet the required accessibility standards. To facilitate this, we have included accessibility as a requirement in current and future tenders for design and publishing contracts. For internally produced documents, such as statistical reports, accessibility checks are done using Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft accessibility checker software and issues identified are fixed before publication.
Where possible, we publish in HTML format rather then upload documents - for example, Departmental Board minutes since 2021 are published in HTML format.
Problems with legacy documents
We know that some of our older documents (published before 23 September 2018) are not accessible. For example, some of them:
- are just photocopies and are not marked up in a way that allows screen reader users to understand them
- are not tagged up properly - for example, they do not contain proper headings
- are not always written in plain English
The legislation does not require these to be fixed unless essential for providing a service, such as an application form. As a result, we will not be fixing these but we do conduct reviews of content each quarter to ensure it remains current and accurate.
Images and video
Most images on the site are in News Releases which should contain captions and alternative text.
Videos that we produce and that are embedded on the site will have subtitles enabled. Occasionally, we may embed a video from a third party and where possible we encourage them to have subtitles added. If you discover an image or video that does not comply with accessibility please notify us by emailing email@example.com and we will investigate it.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
As a website published before 23 September 2018, we are required to comply with the web accessibility regulations from 23 September 2020.
However, some of our content is exempt from the accessibility regulations:
- pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020
- PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 - unless required for the use of a service, for example a form
- third party content that is not within our control, for example, embedded video players like Vimeo or YouTube, and embedded Google Maps.
If you have any problems using this website, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and our Press and Communications branch will investigate the issue and/or provide you with the information you need in an alternative format.
How we tested this website
This website was audited for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 level A and level AA in July 2020, and these tests have been carried out externally and independently.
We used the Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) approach to deciding on a sample of pages to test.
We intend to commission our next accessibility audit in 2022 when migration of the site to the next iteration of Drupal content management system is completed.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
We plan to identify and fix issues according to the timescales shown for each area above.
We conduct quarterly reviews of content and accessibility will be one of the areas that we check. We conform to the Northern Ireland Civil Service web style guide for all our HTML content.
In addition, we have added the following procedures to our content creation process:
- we use Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat Pro accessibility checkers to identify problems and fix these before publication
- we have incorporated WCAG 2.1 requirements into design and print contracts to ensure professionally produced documents meet the standards
- where branches commission reports from external bodies, they are required to make WCAG 2.1 standards part of the contract specification
- we have made accessibility guidance available on our staff intranet for all staff drafting web content
- we will publish in HTML format as a first option whenever feasible.
This statement was prepared on 10 September 2020. It was last updated on 20 January 2022.