Accessible documents at Cefas

This policy explains how accessible the documents Cefas (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) publishes on GOV.UK and cefas.co.uk are. It covers PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations, and other types of documents.

Using our documents

Cefas publishes documents in a range of formats, including:

  • PDF
  • PDF forms
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint

We want as many people as possible to be able to use these documents. For example, when we produce a document, we:

  • provide a HTML option where possible
  • avoid using tables, except when we’re presenting data
  • write in plain English - although some content contains legal or other technical language
  • include text alternative alongside non-decorative images, so people who cannot see them understand what they’re there for
  • tag headings and other parts of the document, so screen readers can understand the page structure
  • make document titles clear and meaningful
  • use descriptive link text so people understand the purpose of each link
  • avoid writing instructions that rely on visual cues
  • provide descriptive text transcripts for videos

How accessible our documents are

New documents we publish and documents you need to download or fill in to access one of the services we provide should be accessible.

We know that some of our older documents (published before 23 September 2018) are not accessible. For example, some of them:

  • are not tagged up properly - for example, they do not contain heading structure
  • are not written in plain English
  • are online forms that are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • contain images without a textual description
  • include complex tables
  • are forms which have guidance in a separate PDF to help completion

This mostly applies to these document types:

  • corporate reports
  • technical guidance
  • consultations and their supporting documents
  • research and analysis reports
  • statutory guidance
  • forms
  • statistics

Some documents are exempt from the regulations, so we do not currently have any plans to make them accessible.

But if you need to access information in one of these document types, you can contact us and ask for an alternative format.

What to do if you cannot use one of our documents

If you need a document we’ve published in a different format:

Reporting accessibility problems with one of our documents

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our documents. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact accessibility@cefas.co.uk. Our digital content team will look into your comments.

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 the accessibility of our documents

Cefas is committed to making our documents accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The documents Cefas publishes are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed.

Non accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Some of our documents have diagrams with no text alternative. The information in these diagrams is not available to people using a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). We plan to add text alternatives for all diagrams.

Some of our documents have diagrams that do not meet the colour contrast ratio of at least 3:1. These diagrams may be difficult to see, or completely missed, by people with a visual impairment. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.11 (non-text contrast). We plan to fix our diagrams to meet colour contrast requirements.

A few of our documents have diagrams that use colour as the only means of conveying information. The information in these diagrams may not be perceived by users with colour vision deficiencies. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.1 (use of colour). We plan to fix this so information is not only conveyed through colour, but also by another visual means.

Some of our forms do not have page functionality available for using a keyboard. This content cannot be operated through a keyboard or keyboard interface. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (keyboard). We plan to fix forms to meet the keyboard requirements.

Some of our documents are published in an unstructured PDF. Headings, list items and paragraphs may not be recognised by a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships). We plan to fix the documents and publish them with the appropriate structure.

Some of our spreadsheets may not be clearly structured with labelled tables, and labelled headings. Column headings may be blank. Workbook tabs may not have a clear title. This does not meet success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships). We plan to fix the documents and publish them with the appropriate structure.

Some of our documents are published using tables to lay out text in columns on the page. This often hides content from the navigation pane or table of contents. This does not meet success criterion 2.4.6 (headings and labels) or success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships). We will make sure that tables are not used to lay out text.

Disproportionate burden

We have:

  • reviewed our documents published on GOV.UK since 23 September 2018
  • identified that it would be a disproportionate burden to make all documents fully compliant
  • fixed documents that are most used and are essential to providing our main services

This means that some of the following types of content are not fully compliant:

  • long technical papers aimed at a small audience
  • spreadsheets which include macros and can’t easily be produced delivered in a different format
  • some forms (particularly if they are complex)

Contact us if you need these documents in an alternative format at the following email address: accessibility@cefas.co.uk.

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.

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

Some of our documents contain maps. This does not meet a number of WCAG 2.1 success criterion, including 1.3, 1.4, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1 and 3.2. These types of documents are exempt from the regulations, so we do not currently have any plans to make them accessible. We will consider the use of maps in our documents and provide a text alternative if appropriate.

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

How we tested our documents

In January 2020 we audited all documents published since 23 September 2018. The Defra content team carried out the audit. As part of the audit, we tested these documents to find accessibility issues.

We tested:

  • PDF documents
  • Microsoft Excel documents

We decided to test these types of documents, as aside from HTML, these are the most used document formats Cefas publishes online.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Cefas is:

  • updating corporate Word and PDF templates to an accessible format (except where we have determined that to do so would be a disproportionate burden)
  • creating corporate reports as HTML rather than PDF where possible
  • changing guidance documents from PDF to HTML and making them task based
  • converting to HTML (where possible) as documents come up for review
  • raising awareness across the organisation of the accessibility requirements
  • training staff on meeting accessibility standards
  • getting appropriate software to make accessible PDFs
  • testing with disability networks and assistive technology software

Accessible websites at Cefas

This policy does not cover content published on GOV.UK as HTML: the main GOV.UK accessibility statement covers that.

Cefas.co.uk is run by Cefas and is designed to be accessible to as many users as possible. You should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 200% 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).

How accessible is cefas.co.uk

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 headings
  • some documents have poor colour contrast
  • some heading elements are not consistent
  • some images do not have image descriptions
  • some buttons are not correctly identified
  • some error messages are not clearly associated with form controls
  • many documents are in PDF format and are not accessible
  • some outputs from models and data are not in fully accessible formats

We will update the statement when issues are fixed or when we expect them to be fixed.

Feedback and contact information

Contact accessibility@cefas.co.uk if you have an accessibility issue using the website or 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.

Enforcement procedure

If you contact us with a complaint and you’re not happy with our response contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

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’).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

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

Disproportionate burden

We believe that fixing the accessibility problems with some content would be disproportionate because the relevant platform will be retired or replaced soon. This is true for some of the data and publications outputs which are up for review and Cefas will aim to make them accessible as they are updated.

How we tested this website

We use the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines V2.1 level A and level AA to test how accessible cefas.co.uk is.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We have already fixed and will continue to fix content which fails to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. In the past year, we have made it easier to navigate using a keyboard, added alt text for screen readers and updated the site to ensure a better experience when zoomed in. We will update this page when issues are fixed.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This page was prepared in October 2021.