This accessibility statement applies to the www.ons.gov.uk website, which is run by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS aims to be inclusive in all that we do. We want everyone who visits our website to have a positive experience, and easily find and use the information they need. To help you, we have made our website simple to understand and more user-friendly, so you can:
- change colours, contrast levels and fonts
- zoom in up to 300% 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
If you have a disability, AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use.
How accessible the website is
We know some parts of the ONS website are not fully accessible:
- some tables do not have row headers
- the file names of some downloadable files are not easy to read or understand
- some content embedded into web pages, such as data visualisations, may not be accessible
- our web page content is accessible but some of our web pages give you the option to download a PDF copy of the web page content; these PDFs are not fully accessible
- some content on the website is available only in PDFs and these are not fully accessible
- some Excel documents may not be accessible and may be difficult to use with screen readers and keyboard-only navigation
- the interactive pop-up polls we use to collect feedback on some pages are not fully accessible
- the web chat service on our general and statistical enquiries page is not fully accessible
How to request content in an accessible format
If you need information from the ONS website in a different format, please contact us and tell us:
- the web address (URL) of the content
- your name and email address
- the format you want
We will reply within five days to let you know when we will be able to provide the information. We will consider each request but may not be able to provide an alternative accessible format on every occasion.
Reporting accessibility problems
We are working to meet accessibility standards across our website. If you experience any difficulty in accessing our website, please contact us.
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 contact us with a complaint and you are not happy with our response contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
Technical information about the website’s accessibility
The Office for National Statistics is committed to making the ONS website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
Compliance status of the website
The ONS website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard due to non-compliances and exemptions listed below.
Non-accessible content on the website
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
Some tables do not have table row headers when needed, so you cannot navigate using the headers. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships). This is because of the publishing tool we use, which we are currently working to resolve.
The file names of some downloadable files are not easy to read or understand. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 3.1 (readable) and 3.2 (predictable). We have ensured that all newer download file names are now readable and are currently working to resolve the issue for older download files.
PDF copies of HTML pages
Our web page content is accessible. Many of our web pages give you the option to download a PDF copy of the web page content. These PDFs are not fully accessible. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.1.1 (non-text content), 1.3.1 (info and relationships), 2.1.1 (keyboard), 2.4.1 (bypass blocks), 2.4.2 (page titled), 2.4.4 (link purpose (in context)), 2.4.9 (link purpose (link only)), and 3.1.1 (language of page). We are currently working to resolve this issue.
Interactive pop-up polls
The interactive pop-up polls we use to collect feedback on some pages of the ONS website are not fully accessible. These are provided by a third party called Hotjar. We use them to gather valuable user feedback that helps us to improve the website.
We have identified the following accessibility issues in line with WCAG 2.1 guidelines and success criteria:
the button to expand and collapse the poll does not have a corresponding accessible name; this fails 1.3.1 info and relationships and 4.1.2 name, role, value
the expandable functionality of the pop-up poll and its elements is not indicated; this fails 1.3.1 info and relationships and 4.1.2 name, role, value
the incorrect role is applied to the poll component; this fails 4.1.2 name, role, value
the error handling for the pop-up does not identify the error to the user or provide instructions or suggestions for a way to correct it; this fails 3.3.1 error identification and 3.3.2 labels or instructions
although users can access all elements when interacting with the poll using keyboard-only commands, user focus is taken to the top of the page once a question within the poll has been answered; this fails 2.4.2 focus order
the rating scale information in the questions is not accessible for screen-reader users; this fails 1.3.1 info and relationships, 1.3.2 meaningful sequence and 3.3.2 labels or instructions
the skip button within the pop-up poll does not clearly describe its purpose; this fails 2.4.6 headings and labels
users cannot change the text spacing to improve their reading experience; this fails 1.4.12 text spacing
We are working with the third-party supplier to resolve these issues. If we cannot resolve these issues we will explore the use of other accessible feedback options.
If you want to give us feedback about the website without using pop-up polls, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data in Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange (SDMX) format
Our UK National Summary Data Page (NSDP) contains data published in the Statistical Data and Metadata eXchange (SDMX) format. Data on this page are chosen by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and published in the SDMX format. This is part of a requirement to be consistent with the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) Plus.
The SDMX links on our NSDP are presented in table cells. This fails the web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 success criterion:
1.3.1 (info and relationships)
2.4.4 link purpose (in context)
2.4.9 link purpose (link only)
We are currently developing a new way to present SDMX datasets that both meets accessibility requirements and our obligations to the IMF.
Web chat service
The web chat service on our general and statistical enquiries page is not fully accessible. A third-party supplier called 8X8 provides this service, which allows users to contact our Customer Contact Centre directly with any queries they may have. The accessibility issues for the web chat service, and the WCAG 2.1 success criteria they relate to, are:
- some images are missing alt text (1.1.1: non-text content and 2.4.4: link purpose (in context))
- some links open content in a new window (1.1.1: non-text content and 2.4.4: link purpose (in context))
- some content bleeds through for some screen reader users (2.4.3: focus order)
- some forms and buttons are not labelled (1.3.1: info and relationships)
- some areas do not meet the minimum contrast requirements (1.4.11: non-text contrast)
- remaining character count is not announced when using an input field (4.1.3: status messages)
- some status updates are not announced (4.1.3: status messages)
We are currently working with 8X8 to resolve these issues.
Our website contains hundreds of data visualisations. As of 23 September 2020, we made sure that data visualisations that equated to 90% of all page views in the last 12 months were accessible, with the aim to increase this to 95% within three months. We met our target of 95% by 15 November 2020. Any new data visualisations we create from 23 September 2020 will be accessible.
We have looked at the resources needed to make all of the data visualisations on the website accessible. Many relate to historical time series, and because of the resources that would be needed to make them accessible, we believe that this would be a disproportionate burden.
Content published in PDF only
Our website contains some content that is only published in PDFs. These PDFs are not fully accessible. We are currently working to resolve this, focusing on the most viewed pages with PDFs first.
We have looked at the resources needed to make all the other PDF-only content accessible. We believe that making them accessible would be a disproportionate burden.
All new PDF-only content will be accessible from 23 September 2020.
Data tables published in PDFs
Many of our web pages give you the option to download a PDF copy of the web page content. Some of these PDFs contain additional data tables at the end of the PDF that are not presented on the web page. The data tables in these PDFs are not fully accessible.
We have looked at the resources needed to make these data tables accessible. We believe that making them accessible would be a disproportionate burden.
We are currently building a new process to make all new data tables accessible.
Our website contains many Excel documents. These may contain data tables that are difficult to use with screen readers and keyboard-only navigation.
We have looked at the resources needed to make these Excel documents accessible. We believe that making them accessible would be a disproportionate burden.
We are currently building a new process to make all new Excel documents accessible.
Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
PDFs and other documents published before 23 September 2018
The accessibility regulations do not require us to make PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 accessible if they are not essential to providing our services. For example, we do not plan to make the PDFs on the Beyond Census 2011 reports and publications page accessible as the newest document was published in January 2015 when the Beyond 2011 project closed.
What we are doing to improve accessibility
We are currently working to resolve the issues identified in this accessibility statement. We are also working with others across the ONS to make accessibility central to the way we create content and documents, so they can be used by everyone.
Preparation of this accessibility statement
We prepared this statement on 19 September 2020. We last reviewed it on 24 August 2021. The ONS website was last tested on 19 May 2020. The Digital Accessibility Centre Limited (DAC) did the test. DAC carried out manual testing with people with a range of disabilities on desktop, mobile and tablet devices. The testing consisted of a series of tasks where they got to use the majority of page and content types on the ONS website.