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Accessibility regulations

Understand who the accessibility regulations apply to and why it's important.

Accessibility and the law

If our content and services are not accessible to everyone who needs it, we may be breaking the 2010 Equality Act.

New accessibility regulations came into force for public sector bodies on 23 September 2018. These require us to make our website more accessible by making it ‘perceivable, operable, understandable and robust’.

Making our website accessible means making sure it can be used by as many people as possible. This includes those with:

  • impaired vision
  • motor difficulties
  • cognitive impairments or learning disabilities
  • deafness or impaired hearing

For more information about these regulations, read understanding new accessibility requirements for public sector bodies on GOV.UK.

Government Digital Service (GDS) monitoring

From January 2020, the Government Digital Service (GDS) will monitor public sector bodies’ compliance on behalf of the Minister for the Cabinet Office.

GDS will do this by examining a sample of public sector websites every year. GDS can ask for information and request access to intranets, extranets or any public sector website.

We may be breaking the law if our website does not meet the accessibility requirements.

Meeting the requirements

Our content and services must meet and comply with at least level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1).

For example, that means users should be able to:

  • 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)

Internal services

TPR staff are users too and TPR is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. Internal content and services need to meet the same accessibility requirements.

Suppliers and contractors

External suppliers contracted to TPR must also make sure that their work meets the same accessibility standards.

TPR may test their work or ask suppliers to arrange an independent accessibility test.

For more information see testing.

How to make services accessible

Consider accessibility at every stage

Think about how you are going to address accessibility at the beginning and at the end of every stage of your project.

It is much harder to make your service accessible once you have created it.

Make it the whole team’s responsibility

Every member of the team should have a good understanding of accessibility to help them contribute to making your service inclusive.

An independent audit

An expert audit can help find accessibility problems with your service and make sure it meets our accessibility requirements.

If you run your own tests at each stage of your project, the audit should find very little that needs changing.

For more information see testing.