Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

This website is run by Skills Forward. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you 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)
  • We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website aren’t fully accessible:

  • the text won’t reflow in a single column when you change the size of the browser window
  • you can’t modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • you can’t skip to the main content when using a screen reader

What to do if you can’t access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:

 We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 5 days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact: info@skillsforward.co.uk quoting WCAG as the subject.

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

Skills Forward 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 accessible content

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

Some images don’t have a text alternative, so the information in them isn’t available to people using a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). We plan to add text alternatives for all images by September 2020. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Some form elements do not have programmatically determined names exposed to assistive technologies. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 4.1.2 (user interface control not having a programmatically determined name). We are making changes to improve the naming of form elements on our website and plan to have this completed by September 2020. When we publish new content, we’ll make sure we have appropriate names for form elements exposed to assistive technologies.

Some of the links within the website have missing underlines, making it hard for colour-blind users to see these links. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.1 (links that are not visually evident without color vision). We are taking steps to add underlines to all our existing links, all new links will be provided with a suitable underline.

Some page titles are duplicated making it hard for assistive technologies to differentiate between content. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 2.4.2 (the title of a Web page not identifying the contents). We are taking appropriate steps to change the titles of our duplicate page names to help assistive technologies.

Some HTML (web page markup) is not closed correctly, making it difficult for screen readers to read the content of a web page. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value. Going forwards we aim to make changes to clean up any missing HTML elements.

Disproportionate burden

We utilise third party tools and libraries to render elements on our site, some of which are not WCAG 2.1 compliant. We have made as much effort as possible to mitigate and reduce the impact these may have, but believe it would be a disproportionate burden for us to continue maintaining these elements. We are constantly looking for ways to improve or replace third party tools and libraries and we will be implementing changes that will resolve some elements on our site over time.

Navigation and accessing information

There’s no way to skip the repeated content in the page header (for example, a ‘skip to main content’ option). This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks).

It’s not always possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it more difficult to view the content. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.4 (orientation).

It’s not possible for users to change text size without some of the content overlapping. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.4 (resize text).

Interactive tools and transactions

Some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag.

Our forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships).

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.

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

PDFs and other documents

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

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

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. For example, we don’t plan to fix [example of non-essential document].

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

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 10/09/2019. The test was carried out by ourselves with a third party tool that is built for testing site accessibility.

We tested:

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We periodically run our third party software against the site to monitor for any regressions in accessibility. Using the findings, we patch and deploy fixes where applicable.

This statement was prepared on 10/09/2019. It was last updated on 10/09/2019.