Accessibility statement for the Bank of England website

This accessibility statement applies to bankofengland.co.uk and the Database (bankofengland.co.uk/boeapps/database/).

This website is run by the Bank of England. 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 400% 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)

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

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand and the Plain Language Commission has awarded our website a Clear English Standard. This accreditation recognises the work we are doing to improve the way we communicate by using plain English.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • some pages and document attachments are not clearly written
  • some tables do not have row headers
  • some content has poor colour contrast
  • some images do not have good alternative text
  • some buttons within the moving content on the homepage cannot be navigated to
  • some error messages within forms are not announced by assistive technology
  • many documents are in PDF format 
  • live video streams do not have captions
  • some interaction with the main navigation is not accessible via keyboard and assistive technology
  • some dynamic charts are not accessible to assistive technology

We also know some parts of the Database are not fully accessible:

  • some pages do not have a logical heading structure 
  • some content has poor colour contrast
  • some page titles do not provide a clear description of the purpose of the page

Alternative report formats and contact information

We provide free large print, braille and audio versions of our Monetary Policy Report, Financial Stability Report and Annual Report. If you need any other information on this website in a different format, please contact us:

Phone: 020 3461 4878 (Monday to Friday: 10:00am - 12:00noon)
Fax: 020 3461 4771
Email: enquiries@bankofengland.co.uk

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. We know it’s important to keep improving so if you see anything on our website that is unclear or if you have any trouble using our site, please let us know by emailing us at webmaster@bankofengland.co.uk.

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

The Bank of England is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

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

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Navigation

There are links that do not contain content in the navigation. Screen reader users are unable to identify the purpose of the link. This falls under the 2.4.4 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by September 2021. 

A visual cue is not available on the Browse sub menu items and all submenus are announced as “Submenu navigation”. It’s difficult for screen reader users to identify which main menu item the submenu announcement is related to. The submenu items also receive keyboard focus without the submenu being expanded. These issues fall under the 4.1.2 (A), the 2.4.3 (A) and the 2.4.7 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by September 2021.

Dynamic updates on the borrowing and savings calculator are not conveyed to users 

Numeric updates announced on the calculator are not easily understood as they are a string of numbers when interacting with the slider component. For example, when using the ‘I want to borrow’ slider, the screen reader announces: “10.25, £8.54, 1000 and 10.25%”. This issue falls under the 3.2.2 (A), 4.1.3 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.

Live feed videos missing text alternatives and/or audio description

Transcripts are provided for most videos on the website, however there are no transcripts or audio descriptions for live press conference feeds. We endeavour to provide audio descriptions for videos if requested. This issue falls under the 1.2.1 (A), 1.2.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

Moving content on the homepage

The buttons to change the pages of the latest news carousel on the homepage are inaccessible by keyboard. This issue falls under the 2.1.1 (A), 2.2.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.

Also, when using Internet Explorer as a browser, focus is taken to the top of the page every time the keyboard user reaches the carousel. The user cannot navigate further down the page as the focus moves automatically to the top of the page. This issue falls under the 1.3.2 (A), 2.4.3 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.
 

Feedback form

The feedback form on each page of the website includes a CAPTCHA (reCAPTCHA) that is required to complete the form. This is provided by a third-party. Although the CAPTCHA uses a checkbox, this is replaced by an image challenge under certain conditions. Users with visual impairments who are unable to complete the CAPTCHA are unable to successfully submit the form. This issue falls under the 1.1.1 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation and cannot be fixed by us. 

The feedback buttons are not interactable as radio buttons. In order to select one of them, the user has to trigger the spacebar rather than being selectable by the arrow keys. A screen reader user may not know how to trigger these radio buttons as they don’t behave as radio buttons and therefore may not be able to continue their journey to give feedback. This issue falls under the 3.2.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.

One of the ‘like/dislike’ icons become disabled and visually appear a little dimmed after selecting them. This area is inactive until all the conditions have been fulfilled/completed and then the disabled icon disappears. This difference is not conveyed to the screen reader user. This issue falls under the 1.3.1 (A), 4.1.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.

Complex images missing text alternative 

There are some complex images missing alternative text. This includes complex charts and graphs. Screen reader users will not be able to understand the content, however the underlying data is provided wherever possible. This issue falls under the 1.1.1 (A), 1.4.5 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

There are also embedded third-party Flourish charts which are missing alternative text and do not provide an alternative format to assistive technology. This issue will be fixed by Flourish by December 2020.
 

Colour alone used to convey information 

Colour alone is used to convey information on charts and graphs. Non-sighted users and users with certain visual impairments will not be able to perceive the information. The underlying data is provided wherever possible. This issue falls under the 1.3.1 (A), 1.4.1 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).
 

Inaccessible embedded interactive presentation component

There is embedded third-party Tableau content that consists of a high number of focusable elements. These elements are not reachable and operable via the keyboard. Keyboard and screen reader users will not be able to use this functionality. This issue falls under many WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and cannot be fixed by us.
 

Low colour contrast on the search bar

The error message on the search bar on the homepage does not have enough contrast between the foreground text and background colours. Text with low colour contrast makes it more difficult to read for users with visual impairments. This issue falls under the 1.4.3 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.
 

Error messages do not help users correct their errors 

We use third-party providers for the feedback form on all pages and the subscribe to emails form. When a user makes a mistake with submitting either form, error messages are provided. However, some of the error messages do not provide information to help users correct their errors. Users may find it difficult to correct their errors as the error messages do not provide the information to help them. This issue falls under the 3.3.3 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and cannot be fixed by us.
 

Fieldset missing legend on content search filters

Some pages on the website use a content search filter. There are instances where a fieldset has been used to group the form fields but does not include a legend. A fieldset and legend helps screen reader users by providing context to a group of form fields. This context is lost when the fieldset does not include a descriptive legend. This issue falls under the 1.1.1 (A), 1.3.1 (A), 3.3.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.
 

Footnotes inaccessible to assistive technology

There are a number of historical pages with footnotes where the relationship between the text/symbol and the note are not perceivable to assistive technology. This falls under the 1.3.1 (A), 4.1.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

‘Filter by’ Categories component missing warning of a change of context on the search results page

When the search results page loads with the results, the keyboard focus is taken to the skip link at the top of the page rather than by the number of search results found. The screen reader user has to navigate from the top of the page to find the results of the search which can be cumbersome each time. Also, the main category items that offer a sub category is not correctly marked up. The correct state of this main category control in its collapsible/expandable position needs to be exposed to the screen reader user. These issues fall under the 3.2.2 (A), 4.1.3 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.
 

‘Filter by’ component(s) number of results missing

The number of search results available are visible on the pages when a filter is selected.  However, this information is not announced to the screen reader user. This issue falls under the 3.3.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.
 

Maths equations not correctly conveyed to assistive technology

There are some instances of maths equations that are not correctly conveyed to assistive technology. This is due to the equations not using the correct markup to convey their meaning to assistive technology. Screen reader users may have difficulty understanding the maths equations. This issue falls under the 1.3.1 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.

Slider inaccessible by keyboard and screen reader

The ‘Explore our banknotes’ components allow mouse users to drag the notes or use the slider to find out about the features on the note. This component is inaccessible to keyboard and screen reader users. However, there is an alternative method such as text to view the descriptions of the note provided within this component under the section ‘Key Security Features’ on each page. This issue falls under the 1.3.1 (A), 1.4.3 (AA), 2.1.1 (A), 4.1.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.

Missing warning of link opening in a new window

On the Partners page, the name of the logos, are not announced to the screen reader user.  All logo images are announced as “Opens in a new window” with the omission of the company name (despite having an alt text). This issue falls under the 2.4.4 (A), 3.2.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.
 

Links to non-HTML documents missing file type and file size information

Across the website there are some links which do not have the file type or file size information listed. This issue falls under the 2.4.4 (A) and will be fixed by December 2021. 
 

Illogical keyboard focus order for in-page links

The back to top link is not set to go to the ‘Skip link’, meaning that keyboard users don’t have the choice of either bypassing the logo and the main menu or going straight to the main body of the content. This issue falls under the 1.3.2 (A), 2.4.3 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations: the Database

Definition is not provided for abbreviation

There are labels for the sub menu items that use abbreviations for currencies. Screen readers can sometimes announce abbreviations as words which can cause difficulties assessing their meaning. This issue falls under the 1.3.1 (A), 3.3.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.

Non-descriptive label

The search component labelling for the search magnification icon button doesn’t give screen reader users enough information to trigger the button. It’s announced as ‘go’. Screen reader users might be unaware of the exact purpose of the button i.e. what ‘Go’ relates to. This issue falls under the 2.5.3 (A), 3.3.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and will be fixed by December 2020.

Non-descriptive page titles

Some page titles do not provide a clear description of the purpose of the page, making it more difficult for screen reader users to navigate the content. This issue falls under the 2.4.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation and will be fixed by December 2020.

Disproportionate burden: the Database

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues below with the Database. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. Future work is planned to rebuild the Database and accessibility regulations will be built into the requirements for this. 

Illogical heading structure

Page headings do not follow a logical order with missing heading levels, so screen reader users will find it more difficult to navigate and understand the page content. This issue falls under the 1.3.1 (A), 2.4.6 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

Elements that visually convey heading meaning do not match semantic heading markup

There are text elements that appear to be a heading but are not using the semantic heading markup. Screen reader users may be unaware of the informative importance of these text elements as they do not have the same prominence as they do visually. This issue falls under the 1.3.1 (A), 2.4.1 (A), 2.4.6 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).
 

Low colour contrast on the search bar

The search bar text does not have enough contrast between the foreground text and background colours. Text with low colour contrast makes it more difficult to read for users with visual impairments. This issue falls under the 1.4.3 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).
 

Missing form label but with a title

The label elements are missing on form controls and they have a title instead. The labels do not have a ‘for’ attribute that references the ID of the input to provide a text label to assistive technologies. Screen reader users may have problems to identify the purpose of the form input and could have difficulty successfully completing forms unless the purpose of the form control is intuitive without the label. This issue falls under the 1.1.1 (A), 1.3.1 (A), 2.4.6 (AA), 3.3.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

Search filter unclear and not exposed to screen reader users

Chart slider inaccessible by keyboard and screen reader

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

PDFs and other documents

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.

We will endeavour to make any new PDFs or Word documents we publish meet accessibility standards, however this may not always be possible. If you require an accessible version of any of the documents on our website, please let us know by emailing us at webmaster@bankofengland.co.uk.

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 17 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 21 September 2020.

This website was last tested on 4 September 2020. The test was carried out by the RNIB. They tested a variety of pages across the website and Database with differing functionality.

This page was last updated 23 September 2020

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