The UK Commission for Employment and Skills is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience regardless of technology or ability.
The site is designed to meet Level Double A accessibility under the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 as mandated by Government website guidelines. As such it confirms to the accessibility targets laid out in Delivering Inclusive Websites from the Central Office of Information and meets the following standards:
The core of the website is published as extensible hypertext mark-up language (XHTML) files that use cascading style sheets (CSS). It is to this type of content that the WCAG guidelines directly apply.
While www.ukces.org.uk strives to adhere to the accepted guidelines and standards for accessibility and usability, it is not always possible to do so in all areas of the website.
The website also carries online content not provided in XHTML. Where non XHTML formats are used:
- files will be created in accordance with the accessible authoring techniques available for these formats
- all reasonable efforts will be taken to provide alternative accessible versions
- contact details will be provided for the supply of alternative non-web formats
Situations where online content may be provided in non-XHTML formats include:
Content with technical restrictions or legal requirements
We are required to publish content to meet legislative requirements, for example documents relating to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. Often the source material for this content is only available in hardcopy or must be presented in a format that retains the layout or formatting integrity of the original documents.
Rich media formats
We may occasionally publish content in non-XHTML rich-media formats, such as embedded YouTube videos. Where such content cannot be made accessible, every reasonable effort will be made to provide an accessible alternative version.
Online versions of hardcopy publications
Online versions of hardcopy publications are published on the website as XHTML, Word (DOC) or Portable Document Format (PDF) files.
Every reasonable effort is taken to make PDF files accessible. Guidance on creating accessible PDF documents has been provided to all internal and any third-party contractors involved in the design and creation of UK Commission publications. Some PDF files may still not be fully accessible, such as: scanned and older PDF files and those containing complex statistical and data tables. In particular there is a volume of older and legacy content from SSDA that may not be fully compliant e.g. older PDF documents may not be optimised for accessibility. Priority will be given to improving key documents.
We are continually seeking solutions that will bring all areas of the site up to the same level of overall accessibility. In the meantime should you experience any difficulty in accessing www.ukces.org.uk, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com we will attempt to fix the problem or if this isn’t possible provide in an alternative formats on request.
Conformance checking against W3C/WAI and COI guidelines and specifications will be carried out regularly by the UK Commission or third-party accessibility specialists. This will involve a combination of the following techniques and tools: automated testing and validation (WCAG, XHTML, CSS), manual checks, assistive technology tool testing and potentially user testing with people from a range of disabilities, preferences and ages and expert reviews and conformance inspections of representative samples of web pages. Due to the freeze on government spending on Communication activity there has been no user testing carried out on this redesigned site which was launched in June 2011.