Accessibility Statement for the northsouthministerialcouncil.org
This statement applies to content published on the www.northsouthministerialcouncil.org domain.
This website is run by The North South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat. It is designed to be used by as many people as possible. The text should be clear and simple to understand. You should be able to:
- zoom in up to 300% without problems
- navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
- navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
- use most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)
How accessible this website is
Parts of this website are not fully accessible. For example:
- some pages and document attachments are not clearly written
- some tables do not have row or column headers
- some pages and elements have poor colour contrast
- some heading elements are not consistent
- some images and icons do not have good alternative text
- some complex images do not have sufficient descriptions
- some video content does not have a text alternative
- many documents are in PDF and MS Office formats and are not accessible
How to request content in an accessible format
If you need information in a different format contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us:
- the web address (URL) of the content
- your name and email address
- the format you need, for example, audio CD, braille, BSL or large print, accessible PDF
Reporting accessibility problems with this website
We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact us by emailing email@example.com and we will investigate the issue.
In Northern Ireland the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) 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, you can contact the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).
In Ireland, the relevant provisions are set out in the European Union (Accessibility of Websites and Mobile Applications of Public Sector Bodies) Regulations 2020 (S.I. 258/2000). If you are not happy with our response, you can make a complaint to the Ombudsman under the Disability Act.
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
The North South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (Northern Ireland) and the European Union (Accessibility of Websites and Mobile Applications of Public Sector Bodies) Regulations 2020 (Ireland).
This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
The content that is not accessible is outlined below with details of:
- the accessibility problem(s)
- where it fails the success criteria, and
- when we plan to fix it
A number of accessibility issues are related to the underlying Drupal content management system (CMS) and will require developer and web design input.
These include but not limited to the following:
- Non–text content - decorative elements such as a dividing line are announced by the screen reader to the user and some logos are not reflected as content on the page. (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 1.1.1)
- Contrast issues - poor colour contrast between link text and body text including, links on hover, button, logo and search icon contrast. (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 1.4.1, Level AA, 1.4.1, 1.4.3, 1.4.11)
- Focus visibility – the focus style is missing on the search field controls and fails to meet contrast ratio, dropdown menus do not receive a visible focus state when using keyboard only functionality, and the main search ‘Go’ button is missing a visible hover state. (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 2.1.1, Level AA,1.4.7, 2.4.11)
- Focus order – the reading order of some pages may confuse users where the tab-order of the content and the sidebar do not match the logical navigation of what the user sees visually. (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 1.3.2, 2.4.3)
- Links – repeated use of redundant links going to the same destination, some link destinations are not found and links are positioned differently which may confuse users. (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 2.4.4, Level AA, 3.2.3, 2.4.4)
- Parsing – some elements are unnecessary and therefore incorrectly placed. (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 4.1.1)
Our underlying content management system is currently being upgraded from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. It is our intention to address these issues during that upgrade which is expected to be completed by Spring 2022.
- Links – poor link text, purpose such as the use of ‘more’, ‘here’ and ‘read more’ which do not provide relevant information or an accurate description of the purpose, positioning of links across multiple pages may be confusing to users and some link destinations are not found (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 1.3.1, 2.4.4)
- Focus state visibility done not match the screen reader such as announcing a logo’s alt text. (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 2.4.3, 2.4.7)
- Information structure – a poor layout on some pages such as the Home page may confuse users. (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 1.3.1)
- Focus order – the reading order of some pages, such as the Home page may confuse users where the tab-order of the content and the sidebar do not match the logical navigation of what the user sees visually.
Documents and PDFs
A number of documents are non-accessible for a number of reasons which may result in a loss of meaning for some users. For example:
- Comprehension – some of the pages are estimated to be at a high reading level which may mean some users will experience difficulties understanding the meaning of the content (WCAG 2.1, Level AAA, 3.1.5)
- A number of documents are published as PDFs which are known to cause accessibility issues, particularly for those using accessibility software. (WCAG 2.1, Level AA, 2.4.4)
- The video content on the ‘20th Anniversary’ page has issues with text alternatives to video content and audio description for video content as the text or audio does not fully represent or describe the visual content or is not presented in the audio. This means some users cannot access the information. (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 1.2.1, 1.2.3, Level AA, 1.2.5)
We plan to review all documents published since September 2018 and where possible to amend them to make them compliant. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will investigate the issue.
We plan to repair this within the next 12 months, by September 2022. If you find you require one of our non-accessible documents published since September 2018 before it is repaired, please contact us by emailing email@example.com and we will arrange this for you.
The Boards of North South Bodies contains a table which does not have row or column headers and is non-accessible. This may result in a loss of meaning for users of screen readers. This fails WCAG 2.1 1.3.1. We plan to repair this page within the next 12 months, by September 2022.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
As a website published before 23 September 2018, we are required to comply with the web accessibility regulations from 23 September 2020.
However, some of our content is exempt from the accessibility regulations:
- pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020
- PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 - unless required for the use of a service, for example a form
- third party content that is not within our control, for example, embedded video players like Vimeo or YouTube, and embedded Google Maps.
If you have any problems using this website, tell us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will investigate the issue and/or provide you with the information you need in an alternative format.
How we tested this website
This website was and is currently being tested for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 level A and level AA, and these tests have been carried out externally and independently.
We used the Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) approach to deciding on a sample of pages to test.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
We plan to identify and fix issues and will ensure content meets the required accessibility standards according to the timescales shown for each area above.
This statement was prepared on 26 October 2021. It was last updated on 26 October 2021.