This statement was prepared on 18 September 2020. It was last updated on 25 May 2022.
This statement applies to content published on the www.britishcouncil.org website. It does not apply to other British Council websites.
This website is run by the British Council. 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 of web pages (not including document downloads)
- zoom in up to 300 per cent 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 is this website?
We know some parts of this website aren’t fully accessible:
- some headings are not consistent
- some pages do not have a logical tabbing order when navigating using a keyboard
- some images do not have appropriate alternative text
- some images contain text within them
- some link text is generic (or non-specific)
- some links open in a new window without informing the user beforehand
- progressive reveal (show/hide) elements aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software.
- there may be some issues with colour contrast with errors on our forms
- many documents are in PDF format and are not accessible
- not all media (pre-recorded or live) have captions or available transcripts
- some social media components such as commenting functions are not fully accessible to assistive technologies
- CAPTCHA security checks are not accessible to assistive technologies
How to request content in an accessible format
If you need information in a different format contact us 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’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: email@example.com.
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
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.
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 review alternatives for images twice a year and will make updates when we come across images that do not meet the standards. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility guidelines.
We are also in the process of building a new content management system which enables text alternatives for images to be added contextually in order to help convey meaning.
Some images contain text within them. The text within these images may be hard for some users to see, or listen to using a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.5 (images of text).
We do not plan to remove all images containing text, however we will ensure that we provide supporting text describing images, where appropriate, with the page.
Some page headings do not follow a logical structure making understanding the overall content of a page harder for some users. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.6 (headings and labels).
We plan to review existing heading structures on a regular basis and make updates when necessary. When we publish new content we’ll make sure we implement a proper heading structure.
On some pages the tabbing order is not logical when navigating using a keyboard. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.3 Focus Order. We plan to resolve this issue by December 2022.
Some link text is non-descriptive and therefore does not inform the user where the link goes (without the context of the surrounding content). This may be problematic for screen reader users. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 (link purpose).
Some links open in new windows but the link text does not inform the user that a new window will be opened. This can be disorientating for some users. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 (link purpose).
We plan to fix all link text by December 2022. When we publish new content we’ll make sure we use specific link text that informs the user of any change in-browser window.
Progressive reveal elements (or ‘show/hide’ elements)
The progressive reveal elements on this site do not inform screen reader users that items are clickable. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.6 (headings and labels). We plan to fix progressive reveal elements by December 2022.
PDFs and other documents
Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility guidelines - 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. We are working to establish guidelines for our editors on how to create accessible PDFs and plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages by December 2022.
Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will be made as accessible as possible.
Live video streams don’t have captions. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions - live).
We don’t plan to add captions to live video streams because currently the technology that automatically creates the captions are not accurate enough.
Some pre-recorded videos do not have captions or audio descriptions. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.2.2 (captions - pre-recorded) and 1.2.3 (audio description or media alternative).
We are working to establish guidelines for our editors on how to create, provide captions and audio descriptions on pre-recorded video content.
Any web content that has not been funded, developed or controlled by the British Council, such as:
- social media elements
- interactive maps
- payment forms
- live chats
- online survey tools
- human verification such as CAPTCHA
may be inaccessible to those who cannot use a computer mouse and some assistive technology. Third-party content on the British Council website may fail to meet the following WCAG 2.1 success criteria:
- 1.1.1 (non-text content)
- 1.3.1 (info and relationships)
- 1.3.2 (meaningful sequence)
- 2.1.1 (keyboard)
- 3.3.2 (labels or instructions)
- 4.1.2 (name, role, value)
- 4.1.3 (status messages).
We do not plan to fix any issues within content that has been produced outside of the British Council.
How we test this website
This website is tested for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines V2.1 level A and level AA. We use both automated testing tools along with internal and external manual audits. For our external audits, we use the Digital Accessibility Centre who last tested this site in August 2018.
We tested key user journeys within the site and tried to make sure that as many different page and content types were covered. You can read the full accessibility test report (PDF).
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
We plan to identify and fix issues according to the timescales shown for each area above.