This statement was reviewed on 18 August 2022.
This accessibility statement applies to http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/.
Note that there is a separate accessibility statement for the AIMS Portal (aims.niassembly.gov.uk). This is where you find all the procedural information of the Assembly for example, Plenary business, Assembly questions and MLA information.
This website is run by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission. 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
We are aware that there are some issues with some of the above and are putting in place a work plan to correct any issues.
The website has only had limited testing using assistive technologies or assistive technology replicators. If you use assistive technology we would welcome your feedback to help us make the changes we need to make. Please email email@example.com or call 028 9052 1137.
You may find the following links useful in adjusting the settings of the browser that you use to navigate our website more comfortably:
- Find and add accessibility extensions in the Google Chrome web browser.
- Accessibility features in the Firefox web browser.
- Ease of access in Microsoft Edge
- Android accessibility overview.
- Accessibility on iOS.
For guidance on adapting your computer to your accessibility needs, visit AbilityNet. Their site shows you how to:
- Make your mouse easier to use.
- Use keyboard shortcuts instead of a mouse.
- Talk to your device.
- Get your device to read content.
- Make text larger.
- Change text and background colours.
- Magnify the screen.
AbilityNet also provide a number of Easy Read versions of their factsheets to help you with using your computer and engaging online:
We may use non-html file formats such as PDFs, Microsoft Office documents or ODF documents on our pages. If you do not have the software installed to use these formats you can consult our non-html document information to help you do so.
You can read more information on documents published on the Assembly website in our accessible document policy.
How accessible this website is
We are trying to make the website as accessible as possible. However, you may encounter sections that are not as easy to navigate as others. Please look at our accessibility work plan for more information on how we are addressing these potential issues.
- Online forms may be difficult to navigate using just a keyboard. If you do encounter any issues, let us know and we will provide the service to you in a different format.
- Error messages are not clearly associated with form controls.
- Form elements on the website are missing labels which means the purpose of the form may not be presented to screen readers. For example, the search box form at the top of each page and the dropdown list of Committees in the Committees section.
- You cannot tab through the website with your keyboard. For example, your tab position is not highlighted and it is not possible to tab through the sub-menu child elements of the main navigation menu at the top of each page. There is also no option to automatically skip the top menu while tabbing. This has been added to our work plan.
- Some PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software. The nature of our work means that we use a large quantity of PDF documents on the website, some that we generate and some from external organisations who are sharing information with us for Committee reports. Where possible we are making sure that that any documents we generate are accessible and that alternatives are provided if necessary. If you have any problems accessing or reading any documents get in touch with us and we will help you.
- Older images do not have appropriate alternate text. This is on the work plan to be corrected.
- Older tables are not correctly marked with table header cells. This is on the work plan to be corrected.
- The descriptive text of some links may be missing or limited. We are currently working to update these links.
- Where closed captions or sub-titles are not available for pre-recorded video, links to transcripts made by Hansard have been provided.
Full details on everything that will present an accessibility issue can be found below in the technical information about this website’s accessibility.
Public consultations and surveys
For public consultations and surveys, we use the online service Citizen Space which is developed by Delib. Delib have taken measures to make its software as accessible as possible and Assembly staff take measures to ensure that the content added to the platform is as accessible as possible.
- View the Assembly’s consultation website (built on the Citizen Space platform)
- View the Citizen Space accessibility statement
If you have any issues accessing a survey or response form, please contact the business area responsible using the contact details included with the consultation information or use the Assembly’s general contact information below.
Feedback and contact information
If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call: 028 9052 1137
- Postal Address: Northern Ireland Assembly, Parliament Buildings, Ballymiscaw, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX
- Textphone: 028 9052 1209 (Please note that this is a textphone number only)
We’ll consider your request and get back to you as soon as possible.
Reporting accessibility problems with this website
Maintaining an accessible site is an ongoing process and the Assembly Web Team welcomes any feedback that will help us improve accessibility on the website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please email email@example.com or call 028 9052 1137.
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 are not happy with how we respond to your complaint, you can contact the Equality Commission.
Visiting Parliament Buildings
There are a number of accessibility arrangements in place to help you plan your visit to Parliament Buildings.
- Find out more information on accessibility arrangements and facilities at Parliament Buildings.
- Find out how to contact us to check or make arrangements.
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
The Northern Ireland Assembly 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 and exemptions listed below.
These non-compliances are also listed in our accessibility work plan.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
Some images do not have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). We plan to add text alternatives for all images as soon as possible. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards. Older images are being corrected on a rolling basis.
Most pre-recorded video on the Assembly website and all pre-recorded video on the Assembly’s TV site is lacking closed captions and audio description. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.2 (pre-recorded captions) and 1.2.3 (pre-recorded audio description). While transcripts can be provided for all Plenary video and some Committee video via the Official Report (Hansard) we cannot at this time provide closed captioning for all video. This has been included in our work plan.
It is not possible to bypass the main content menu at the top of every page on the website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks). This update is on our work plan.
The link purpose of some links on the website may not be obvious. For example, a link that is titled ‘Click here’ and is separate from the content that provides the context of the link (ie in a separate paragraph or non-adjacent table cell). This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 (link purpose in context). This update is on our work plan.
Tab focus is not visible while navigating a webpage using the tab key on the keyboard. Tab focus is only visible in certain form elements. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.7 (focus visible). This update is on our work plan.
The search box at the top of the website is missing a form label. If a form control does not have a properly associated label, the function or purpose of that form control may not be presented to screen reader users. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content), success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships), success criterion 2.4.6 (Headings and Labels), and success criterion 3.3.2 (Labels or Instructions). This update is on our work plan.
The dropdown list select element on Assembly Committee pages is missing a label. Select elements must provide descriptive text about their function. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships), success criterion 2.4.6 (Headings and Labels), and success criterion 3.3.2 (Labels or Instructions). This update is on our work plan. This update is on our work plan.
Many of the page templates contain an option to add an accompanying document. If this option is not employed, an empty link is generated on the page. If a link contains no text, the function or purpose of the link will not be presented to the user. This can introduce confusion for keyboard and screen reader users. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context). Removing the automatically generated empty link is on our work plan.
There are a number of colour contrast issues on the website that do not meet WCAG 2.1 colour contrast ratio AA standard. For example, the white text on the blue background in the main navigation menu and the colour of link text on standard pages. Adequate contrast of text is necessary for all users, especially users with low vision. This fails WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum). This update is on our work plan.
As part of their work, Assembly Committees receive written evidence and correspondence from individuals, Executive Departments and external stakeholders in relation to inquiries, the scrutiny of legislation and other Committee business such as Legislative Consent Motions. This correspondence is published on the respective Committee's webpages and is often published as a PDF. As these PDFs come from an external source and are often large documents, it is not possible to ensure their accessibility. Inaccessible PDFs may fail a number of WCAG 2.1 requirements such as success criterion 2.4.10 (appropriate Section Headings) and success criterion 1.1.1 (text alternatives for non-text content).
Similarly, the PDF versions of Bills are not accessible. The PDF version of the Bill is produced by software that does not apply appropriate accessibility to the document. However HTML versions of Bills are also supplied which do take accessibility measures into consideration.
The Assembly's Research and Information Service (RaISe) produces a number of data visualisations to help illustrate its research. These visualisations are best viewed on a desktop PC, preferably in fullscreen mode in a new tab. They have been configured using the Microsoft Power BI analytics service. You can find guidance on Power BI's accessibility features on the Microsoft website. This contains advice on how to use keyboard navigation and screen readers with Power BI as well as general recommendations. If you are still having access issues and would like the information provided in a different format, please contact ResearchPublications@niassembly.gov.uk and we will do our best to facilitate your request.
RaISe also publishes deposited papers which are typically provided by Executive Departments in response to Questions asked by MLAs. These papers contain information or data related to the Assembly question and are published in a PDF format which may not be fully accessible.
Statistical information on sustainability facts and figures related to Parliament Buildings is published on the Assembly website using Tableau Public data visualisation software. The data visualisations are not fully accessible but accessible tabular alternatives are published to accompany the visualisations and present the same sustainable statistics in an accessible way.
Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
The content listed below is exempt from the accessibility regulations and may not meet the accessibility requirements:
- Closed captioning or subtitles for pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020.
- Closed captioning or subtitles for live audio and video.
- PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018.
- Maps – text addresses and directions are provided as an alternative.
- The Assembly’s archive site (containing information preceding the 2011 – 2015 mandate) is no longer updated.
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This statement was prepared on 10 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 18 August 2022.
This website was last tested during August 2022. The test was carried out by a member of the Web Team in the Assembly’s Communications Office. We used this approach to deciding on a sample of pages to test:
The website contains a lot of pages. Much of the content is repeatable or is created using standard templates. A selection of different page types and content was selected in the knowledge that the results of any testing would uncover trends over a larger section of the site. A number of pages that contain content that is unique to any other page on the site were also selected.
This selection of pages was then tested by a member of the Web Team using information interpreted from guidance on the UK Government website (gov.uk) and the details of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 published on w3.org. The WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool, the axe DevTools browser extension and the Accessibility Insights for Web browser extension were used for identifying and testing webpage accessibility issues.
The site was not tested with any assistive technologies, only assistive technology emulators. If you do experience any of these issues, please get in touch. If anything has been missed from this statement, please let us know.
If you have specific access issues with any of our information, please get in touch and we will evaluate and get back to you on how we will change delivery of the content or provide it in an alternative format, if possible.
This accessibility statement applies only to the main Assembly website (niassembly.gov.uk) and not to the AIMS portal (http://aims.niassembly.gov.uk/) which has been skinned to appear as though it is an integrated part of the main website. There is a separate accessibility statement for aims.niassembly.gov.uk.