Accessibility statement for the Bank of England website

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

Our mission is to serve the people of the UK. So how we communicate is important. We want as many people as possible to be able to use our 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.

In March 2022, we updated the ‘look and feel’ of our content. That includes things like our logo, and the colours and typography we use. This helps make our website and communications more accessible and inclusive. 

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

We will keep on working to improve the way we communicate because this will help us to carry out our mission.

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 pages lack a logical heading structure
  • some tables lack row headers
  • some content has poor colour contrast
  • some images lack good alternative text
  • some error messages in forms are not announced by assistive technology
  • many documents are in PDF and other formats and are not fully accessible
  • some video content does not have captions, transcriptions or audio descriptions
  • some dynamic charts are not accessible to assistive technology

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

  • some pages lack a logical heading structure
  • some content has poor colour contrast
  • some page titles do not clearly describe the purpose of the page

Reasonable adjustments 

If you have a physical or mental impairment that impacts how you access our information and services, please get in touch with us and we'll do our best to meet any reasonable adjustments required. If you’d like to discuss in more detail, please contact us:

 

Alternative report formats

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:

Accessibility at our building

For more information about accessibility at our building, see our Contact us page.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve our website's accessibility. We know it’s important to keep improving so if you read anything that's unclear on our website or you have any trouble using it, 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 complies only partly with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, for the reasons listed below.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Illogical heading structure

Some pages across the site do not follow a logical order with missing heading levels. Screen reader users use the heading structure to navigate and understand the page content.  With an illogical heading structure, they will find this more difficult. This issue falls under the, 1.3.1 (A), 2.4.6 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

Tables with incorrect markup

Some tables lack row headers. Screen reader users can find this hard to navigate. This issue falls under the, 1.3.1 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

Videos

Transcripts and auto-captions are provided for most videos on the website. However, not all videos have transcripts, captions or audio descriptions. We are reviewing these and resolving them based on order of priority. There are no transcripts, captions or audio descriptions for  press-conference feeds. Alternative text or reasonable adjustments for videos can be provided upon request. This issue falls under the 1.1.1(A), 1.2.1 (A), 1.2.2 (A), 1.2.5 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s). 

Feedback form CAPTCHA

The feedback form on each website page 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 cannot successfully submit the form. This issue falls under the 1.1.1 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation and cannot be fixed by us. 

Images – text alternative redundant, too long or missing

Some complex images lack alternative text. These include complex charts and graphs. Screen-reader users will not be able to understand the content, but the underlying data is provided wherever possible.

In other instances, screen reader users may find the alternative text long or redundant, making it time consuming to read and understand. 

This issue falls under the 1.1.1 (A), 1.4.5 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

Adjacent image and text links for the same resource

Several text links and images go to the same resource. This can be confusing and frustrating for screen reader users having to access each link for the same resource. This issue falls under the 1.1.1 (A), 2.4.4 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

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 elements

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

There are embedded third-party Google Arts & Culture modal dialogs that are not announced to assistive technologies. Keyboard users may find it difficult to navigate and access the content within the modal dialogs. This issue falls under the 2.1.1 (A), 2.4.3 (A). 4.1.3 (AA) violation(s) and cannot be fixed by us.

Some image captions within the embedded Google Arts & Culture slides do not have enough contrast between foreground text and background colours. This issue falls under the 1.4.3 (AA) violation(s) and cannot be fixed by us. 

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 submitting either form, error messages are provided. However, some of them lack information to help users correct their errors. This issue falls under the 3.3.3 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s) and cannot be fixed by us.  

Footnotes inaccessible to assistive technology

In several historical pages with charts, the relationship between the text/symbol and the footnote is not perceivable to assistive technology. This falls under the 1.3.1 (A), 4.1.2 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s). 

Maths equations not correctly conveyed to assistive technology

In some instances, maths equations lack the correct mark-up so their meaning is not correctly conveyed to assistive technology. Screen-reader users may therefore have difficulty understanding the equations. This issue falls under the 1.3.1 (A) WCAG 2.1 violation(s). 

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

Across the website, some links lack the file-type or file-size information. This issue falls under the 2.4.4 (A).

PDFs and non-HTML documents

Many documents may not be suitable for users of assistive technology in a number of ways including missing text alternatives and missing document structure. This issue falls under the 1.1.1 (A), 1.4.5 (A), 1.3.1 (A), 2.4.6 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

We provide a HTML version of our most popular publications and we are  striving to make any new PDFs and Word documents we publish meet accessibility standards, but 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.

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 complying with the regulations will be included.

Non-descriptive page titles

Some page titles do not clearly describe 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.

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

Some text elements appear to be a heading but do not use the semantic heading mark-up. 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). 

Missing form label but with a title

The label elements are missing on form controls and they have a title instead. The labels lack a ‘for’ attribute that references the ID of the input to provide a text label to assistive technologies. Screen-reader users may have difficulty identifying the purpose of the form input and thus successfully completing the forms unless the form control’s purpose 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

On the Official Bank Rate history page, the secondary search control on the page lacks instructions of how to interact with it. Also, the filtered results presented are not announced to the screen-reader user. These issues fall under the 1.3.1 (A), 2.4.6 (AA), 4.1.3 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

Chart slider inaccessible by keyboard and screen reader

Users who are restricted to using only a keyboard and/or screen reader will not be able to use the slider control’s functionality for charts. This issue falls under the 1.1.1 (A), 2.1.1 (A), 2.4.6 (AA), 3.3.2 (A), 4.1.2 (A), 4.1.3 (AA) WCAG 2.1 violation(s).

Content that’s outside 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. 

Videos

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

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix videos published before 23 September 2020. We are actively working to add auto-captions and transcripts to the most popular older videos.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 17 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 23 May 2022.

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

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