Accessibility statement for the Northern Ireland Audit Office website

This accessibility statement applies to content published on the domain. The Northern Ireland Audit Office runs the website and we want to make sure it is accessible to a wide audience and to ensure a better experience for all users. For example, this 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

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

We are committed to promoting digital inclusion, which will include meeting the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines level 2.1 AA (WCAG 2.0) success criteria.

However, we know some parts of this website are not fully accessible, for example:

  • the text will not reflow in a single column when you change the size of the browser window
  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • you cannot skip to the main content when using a screen reader
  • there’s a limit to how far you can magnify the map on our ‘contact us’ page

PDFs and other documents

Many documents on our website are not accessible in a number of ways including missing text alternatives and missing document structure. Please contact us if you require an accessible version of a document on our website.

Give us feedback on this website

Should you experience any difficulty in accessing the NIAO website, or if you need information on this website in a different format, contact the webmaster at or phone the NIAO Enquiries point +44 (0)28 90 251000 for assistance and tell us:

  1. the web address (URL) of the content
  2. your name and email address
  3. the format you need

We will consider your request and respond to you within two working days to discuss the issue raised.

Enforcement procedure

In Northern Ireland, the Equalities 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, contact the Equalities Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The Northern Ireland Audit Office 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 not compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. The ‘non-compliances’ are listed below.

Non-accessible content

Based on findings from a previous Accessibility and Usability Audit, the content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons:

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Examples of common issues found on multiple pages of the Northern Ireland Audit Office website include:

1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A)

Some pages contain tables that have not been properly marked up. Others have empty heading tags or incorrectly nested headings. Buttons within the slider on the homepage have wrongly been marked up. Lists of links are not displayed as bulleted lists and some lists are manually simulated instead of using the list features. Many PDFs have not been tagged to be accessible by screen readers. This includes alt text on images.

1.4.5 - Images of Text (Level AA)

Some pages contain images of text. Screen readers and the visually impaired would be unable to read the text on these images. Smartphone users with normal vision may also find it difficult to read.

2.4.2 Page Titled (Level A)

Titles are missing from many PDFs. This prevents quick and easy identification of relevant information within the document.

2.4.9 – Link Purpose (Link Only) (Level AAA)

There are instances of link phrases where the purpose cannot be determined from the link text alone, for example “here” links. There are also links to documents that do not include the file type and size.

3.1.1 - Language of Page (Level AA)

The default language of PDFs has not been set.


The site also has some usability issues that may fail  WCAG 2.1 under the operable and understandable success criteria, including:

  • instances of broken internal and external links within pages and documents
  • Spelling errors
  • Duplicate pages
  • Poor quality images
  • Excessive use of Bold and Italic text
  • Lengthy content (pages that are long and can be difficult to read)
  • Page formatting (headers, bullet points etc.)

We plan to conduct a full detailed audit by November 2020, followed by a plan to remediate any breaches of the accessibility regulations soon after. The site will be audited every year to identify any issues that have been missed.

Disproportionate burden

The accessibility regulations require us to make accessible pdfs, or other documents published after 23 September 2018, if they are essential to providing our services. We cannot guarantee that reports published on our website post this date meet the accessibility standards. We have assessed frequency of request and the benefits for persons with disability against the cost of making our reports accessible, and we consider that fixing such documents, at this stage, would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. Accessible versions will be provided if needed and can be requested using the webmaster contact details, as set out above. We will make another assessment following the full detailed audit of the website, scheduled before the end of November 2020.

Content that’s not within 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 are not essential to providing our services. We do not plan to fix any PDFs or documents published before that date. In relation to any reasonable request, we can arrange for an accessible version to be made available.

Live video

We currently do not have any live video streams on our website. All NIAO video material is held on our Youtube channel, which includes a function to display subtitles/captions.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We plan to identify and fix issues according to the timescales shown above.

Preparation of this accessibility statement.

This statement was prepared on 18 September 2020. It was last reviewed on this date. This website was last tested between the 12th and 15 th April 2019 for conformance with WCAG 2.0 AA guidelines. The test was carried out by Enterprise Digital Development Branch within the Digital Shared Services Division of Enterprise Shared Services, an Agency of the Department of Finance