Accessibility Statement for Heritage Calling

This accessibility statement applies to

This website is run by Historic England. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this service. 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 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 this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • A user navigating with keyboard alone or using a screen reader may find it difficult to navigate this website
  • The colour contrast may be insufficient for users to distinguish between

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:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in five working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re 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 customer services on [email protected], who will pass your request on to the appropriate team.

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).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Find out how to contact us.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Historic 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 is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.

Non accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

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

The page structure and reading order may not be accurate:

  • 1.3.1 – Info and Relationships: Logical structures
  • 1.3.2 – Meaningful Sequence: Present content in a meaningful order
  • 2.4.1 – Bypass Blocks: Provide a “Skip to Content” link
  • 2.4.3 – Focus Order: Tabbing in logical Order
  • 2.4.4 – Link Purpose (In Context): Every link’s purpose is clear from its context
  • 2.4.5 – Multiple Ways: Offer several ways to find pages eg. search, table of contents, links from homepage
  • 2.4.6 – Headings and Labels: Use clear headings and labels)

Colour contrast is not strong enough and use of colour not clear enough

  • 1.3.3 – Sensory Characteristics: Use more than one sense for instructions
  • 1.4.1 – Use of Colour: Don’t use a presentation that relies solely on colour eg. forms, disabled buttons
  • 1.4.3 – Contrast (Minimum): Contrast ratio between text and background is at least 4.5:1
  • 1.4.11 – Non-Text Contrast: High contrast between pieces of text and their backgrounds

A user browsing with a keyboard alone may experience difficulties

  • 3.2.1 – On Focus: Elements do not change when they receive focus
  • 3.2.2 – On Input: Elements do not change when they receive input
  • 2.4.7 – Focus Visible: Keyboard focus is visible and clear
  • 4.1.3 – Status Messages: Status messages can be presented to the user by assistive technologies without receiving focus

Some forms may be confusing to use and instructions may disappear on selection

  • 3.3.1 – Error Identification: Clearly identify input errors
  • 3.3.2 – Labels or Instructions: Label elements and give instructions

Underlying code is not optimised for accessibility

  • 4.1.1 – Parsing: No major code errors
  • 4.1.2 – Name, Role, Value: Build all elements for accessibility

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

The website contains archival imagery which may lack alternative text. Although descriptive captions are sometimes available this fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text content). Reproductions of items in heritage collections are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Disproportionate burden

Accessibility is a priority for Historic England.

We are constantly working to make sure our digital offer provides the best user experience for those with accessibility needs.

In this accessibility statement, we have identified multiple issues using the online designation application form. We believe fixing the issues with the current website would represent a disproportionate burden. The justification for this is outlined below.

The corporate blogs were built using Wordpress. We have commissioned work to implement blog functionality in our new content management system. Plans to deliver this in 2020/21 have been delayed by the impact of Covid-19. This will be tested for compliance against the accessibility regulations. We believe the best use of resources is to migrate the blogs into the corporate website and that it would be duplicating resources to address accessibility issues within the current website while a project is planned to build a new offer in the corporate website.

Historic England also has a wide number of legacy websites to update to modern standards. Since we do not have the internal resource or funds to work on them all at once we have prioritised the order in which we are working on them. For this we took into account whether the website was for work or marketing purposes. The number of visitors to each website was also taken into account. This measures all users, not only those with assistive technology or other accessibility requirements. In September 2019 for Heritage Calling, the more popular of the two blogs, these were:

  • 18,931 users
  • 20,912 sessions

To put this into context, in the same period September 2019, the corporate website received:

  • 492,371 users
  • 639,488 sessions

In summary, we felt that fixing accessibility issues with the blogs at this stage represented a disproportionate burden because resources have been allocated to building a new offer within the corporate website, where these issues will be addressed. While we hoped to provide the new offer as soon as possible after the September 2020 deadline Covid-19 has delayed this. We are currently upgrading our Content Management System, once that is complete we will look to integrate the blogs into the corporate website. We aim to complete this work in 2022 and it will be tested for compliance against the accessibility regulations.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

It is Historic England’s intention for the service currently available at to be fully compliant with the accessibility standards in 2022.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 21 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 25 August 2021.

This website was last tested on 20 November 2019. The test was carried out by Cadence Innova.

We used this approach to deciding on a sample of pages to test: We based the sample of pages for external testing on a list of the various templates used on the website.​

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