Accessibility Statement for Heritage Gateway

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 website. While this service is not presently accessible we are committed to making it accessible.

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

How accessible this website is

We know this website is not optimised for accessibility.

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 not 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.

The website fails the following Level A criteria:

  • 1.1.1 – Non-text Content: Provide text alternatives for non-text content
  • 1.3.1 – Info and Relationships: Logical structures
  • 1.3.2 – Meaningful Sequence: Present content in a meaningful order
  • 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
  • 2.1.1 – Keyboard: Accessible by keyboard only
  • 2.1.2 – No Keyboard Trap: Don’t trap keyboard users
  • 2.4.1 – Bypass Blocks: Provide a “Skip to Content” link
  • 2.4.2 – Page Titled: Helpful and clear page title
  • 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
  • 2.5.1 – Pointer Gestures: Users can perform touch functions with assistive technology or one finger
  • 2.5.3 – Label in Name: The name contains the text that is presented visually
  • 3.1.1 – Language of Page: Page has a language assigned
  • 3.3.2 – Labels or Instructions: Label elements and give instructions
  • 4.1.1 – Parsing: No major code errors

The website fails the following Level AA criteria:

  • 1.4.3 – Contrast (Minimum): Contrast ratio between text and background is at least 4.5:1
  • 1.4.5 – Images of Text: Don’t use images of text
  • 1.4.10 – Reflow: Your website must be responsive
  • 1.4.11 – Non-Text Contrast: High contrast between pieces of text and their backgrounds
  • 1.4.13 – Content on Hover Focus: Ensuring content visible on hover or keyboard focus does not lead to accessibility issues
  • 2.4.6 – Headings and Labels: Use clear headings and labels
  • 2.4.7 – Focus Visible: Keyboard focus is visible and clear
  • 3.2.3 – Consistent Navigation: Use menus consistently
  • 3.2.4 – Consistent Identification: Use icons and buttons consistently
  • 4.1.3 – Status Messages: Status messages can be presented to the user by assistive technologies without receiving focus

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 our accessibility statement, we have identified multiple issues using Heritage Gateway. We believe fixing the issues now would represent a disproportionate burden. The justification for this is outlined below.

Work to migrate the data on Heritage Gateway into the Historic England corporate website has been in progress for several years. This is part of a large and complex heritage sector-wide partnership project and will involve improving not just the presentation, but also the formatting and delivery of the data. Work on this commenced before the September 2020 deadline and is ongoing. This will be tested for compliance against the accessibility regulations.

The current Heritage Gateway website is over 10 years old and would have to be rebuilt in order to be compliant. It would be duplicating resources to address accessibility issues with the current website separately at this stage, while a project is underway to build a new and improved offer.

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, the number of visitors to each website was taken into account. This measures all users, not only those with assistive technology or other accessibility requirements. In September 2019 these were:

  • 13,160 users
  • 18,716 sessions

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

  • 492,371 users
  • 639,488 session

In summary, we felt that fixing accessibility issues with the website at this stage represented a disproportionate burden because resources have already been allocated to building a new offer into the corporate website, where these issues will be addressed. When the new offer launches it will be tested for compliance against the accessibility regulations.

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

Online maps and mapping services

The map used has a number of issues within the accessibility standards, including 1.4.1 Use of Colour, 1.4.11 Non-Text Contrast, 2.1.1 Keyboard, 1.3.1 Info and Relationships and 1.4.3 Contrast (minimum).

Online maps and mapping services are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations, as long as essential information is provided in an accessible digital manner for maps intended for navigational use. The content is available via a text search as well as via the map.

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 as part of a current project to build a new version of the site.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 15 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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