Accessibility statement

Updated 18/06/21

© Crown copyright 2021

This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: psi@nationalarchives.gsi.gov.uk

Where we have identified any third-party copyright information, you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.

Accessibility statement for the UK MoneyHelper website

This accessibility statement applies to the domain moneyhelper.org.uk.

This website is run by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS). We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to do the following:

  • 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 (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)
  • access the site on smaller devices

We’ve also made the website text as simple to understand as we can.

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:

  • Some images have missing or inadequate alternative text.
  • Form labels are not always associated to the fields to which they pertain, and some form fields or options are missing labels altogether. This gives screen reader users no context for those fields/options.
  • Some parts of the site present new or updated content when appropriate, but they do not alert assistive technology that the content has changed. This hides the changes from users of assistive technology.
  • Some error messages are unhelpful, giving little or no information about exactly what is wrong or what the user needs to do to make it right.
  • The use of headings throughout the site is inconsistent.
  • Some links fail to indicate their purpose, in some cases because they contain no link text.
  • Tab order and focus order do not always work as expected.
  • The contents of lists are not always clear to people using screen readers.
  • Some pages contain long lists of links, large blocks of text, or whole paragraphs of italicised text.

More information on the accessibility issues appears in the section on non-accessible content, below.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format, such as accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or Braille, feel free to contact us:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within two days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that we haven’t listed on this page, or if you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, we’d love to hear from you. Please send us an email in which you describe the problem and tell us which page you were using when it happened. Send this email to accessibility@moneyhelper.org.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)

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Our offices are currently closed because of Covid-19 restrictions. Once we reopen, you will be welcome to contact us in advance, so that we can arrange reasonable accommodation for your visit. For example, you will be able to request a space with low lighting or low noise levels, or you can ask us to arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The Money and Pensions Service 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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Some images have missing or inadequate alternative text. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 1.1.1 (Non-text Content, Level A). We plan to associate meaningful alt text to all images by [30/08/21]. Going forward, we will ensure that all new images have meaningful alt text associated to them.

Form labels are not always associated to the fields to which they pertain, and some form fields or options are missing labels altogether. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criteria: 1.1.1 (Non-text Content, Level A); 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships, Level A); 3.3.2 (Label or Instructions, Level A); 2.4.6 (Headings and Labels, Level AA). We plan to assign appropriate labels to all form fields and options by [30/08/21]. Going forward, we will ensure that all new or redesigned forms have labels associated to all fields and options.

The use of headings throughout the site is inconsistent: some pages skip heading levels, other headings are empty, and some “headings” don’t function as headings. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criteria: 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships, Level A); 2.4.1 (Bypass Blocks, Level A); 2.4.6 (Headings and Labels, Level AA); 3.2.3, Consistent Navigation, Level AA). We plan to correct the heading structure by [30/08/21]. Going forward, we will ensure that all headings have a consistent and compliant structure.

The content and structure of lists are not always made clear to people using screen readers. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships, Level A). We plan to correct the structure of all lists by [30/08/21]. Going forward, we will ensure that all new and modified lists are structured correctly.

Tab order and focus order do not always work as expected. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criteria: 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships, Level A); 2.4.3 (Focus Order, Level A). We plan to ensure that the tab order and focus order work correctly by [30/08/21]. Going forward, we will ensure that any additions or modifications we may make to the site will provide correct tab and focus order.

Some form elements have no descriptions. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criteria: 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships, Level A); 3.3.2 (Label or Instructions, Level A); 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value, Level A). We plan to ensure that every form element has a description by [30/08/21].. Going forward, we will ensure that all new form elements have descriptions.

Disabling CSS in the browser removes some parts of the content from the interaction. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 1.3.2 (Meaningful Sequence, Level A). We plan to ensure that all content is presented regardless of CSS settings by [30/08/21].

Some parts of the site do not adapt to increased text spacing. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 1.4.12 (Text Spacing, Level AA). We plan to ensure that the text spacing responds to all relevant user settings for the spacing of lines, paragraphs, letters and words by [30/08/21].

Some elements of the site do not indicate when the user hovers over them with a pointing device. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 1.4.13 (Content on Hover or Focus, Level AA). We will ensure that, by [30/08/21] ,all interactive elements will indicate when they are being hovered over.

Some links fail to indicate their purpose, in some cases because they contain no link text. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 2.4.4 (Link Purpose, Level A). We plan to update all links so that they indicate their purpose by [30/08/21]. Going forward, we will ensure that all new or modified links indicate their purpose.

Some error messages are unhelpful, giving little or no information about exactly what is wrong or what the user needs to do to make it right. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criteria: 3.3.1 (Error Identification, Level A); 3.3.2 (Label or Instructions, Level A). We plan to update all error messages by [30/08/21]. Going forward, we will ensure that all new and modified error messages clearly indicate what is wrong and what the user needs to do to correct the problem.

Some parts of the site present new or updated content as the user progresses through the process, but they do not alert assistive technology that the content has changed. This fails the following WCAG 2.1 success criterion: 4.1.3 (Status Messages, Level AA). We plan to ensure, by [30/08/21], that any time the site presents new or updated content it alerts assistive technology that the content has changed.

Older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software and/or keyboard navigation. This fails some of WCAG 2.1 success criteria PDF1 through PDF23. Although some of our older PDF documents are exempt from the accessibility regulation, as described in a later section of this Statement, we will address this issue going forward. Whenever we publish new PDF content, we will make sure that the information in it can be accessed using screen readers and that we also provide HTML versions of that content.

Accessibility problems found through inclusive usability testing

The IUT found a small number of accessibility problems that are not specifically covered by the WCAG criteria. Although these are not necessarily WCAG compliance issues, we list them here because we found them to be accessibility problems for the participants in our testing. The most common accessibility problem found in the IUT was inadequate colour contrast, which we have mentioned above.

Some assistive technologies used for adjusting screen appearance do not work when the screen reader is on. This can cause problems for some people who use assistive technologies to help them perceive and understand content.

Some pages display whole paragraphs in italics, which some people find difficult to read. Although this doesn’t fall under any WCAG 2.1 success criteria, WebAIM advises the following: “Do not use italics or bold on long sections of text” (webaim.org/articles/evaluatingcognitive). We plan to assess this issue further and reduce the amount of text we display in italics.

Some pages contain long lists of links or large blocks of text, which some people can find overwhelming. This can make it difficult for some people, such as people with dyslexia or attention disorders, to absorb and understand the content. Although this doesn’t fall under any WCAG 2.1 success criteria, System Concepts recommend “breaking up content and making it easy to skim read” (www.system-concepts.com/insights/accessible-content-for-cognitive-impairments). We plan to break up long lists of links and large blocks of text, to make them easier to skim read.

The white background can create glare for some users. This can make it difficult for some people to read and understand the content. Although this doesn’t fall under any WCAG 2.1 success criteria, the British Dyslexia Association advises using a “light (not white) background” (www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/advice/employers/creating-a-dyslexia-friendly-workplace/dyslexia-friendly-style-guide). We plan to investigate this issue further and consider changing our white background to a very light colour.

Disproportionate burden

This website contains embedded tools that are hosted on our legacy codebase. Most of the accessibility issues listed here are concerning that content. To date, we have not had the resources or funding to rebuild the tools within MoneyHelper.org.uk. We have a plan for rebuilding these tools to improve usability for our users when resources and funding become available. 

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

Some of our PDF and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on [TBC] and Word documents that [TBC]. We plan to fix these documents or replace them with accessible HTML pages by [TBC].

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. For example, we do not plan to fix [TBC].  

Any new PDF or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards. Before publishing new content as a PDF or Word document, we will make sure that that alternative format is necessary, as advised by GDS.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

This website underwent a full third-party accessibility audit in April 2021 and third-party inclusive usability testing in April-May 2021. This accessibility statement has been prepared to reflect the results of those assessments.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 27/05/2021. It was last reviewed on 18/06/2021.

This website was last tested via audit on 21 April 2021 and via inclusive usability testing (IUT) on 18-21 May 2021. The audit and testing were carried out by Nexer Digital Ltd

Accessibility audit

The pages to audit were chosen on the basis of the following user journeys:

  1. Navigate and find information relating to benefits, pensions and options
  2. Use the live chat to speak to MoneyHelper
  3. Use the embedded tool to do a self-evaulation and find next steps
  4. An extra random sample of pages, as guided by the Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) (www.w3.org/WAI/test-evaluate/conformance/wcag-em)

The audit assessed the following pages and functions:

  • Home
  • 1-to-1 live chat
  • Benefits and entitlements
  • Protecting yourself against financial abuse
  • Coronavirus, travel insurance and holiday cancellations
  • How to fill in a Self Assessment tax return
  • Choosing a bank account for your benefit payments
  • Book a free Pension Wise appointment
  • What is flexible retirement income (pension drawdown)?
  • Money Navigator tool
  • Search results for “pensions”
  • Home (with new banner)

The audit used the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines V2.1, levels A and AA, to determine how accessible the selected pages are.

Inclusive usability testing

The audit was followed by inclusive usability testing, an empirical process that involves people with disabilities, ranging digital skills, and specific technology access needs. This testing employed the following tasks:

  1. Navigation and search to find Young carer support
  2. Find and use the Money Manager
  3. Find Pension Wise and book an appointment
  4. Find and use the redundancy calculator
  5. Find and use “Talk to us live”

The testing uncovered some accessibility issues that do not map directly to the WCAG 2.1 criteria but affect the ability of people with disabilities and/or access needs to use the site, and we have listed them in this statement.

Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
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