Accessibility statement for the British Library websites

We want as many people as possible to be able to use our websites. The following statement includes information on scope, compliance and what to do if you cannot access parts of these websites.

This page is about the accessibility of our websites. See our visitor information pages for accessibility at the British Library's buildings.

Introduction

We want as many people as possible to be able to use these websites. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 200% 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)

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.

Scope

The British Library is committed to making its websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The British Library operates a number of websites, subsites, and online services (“Sites”).

This accessibility statement applies to the following Sites:

The Library’s other Sites will not be covered by the Public Sector Bodies (Website and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations until 23 September 2020. Our other Sites will be included in this Statement when they are brought into compliance with this regulation.

How accessible these websites are

We know some parts of these Sites are not fully accessible:

About Us

  • Most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software

Discovering Sacred Texts

  • The same link text is used for links going to different destinations and is not distinguished by Aria-label. 

Living Knowledge Network

  • Video content is not required to be audio transcribed or subtitled until 23 September 2020.

UK Web Archive

  • The archived website content delivered by this website is outside the control of the British Library. Users may experience difficulties accessing this content.

What to do if you cannot access parts of these websites

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:

  • Email: FOI-Enquiries@bl.uk
  • Phone: 01937 546 060 (Customer Services)
  • Write to: Corporate Information Unit, British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 20 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with these websites

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 the Head of Corporate Information Management by email at FOI-Enquiries@bl.uk, or in writing at Corporate Information Unit, British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB.

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, please 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: Textphone 01937 546 434.

Hearing induction loops are fitted at all Library Information and Enquiry Desks, or if you contact us before your visit we may be able to arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Compliance status

About Us

This website is fully compliant with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Discovering Sacred Texts

This website is partially compliant with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Living Knowledge Network

This website is fully compliant with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. Exemptions claimed are listed below.

Living with Machines

This website is fully compliant with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. Exemptions claimed are listed below.

Shop

This website is fully compliant with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

UK Web Archive

This website is fully compliant with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. Exemptions claimed are listed below.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Discovering Sacred Texts

  • The same link text is used for links going to different destinations and are not distinguished by Aria-labels, meaning that users of assistive technologies or with cognitive difficulties may not be able to distinguish the different destinations. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 (link purpose in context). We plan to resolve this by adding Aria-labels for all template links by January 2020. When we create new templates we will ensure this functionality is included by default. 

Content not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

Living Knowledge Network

  • Video content published before 23 September 2020 is exempt from the Regulations under Reg 3(2)(b). This content might fail any of the WCAG 2.1 AA Success Criteria related to the provision of a transcript, subtitles, or audio description.

Living with Machines

  • Parsing errors are present across the website, meaning that it may not be correctly interpreted by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies. This fails WCAG 2.1 AA Success Criterion 4.1.1 (parsing). These errors are inserted by known issues with WordPress, such as conflicts with the Grammarly Chrome plugin extension. As these issues are caused by third party software that is neither funded nor developed by nor under the control of the Library, they are exempt from the Regulations under Reg 3(2)(e).

UK Web Archive

  • The archival content delivered by the UK Web Archive is exempt from the Regulations under Reg 3(2)(h). This content might fail any of the WCAG 2.1 AA Success Criteria.

How we tested these websites

About Us

This website was last tested on 16 September 2019. A full review of the site was carried out by the British Library using SiteImprove.

Discovering Sacred Texts

This website was last tested on 23 September 2019. A full review of the site was carried out by the British Library using SiteImprove.

Living Knowledge Network

This website was last tested on 04 June 2020. A full review of the site was carried out by Unique Media using Wave.

Living with Machines

This website was last tested on 24 April 2020. A full review of the site was carried out via code review by Bond & Coyne.

Shop

This website was last tested on 08 November 2019. A full review of the site was carried out by Smart Cookie Ltd. using Google Lighthouse, and a representative sample of the site was validated by the British Library using Wave.

UK Web Archive

This website was last tested on 12 March 2020. A representative sample of the site was reviewed by AbilityNet, using a suite of modern accessibility tools including Screen Readers (Desktop JAWS 2018 / IE11), the web accessibility toolbar, colour contrast analysers, and website validation tools.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 17 September 2019. It was last updated on 04 June 2020.