Accessibility statement for RNLI.org 

The RNLI are committed to making our website accessible to everyone, regardless of the technology or the ability of the user. We are working to increase the accessibility and usability of our website and adhere to available standards and guidelines.

This website is run by the RNLI. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to: 

  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen

  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard

We’ve also made the language as simple as possible to understand. 

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

How accessible is this website? 

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

Browsers

  • Some functionality is not available in the Internet Explorer browser but is available in the Google Chrome browser. 

Forms

  • Forms time out (automatically cancel) after 60 minutes. 

  • The progress bars on forms only indicate which step you are on by a change in colour.  

  • You cannot check your answers before submitting a form. 

  • It is not clear what some error messages on forms mean. 

  • Not all form fields are marked up appropriately. 

  • Some forms have two fields with the same name, for example when there is an email field in the form, but there is also a different email field for newsletter sign-up at the bottom of the web page. 

  • Some form fields with placeholder text don’t have a label, for example, the month and year fields on the date of birth section of the Storm Force membership form. 

  • Currency buttons on forms do not have the correct labels and attributes. 

Using a keyboard 

  • Not everything that happens when using the tab button to move around the page is expected, for example:

You cannot navigate out of the search bar with a keyboard when on a campaign page, for example: college section, Fish supper or Mayday pages. 

When using a keyboard to navigate a page with a carousel on it, pressing tab will select all the links on the carousel in turn, including those not in view. 

While a pop-up is in view, you cannot use the tab key to access the modal, only to navigate the page behind it. 

  • Some parts of the website are not accessible by keyboard, for example: 

Some radio buttons and carousels don’t work.

  • It is sometimes hard to tell where the focus is when navigating by keyboard, for example: 

Video controls are unclear.  

Some navigation hover states could be clearer.  

Latest Launches does not have a focus state.  

Flashing and flickering content 

  • Some videos that include sunlight on water cause a flicker. 

Colour and visual characteristics 

  • Some content does not function or appears confusing when styling is removed. 
  • There are some instances where only visual characteristics are used to display information, for example: 

Swell rating on Find My Nearest Beach pages.

Crew Room hover states are only indicated by a change in colour.  

Educational resources use icons that aren’t explained on the page.  

The Find My Nearest landing page only displays items visually when using radio buttons without location search.  

  • There are some instances where only colour is used to convey information, for example: 

The progress bars on forms only indicate which step you are on by a change in colour.  

The active part of the donation section is only indicated by a change in colour. 

Some activity sheets rely on colour information, such as flags, with no text description. 

  • Some text does not have enough contrast with the background to be easily read. 
  • There are some images of text. 
  • Some graphical objects, such as buttons, do not have enough contrast against a white background. 
  • Find My Nearest beaches do not have a text-based alternative to a map. 
  • Latest Launches does not have a text-based alternative to a map. 
  • Search and filters use the same icon. 
  • Filters sometimes use checkboxes and sometimes use radio buttons. 
  • The search icon behaves differently in different places. In the header it opens the search bar, on campaign pages it opens a search pop-up, and elsewhere it executes the search. 
  • Some input fields with placeholder text don’t have a label, for example location search fields or the month and year fields on the date of birth section of the Storm Force membership form. 

Language, clarity and checking responses 

  • Not all instructions are styled properly. 
  • Our pages are defined as English. Words in Welsh have not been defined as Welsh. 
  • On forms, some error messages are unclear. 
  • Link text is not always clear or descriptive. 
  • The same link text might be used on one page with different destinations. 
  • Headings and labels are not always clear or descriptive. 
  • Some pages have duplicate titles, for example FAQ pages. 

Captions, alt text and audio description 

  • Most images are decorative but do not indicate that the alt text can be skipped by assistive technologies. 
  • Not all videos have captions. 
  • Videos do not have audio description. 

Mark up 

  • The same link text might be used on one page with different destinations. 
  • Not all headings are styled properly or in the correct order, particularly in the footer. 
  • Our pages are defined as English. Words in Welsh have not been defined as Welsh. 
  • Most images are decorative but do not indicate that the alt text can be skipped by assistive technologies. 
  • Not all form fields are marked up appropriately. 
  • Not all HTML is valid or consistent. 

Zoom and increasing text size 

If you change the text size while on a page, you need to refresh the page. 

  • Some content is harder to use when text is enlarged to 200% (32pts). 
  • Tables require horizontal scrolling when enlarged or resized to a single column.  

Dismissing content 

  • The search bar in the header cannot be dismissed once it has been clicked on and it obscures the other items in the menu. 

What to do if you cannot access parts of this website 

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 as soon as possible. 

If you cannot view the map on our ‘contact us’ page, call or email us for directions. 

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 the RNLI Digital Studio on digital@rnli.org.uk or call RNLI Supporter Experience on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland). 

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 

The RNLI is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the WCAG2.0 guidelines. 

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.0 AA standard. The non-accessible sections are listed below.

Non accessible content 

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

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations 

Forms

The progress bars on forms only indicate which step you are on by a change in colour. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.4.1 (Use of Colour).

Forms time out after 60 minutes. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 2.2.1 (Timing Adjustable). 

Not all form fields are marked up appropriately. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.3.5 (Identify Input Purpose). 

You cannot check your answers before submitting a form. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 3.3.4 (Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data)). 

On forms some error messages are unclear. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 3.3.1 (Error Identification) and success criterion 3.3.3 (Error Suggestion). 

Some forms have two fields with the same name, for example, an email is required for the form, but there is also an email field for newsletter sign-up in the footer. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships). 

Some input fields with placeholder text don’t have appropriate labels. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships). 

Currency buttons on forms do not have the correct labels and attributes. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships).

We are currently reviewing our form solution and plan to start a project in October 2020 to implement a new forms solution. These criteria will be included as success criteria for this project. 

Using a keyboard 

Some parts of the website are not accessible by keyboard. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard). 

Not everything that happens when tabbing is expected. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 2.1.2 (No Keyboard Trap) and success criterion 2.4.3 (Focus Order). 

Some of these issues will be looked at as part of a navigation project in the second half of 2020. Other issues are currently being included in sprints to be fixed over the summer of 2020. 

Increasing text size and zoom 

Some content is harder to use when text is enlarged to 200% (32pts). This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.4.4 (Resize Text). 

Tables require horizontal scrolling when enlarged or resized to a single column. 

We are working to fix issues caused by enlarging text by 200% in 2020.

Headings, labels, instructions and links 

Some pages have duplicate titles, for example FAQ pages. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 2.4.2 (Page Titled). 

Link text is not always clear or descriptive. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 2.4.4 (Link Purpose (In Context)) and success criterion 2.4.9 (Link Purpose (Link Only)). 

The same link text might be used on one page with different destinations. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 2.4.4 (Link Purpose (In Context)) and success criterion 2.4.9 (Link Purpose (Link Only)). 

Headings and labels are not always clear or descriptive. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 2.4.6 (Headings and Labels). 

Not all headings are styled properly. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 2.4.10 (Section Headings). 

Not all instructions are styled properly. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.3.3 (Sensory Characteristics). 

We are currently reviewing pages with duplicate titles. Some of these may not be fixable at this time, for example pages that are generated as a result of choosing to download an image or video. We are reviewing and improving training and policies for content and web editors to ensure headings, labels, links and instructions are checked for accessibility before publishing. We are working to improve existing pages as they are amended. 

Images, videos, styling and colour 

Most images are decorative but will not indicate that the alt text can be skipped by assistive technologies. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content). 

Not all videos have captions. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.2.2 (Captions (Prerecorded)). 

Videos do not have transcripts. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.2.1 (Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded)) and success criterion 1.2.8 (Media Alternative (Prerecorded)). 

Videos do not have audio description. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.2.3 (Audio Description (Prerecorded)) and success criterion 1.2.8 (Media Alternative (Prerecorded)). 

Some content does not function when styling is removed or appears confusing. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.3.2 (Meaningful Sequence). 

There are some instances where only visual characteristics are used to display information. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.3.3 (Sensory Characteristics). 

There are some instances where only colour is used to convey information. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.4.1 (Use of Colour). 

Some text does not have sufficient contrast. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.4.3 (Contrast (Minimum)). 

There are some images of text. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.4.5 (Images of Text). 

Some graphical objects, such as buttons, do not have sufficient contrast against a white background. 

Some videos that include sunlight on water cause a flicker. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 2.3.1 (Three Flashes or Below Threshold) and success criterion 2.3.2 (Three Flashes). 

We are reviewing and improving training and policies for content and web editors to ensure images, videos and use of colour are checked for accessibility before publishing. We are working to improve existing pages as they are amended, although this may not be possible with some older videos. 

We are working to implement a solution allowing moving content such as gifs to be paused in 2020. 

Language 

Our pages are defined as English, however words in Welsh have not been defined as Welsh. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 3.1.2 (Language of Parts). 

We are working to implement a solution allowing us to set the language of parts in 2020. 

Maps 

Find My Nearest beaches do not have a text-based alternative to a map. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content). 

Latest Launches does not have a text-based alternative to a map. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content). 

In most cases we provide an address alongside a map. We are looking into how we can do this for beach pages and dynamic pages such as the Latest Launches page and adding to our development backlog. 

Dismissing content 

The search bar in the header cannot be dismissed once it has been clicked on and it obscures the other items in the menu. 

We are looking into how we can fix this issue and adding to our development backlog

Consistency 

Icons and components are not used consistently and do not behave consistently. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships). 

HTML and ARIA mark up 

Not all HTML is valid or consistent. This fails WCAG2.0 success criteria 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships) and 4.1.1 (Parsing). 

Not all components have appropriate mark up. This fails WCAG2.0 success criteria 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships) and 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value)

Disproportionate burden 

Videos 

Not all videos have captions. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.2.2 (Captions (Prerecorded)).

Videos do not have transcripts. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.2.1 (Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded)) and success criterion 1.2.8 (Media Alternative (Prerecorded)). 

Videos do not have audio description. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 1.2.3 (Audio Description (Prerecorded)) and success criterion 1.2.8 (Media Alternative (Prerecorded)). 

Some videos that include sunlight on water cause a flicker. This fails WCAG2.0 success criterion 2.3.1 (Three Flashes or Below Threshold) and success criterion 2.3.2 (Three Flashes).

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing older videos as most of our videos are decorative and do not include vital information, we believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden. We aim to meet WCAG2.0 criteria for all new videos on the site.  

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

PDFs and other documents 

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.0 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). 

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. We are currently reviewing our PDFs and plan to remove them, replace them with accessible HTML pages or fix them where possible. 

How we tested this website 

This website was last tested on November 2019 – May 2020. The test was carried out by the RNLI. We asked a supplier to carry out an audit for WCAG2.0 success criteria 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships), 3.2.4 (Consistent Identification), 4.1.1 (Parsing) and 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). 

We chose the sample of pages to include in our audit based on the guidance given by Government Digital Services. We chose a representative sample that captured the variation in content and functionality that RNLI.org had as at October 2019. 

Our sample included: 

  • our site’s homepage 
  • content pages that are mostly text based 
  • images, video and audio content 
  • interactive tools and transactions, like forms 
  • dynamic content like pop-up windows 
  • navigation pages, including our sitemap and pages with search functionality 
  • any pages containing information about accessibility, how to contact us, how to use our site and legal information (for example terms and conditions pages, or things like our Privacy Policy). 

We tested: 

We carried out the audit using a Google Chrome browser and Safari on an iPhone.  

This statement was prepared on 27th October 2020. It was last updated on 27th October 2020.