At abrdn, we believe that websites and digital services should be accessible and easy to use by anyone, regardless of ability, age, or technology.
This means that all customers and clients, including those with permanent or temporary disabilities, visual or hearing impairments, cognitive, and/or motor disabilities can use our websites and digital services.
We are continually working towards improving our websites and digital services to increase the accessibility and usability to ensure everyone can use them as they would expect to.
International accessibility standards
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the main international standards organisation for the World Wide Web. The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) develops technical specifications, guidelines, techniques, and supporting resources that describe accessibility solutions. These are considered international standards for web accessibility.
We follow the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) in order to ensure our websites and digital services technically meet the expected requirements.
We are constantly working to make our websites as accessible and inclusive to the widest possible audience.
Our aspiration is to be fully AA level compliant with WCAG 2.1.
By following and adhering to the WCAG, our aim is to make our web content and user interfaces perceivable, understandable, operable, and robust for all of our users.
This means that:
- Website text is as simple as possible to understand.
- Text alternatives ("alt text") are used to convey the purpose of images, illustrations, charts, etc.
- Sufficient colour contrast is used to help with readability and colour alone is not used to convey information.
- Interactive elements are easy to identify and use.
- Navigation options are clear, consistent, and can be carried out using speech recognition software.
- Most of the website can be read aloud by a screen reader.
- The scale of the page content can be increased up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen.
- Transcripts and captions are provided for multimedia content.
- Instructions, guidance, and feedback for submissions or error messages are clear and easy to understand.
How do we comply
We have created and will continue to evolve a digital Design System which is a library of accessible and inclusive components, styles and common design patterns.
This allows us to build accessible websites and digital services from the beginning of any new development.
It is also important for us to continually check and evaluate our services. We do this by:
- Completing accessibility audits using automated checker tools.
- Carrying out accessibility expert manual evaluations.
- Running user testing with people that have diverse abilities.
Our current position on accessibility
While we aim to make our websites as usable and accessible as possible for everyone, there are areas that are not to the level of accessibility that we would expect. We plan to put this right over time.
Areas of our websites and digital services that may not be fully accessible:
- Documents that are in PDF format are not fully accessible to screen reader software.
- Not all images have alternative text descriptions.
- Some documents have poor colour contrast.
- Some areas of our websites, platforms and online forms may not be fully navigable using just a keyboard or when using a screen reader.
Our future plans for accessibility
We understand the importance of accessibility and providing digital services that are inclusive and usable for everyone.
Accessibility is ever evolving and as digital services and customer needs also continue to change, we need to take this into account and evolve at the same pace. The following are plans we have in order to do this:
- We will consider accessibility as an equal requirement when developing new and existing products and services that are available online.
- We will continue to evolve and develop our Design System to provide accessible, inclusive and usable digital services.
- Continue to run user testing with a diverse audience to ensure all abilities, ages, and demographics needs are accounted for.
- We will raise awareness and experience of accessibility with staff through communications and training.
Accessibility tools and further support
The following information may support you further or help you to adapt your device or web browser to make our websites or digital services more usable if you have an impairment or disability.
We can provide the following facilities to help you contact/communicate with us or for us to contact/communicate with you:
- Large print
- Relay UK (previously Next Generation Text)
Hearing or speech impaired
We can be contacted by Relay UK (previously Next Generation Text). To use this service you can download their app to your computer, laptop, tablet or android smartphone by visiting the Relay UK website where there are instructions on how to do this.
We can also accept calls where the customer is using a Sign Language Interpreter (SLI) to speak on their behalf. We ask for the SLI's name or badge number and check they are registered using the NRCPD website. If they are active and registered you can continue the call/visit taking the customers instructions via the SLI.
Third party resources
AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have an impairment or disability.
AbilityNet is a UK charity with a global perspective that provide online resources to help individuals with any disability, of any age, to use all kinds of digital technology.
They have created some simple 'how to' guides to make your device easier to use.
Web browser support
Below we have provided links to further accessibility support specific to the most common web browsers.