Accessibility Statement - Online Services

This website is run by Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), Northern Ireland. 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 200% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • view content in a meaningful order
  • clearly understand the content and instructions of the website.

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 aren't fully accessible:

  • some older PDF documents may not be fully accessible to screen reader software
  • there are some landmarks missing from our pages. 
  • after a period of inactivity, the user will be required to sign in again.
  • links rely solely on colour,  these should always be underlined not only when pointer hovers over them.
  • when text is increased to 200% it causes loss of content to the side navigation.
  • there are some contrast issues on tabs and when using the date picker.

What to do if you can't access parts of this website

If you need further information or assistance in using parts of this website, you can contact a DAERA Direct Regional Office.

A DAERA member of staff will be able to help you with your request.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We're always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren't listed on this page or think we're not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, contact the DAERA customer helpline on 0300 200 7852 or email

If you are unhappy with the quality of service received, in the first instance, you can make a complaint to DAERA.

Enforcement procedure

If you remain dissatisfied with the Department’s final response to your complaint, you can refer your case to the Equalities Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI), which is responsible for enforcing accessibility regulations. 
You can contact them.

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
Dundonald House
Upper Newtownards Road
Belfast BT4 3SB

DAERA Headquarters map location

Call DAERA customer helpline on 0300 200 7852 or email

If you have a hearing difficulty you can contact the Department via Text Relay using the Next Generation Text Service (NGTS).

  • Making a call from a textphone dial 18001 + number.
  • Making a call from a telephone dial 18002 + number.

There are also various Text to Speech applications available to use.

Technical information about this website's accessibility

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

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Issues with technology

  • There are some missing landmarks on our application, and an instance of element IDs not being unique. We plan to fix these issues.
  • Unable to navigate the date picker using only the keyboard. 

Issues with text

  • There are some issues with headings on some of our pages. We plan to fix this issue.
  • There are some issues with labels on some of our online forms. We plan to fix these issues.
  • There are some instances of redundant “title texts” associated with links on our application. We plan to fix this issue.
  • Some tables on our application are being used for layout purposes only. Alternative solutions are being considered..
  • When text is resized to 200% it causes loss of content for the side navigation.

Issues with PDFs and other documents

  • Some of our older PDFs don't meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be marked up so they're accessible to a screen reader.
  • Accessibility regulations don't 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 don't plan to fix older user guides for legacy applications.
  • Any new PDF documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Issues with images, video and audio

  • Missing alternative text, all images must have alt text. 

Issues with interactive tools and transactions

  • Error validation notices are currently not prioritised for screenreaders and are not focused on for normal screen users. We plan to fix this issue.
  • Additional content disappears when pointer moves over this content. 
  • Hyperlinks currently rely on colour, they only show an underline when user hovers over these. The underline should always be present on the hyperlinks.

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 10/05/2024. The test was carried out by DAERA Digital Services Division.

We chose to test all pages within the application (as it was quiet small and they represented the general functionality and layout of the web application). The pages were tested for code compliance using the Axe and WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool) Chrome extensions and NVDA screen reader. The pages also underwent manual testing to ensure they adhered to the four Accessibility principles (Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust).

We tested all pages of the application.

The accessibility evaluation report (HPRM ref) can be made available on request.

What we're doing to improve accessibility

The Department is actively engaged in improving the accessibility of its applications. As part of our 'Development Checklist', we require developers to design software with accessibility compliance built in. In those circumstances where compliance cannot be met, reasons for this should be documented, along with steps for addressing issues. We also carry out user research to ascertain user requirements and conduct usability workshopping before launching new applications.

This statement was prepared on 06 July 2021. It was last updated on 10 May 2024.

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