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Website accessibility

  • Public

Accessible design is good design. We should build a product that's as inclusive, legible and readable as possible. If we have to sacrifice elegance – so be it.

Government Digital Service's Design Principles

Our website is built to meet W3C AA standards for accessibility.

We are committed to putting the public first. This includes collecting and responding to your views and experiences and ensuring you can access the information needed to make informed choices about your care.

We want to make sure that everyone is able to access the information we provide and communicate with us in ways that meet their individual needs. Our Accessible communications policy sets out how we are achieving these aims.

Alternative formats

When you see the icons below on our website it means that the information is available in a range of alternative formats.

Easy read icon Easy read documents

Audio icon Audio versions

Large print icon Large print documents

Sign language icon British sign language videos

We also publish our key documents in a range of languages:

  • Bengali
  • Chinese
  • Gujarati
  • Polish
  • Punjabi
  • Urdu

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Clear labelling

We use clear labels so visitors know where a link or button is taking them and the type and size of documents they are downloading.

Where we use buttons, they'll look like this...

This is a button

Where we include documents, they'll normally look like this...

We have also used a clear design that takes account of people with visual impairments.

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Plain language

We're committed to using plain English throughout the site to make the information easy to understand. There may be pages where we have not done well enough in this area and we want to hear when you think we've fallen short.

If you find some information on this site that you think should be clearer, please email us at and tell us:

  • details of the page you were looking at
  • the information you thought should be clearer
  • anything else you think would help us improve

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PDF files

Many of our reports are only available as PDF (Portable Document Format) files.

To find out more about PDF files and how to access them, go to Adobe PDF files.

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Text size

If you need to increase the size of the text on our website, most browsers allow you to do this using your keyboard.

  • Ctrl’ and '+' to zoom in (use 'Cmd' and '+’ on a Mac)
  • Ctrl’ and ‘’ to zoom out (use 'Cmd' and ‘’ on a Mac)
  • 'Ctrl' and '0' to return the page to normal size (use 'Cmd' and '0' on a Mac)

Magnify the screen

If increasing the text size does not make the text easy to see, you could try magnifying your screen. Most computer operating systems allow you to do this.

Select the Start button, then 'Control Panel', then 'Ease of Access', then 'Ease of Access Center’.

Under 'Quick Access to common tools' select 'Start Magnifier’.

Select the 'Start' button or press the Windows logo key.

Select 'Programs' then press 'Enter', select 'Accessories' then press 'Enter', select 'Accessibility' then press 'Enter', select 'Magnifier' then press 'Enter'.

The magnifier will now be turned on and the settings box will display.

You can click in the magnification level box to change the level of magnification or use the up and down arrow keys.

You can also minimise the magnifier settings box by clicking the minimise button or by pressing 'Alt' and 'Space' and then press 'N'.

Open the ‘Finder' then select the 'Apple' menu, select 'System Preferences...', select the 'Universal Access' icon.

Select the 'Seeing' tab then select the 'Turn on Zoom' button.

To zoom in press 'Alt' and 'Cmd' and '+'. This zooms to your maximum level of magnification set in 'Zoom Options…'. The preview rectangle (black bordered box) shows the area of the screen that you will see at maximum zoom.

To step back or zoom out press ' Alt' and 'Cmd' and ''. Move your mouse around the screen to view the magnified page.

To change the maximum and minimum zoom settings select 'Zoom Options…', then:

  • use the 'Maximum Zoom' gauge bar to increase or decrease the magnification level.
  • use the 'Minimum Zoom' gauge bar to increase or decrease the magnification level.

When you have finished select 'Done' and, finally, select 'Close' (red button at the top of the 'Universal Access' window) to return to the Finder desktop.

To turn magnification on or off at any time, press 'Alt' and 'Cmd' and '*'.

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We do not use colour alone to convey vital information. Where we use two images identical except for their colour to convey different meanings, we will accompany it with text.

For example, when we use grey and red crosses in our inspection reports, we use the phrases 'Improvements required' and 'Enforcement action' to explain what each means.

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All images, where appropriate, have alternative text descriptions explaining what the image is about. This description will be read out by screen readers and will be displayed if you hover your cursor over the image.

If the image is complex and cannot be described in just a few words (for example, with some infographics), there will be a link below the image to another page with the full text alternative.

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All links to other websites will open up a new browser window. If you want to return to the Care Quality Commission's website after following an external link, you just need to close the new browser window.

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  • You can use the 'arrow' keys to scroll up and down a page. You can also use the space bar to move down and 'shift' and 'space bar' to move up pages.
  • You can use the 'tab' key to move from one link to the next, in sequence, then press the 'return/enter' key to select the link.
  • You can use the 'backspace' key to go back to the previous page.

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Last updated:
18 April 2018