Accessibility statement for substance misuse database

The Substance Misuse Database is a data collection website that is under the responsibility of the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.

This page outlines the accessibility statement for the Substance Misuse Database only; there is a separate accessibility statement for the main Department of Health website.

The Substance Misuse Database website is used by drug and alcohol services to capture information on people presenting for treatment. It is designed to be used by as many people as possible. The text should be clear and simple to understand. You should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 300% without problems
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • use most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

How accessible this website is

Parts of this website are not fully accessible. For example:

  • contrast issue with skip button
  • CSS is not available to some screen readers in IE11 or older versions
  • JavaScript not fully working on IE11 or older versions

What to do if you cannot access parts of this website

If you need information on this website contact us by using the feedback form and tell us:

  • your name and email address
  • some detail concerning the information you require

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or think we are not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, contact us by using the feedback form and we will investigate the issue.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’) in Northern Ireland. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

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

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

Non-accessible content

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

The contrast between the skip button and the navigation bar does not have a great enough difference.

Internet Explorer 11 and older versions are legacy browsers and are causing issues with the CSS and JavaScript.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

The skip navigation is causing a contrast issue with top navigation bar, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3.

We are currently developing a new design frontend which will be fully complaint with WCAG 2.1.  Once completed and when we publish new content we’ll make sure the new design frontend is applied.

Disproportionate burden

Internet Explorer issues

The JavaScript and CSS does not work correctly with IE11 or older versions.

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues with Internet Explorer. With less than 2% of browser usage being IE we believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We recommend using a more modern browser.


How we tested this website

This website was tested for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 level A and level AA, and these tests have been carried out externally and independently.

We used the Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) approach to deciding on a sample of pages to test.


This statement was prepared on 2 October 2020.


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