Every effort has been made to ensure that the NICE Evidence Search website is usable and accessible to all. The site has been built and tested in line with recognised accessibility standards, guidelines and established best practice to uphold this aim.

NICE Evidence Search conforms to the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0, level AA, as required by the NHS Brand Guidelines and the Central Office of Information. Additional best practice has been followed, where possible, to further enhance accessibility.

This accessibility statement is intended to apply to the NICE Evidence Search website at As such, this statement does not apply to other sites, including:

  • Other websites operated by NICE Evidence Services. Such sites may have legacy features or requirements which make it impossible to conform to the WCAG 1.0 guidelines at this time
  • Content provider websites linked to through NICE Evidence Search results
  • Other websites linked to through the resource links or data sources sections or elsewhere on the NICE Evidence Search website.

Accessibility features

Text resizing

The website makes use of relative text sizes, allowing text to be resized within the browser, a feature supported by all modern visual web browsers. The site layout has also been constructed and styled in a manner designed to facilitate text resizing without presenting obstacles to accessibility.

Valid XHTML mark-up

The website conforms to W3C XHTML 1.0 Transitional mark-up to ensure that the content of the site can be accessed across as wide a range of technologies as possible. Best practice in semantic mark-up is used to give meaningful context to non-standard browser technologies and assistive technologies.

Progressive enhancement

Cascading style sheets (CSS) and JavaScript are used throughout the website, to enhance both the visual appearance of the site and the user experience. Progressive enhancement techniques are employed so that the site is fully functional if either technology is disabled or is not supported.

Colour combinations

Where possible, the site uses text foreground/background colour combinations which produce a strong contrast, along with increased line-height and white-space, in order to increase the readability of content.

Where possible, links are constructed in such a manner that they make sense when read out of context, e.g. when using a screen reader to list available links within a page, or use link titles to describe the link target in more detail.


Where possible, images are not used to convey complex information. Where this is unavoidable, appropriate “alt” or “longdesc” attributes are used to relay the meaning of the image to non-visual technologies. Where images are used purely for visual enhancement, they are rendered either as background images, or have null alt attributes to be more user-friendly for users of non-visual technologies.

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