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Phone line: We are currently operating a voicemail call back service on our contact telephone number 0300 369 0689. All messages received are collected by our Enquiries Team, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am until 16:30 pm. Please leave a voicemail, with your name, phone number, email address (if possible), and enquiryWe aim to respond to all messages within 2 working days. Any messages received to our voicemail on Friday afternoon will be retrieved on Monday, after the weekend. 

Accessibility

This accessibility statement applies to the Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces (SCOAF) website.

This website is run by SCOAF and is designed to be as accessible to as many people as possible. We have:

  • made the content simple to understand
  • designed our application forms with clear instructions and fields
  • made our PDFs and Word documents accessible to screen reader software

To find out about the additional support we provide read the factsheet on reasonable adjustments.

How accessible is the website?

Some parts of this website are not fully accessible. For example:

  • some images do not have good alternative text descriptions
  • a number of third party plug-in applications are not fully accessible

How to use our website?

The search facility at the top of this page is the quickest way to search across all the pages of this website. If you are looking for specific information, you can just type a word or phrase into the search box and click the magnifying-glass symbol.

You can navigate your way through the site by following the standard links that appear on each page. Or you can look at the sitemap page that gives a quick overview of the site, with direct links to the most popular areas.

Browsealoud

We use reading and translation software to make the content on our website more accessible. The software Browealoud provides an online support toolbar for all web browsers, smartphones and tablets – allowing you to drag and drop it anywhere on the screen. Browsealoud provides the following features:

Text-to-speech This means you can select particular words on the screen you would like to hear spoken aloud. The words are individually highlighted, as the computer reads them out, helping you follow what is being read at your own pace.
Translation Our website can be changed into 99 different languages with speech translation offered in 40 languages. Select the language you prefer and it will translate the page for you.
Magnifier If you have a visual impairment this feature allows you to view the page in large size font.
MP3 generator This feature allows you to download audio versions of our content to hear offline on your smart device or computer.
Simplify This feature removes distracting content like menus, images and boxes from a page for easy reading. You can simplify the page to your preferred font, size and colour.
Screen mask If you have dyslexia or learning difficulties this feature allows you to block on screen clutter by shading the rest of the screen. This allows you to focus on the text for easy reading.
Settings This button allows you to customise options to suit your needs
Help This button provides instructions on how to use each feature of Browsealoud.

 How to install

You can launch Browsealoud free-of-charge by clicking ‘speak’ on the header menu of the website. Then simply click on any text to hear it read out loud.

To use Browsealoud, you will need to have JavaScript working in your browser. To find out if your device has JavaScript, click on ‘Listen to this website’ at the top of the page. If the Browsealoud toolbar appears this means JavaScript is working.

Support using Browsealoud

For help using Browsealoud or to learn more about the service:

Web: http://www.texthelp.com/uk/support/
Email: support@texthelp.com
Tel: 0800 328 7910

How to request content in an accessible format

At SCOAF, we publish information in a range of formats, including: PDF, Word, Excel, ODT and ODS. For example, when we produce a document we make sure to:

  • provide a plain text webpage (‘HTML’) option where possible
  • tag headings and other parts of the document properly, so our screen reader Browsealoud can understand the page structure
  • make sure we include alternative text alongside non-decorative images, so people who can’t see them can understand what they’re there for
  • use plain English whenever possible

If you need information in a different format, please email contact@scoaf.org.uk. We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 2 working days.

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, please email communications@scoaf.org.uk.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

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

Compliance status

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

Non-accessible content

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

  • Some documents in PDF format do not have alternative text descriptions, labels and structure. This means that he documents are in less accessible format and fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content)
  • Some tables in content do not have table row headers when needed. This means assistive technologies will not read the tables correctly. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1
  • Some images do not have alternative text descriptions, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content)

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We did an external audit of the site to fix the accessibility issues. This test was completed by our supplier Connect Internet Solutions on 28 May 2021. It identified issues with content, design and development.

In addition, the SCOAF website is due to be renovated in late 2021. As we design, build and update the site, we plan to do an accessibility test to ensure that the site is compliant.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was updated on 24 August 2021.