Accessibility statement

How accessible this website is

We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours and contrast levels
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

We know some parts of this website aren’t fully accessible:

  • you can’t modify the line height or spacing of text on our homepage, search page and navigation page
  • most older PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software
  • embedded videos and live video streams don’t have captions
  • there’s no option to skip to main content on some third-party applications
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard, for example:
  • on some third party applications the text will not reflow in a single column when you change the size of the browser window, for example:

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 27 August 2019. The test was carried out by Gillian Newman, in-house accessibility expert.

We used sample pages that included all the different types of functionality on the website.

We tested our main website platform:

You can read the full accessibility test report.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

We are committed to making our 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.

Non-accessible content

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • on some pages layout tables are being used when a data table would format the text correctly when the page is linearised or read by a screen reader. This fails WCAG 2.1 guideline 1.3.1 info and relationships. We plan to change the layout table style to a data table style by August 2020
  • links to PDFs, Word documents, Google docs etc don’t indicate what type of document they are. We plan to ensure that all document links display which type of document they are by August 2020
  • embedded videos don’t have captions or an audio-only version of the content. From 23 September 2020 all our new videos will have captions and we’ll also provide an audio only version
  • some of our interactive forms and applications are difficult to navigate using a keyboard, for example: order new recycling containers or sacks, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag
  • we are aware that some of our third party forms and applications may not meet WCAG2.1. For instance, on our planning search system, there’s no way to skip the repeated content in the page header (for example, a ‘skip to main content’ option). This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks). Also, on our library catalogue, it’s not possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it more difficult to view the content. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.4 (orientation). We are working with our suppliers to bring these up to the standard we expect. We will also be making an assessment when each supplier contract is up for renewal and building in accessibility requirements as part of our procurement process.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

The 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 evidence base PDFs in the planning section.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Live video

Live video streams don’t have captions. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions – live).

We don’t plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact:

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

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille contact:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 5 working days.

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).

Page updated on: 19 June 2020