Accessibility statement for West Suffolk Council website

This accessibility statement applies to content published on the domain.

This website is run by West Suffolk Council. It is designed to be used by as many people as possible. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • 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.

We are always working to make the website text as simple as possible to understand.

In accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018, we regularly monitor the accessibility standards of our website. To do this, we use a tool called Siteimprove which monitors and tests the website and sends reports to us.

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

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • Some pages scroll in two dimensions on small screens
  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • Some PDFs (Portable Document Format) and other documents are not fully accessible:
    • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
    • occasionally we add documents produced by external organisations which we cannot always make accessible
    • on rare occasions, due to tight deadlines or to meet statutory requirements, we may sometimes upload documents which are not fully accessible. We aim to upload accessible versions as soon as we can, and if asked will provide an accessible version
    • there is no legal requirement to make documents produced before September 2018 accessible. As many of these are historical it is not possible to make them all fully accessible.

If you have any issues with reading a PDF document, please contact us as we may be able to provide an accessible version.

  • live video streams may not have captions, although some providers such as YouTube and MS Teams have them.
  • some of our forms may be difficult to navigate using just a keyboard. We are working to move all forms online. Please contact Customer Services if you have an issue.

Feedback and contact information

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

In your message, include:

  • the web address (URL) of the content
  • your email address and name
  • the format you need - for example, plain text, braille, BSL or large print

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

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 the Communications team by email:

Please include:

  • ‘Website accessibility’ in the subject line
  • the web address (URL) of the page with the issue
  • details of the issue.

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).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Find out how to contact us

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

West Suffolk Council is committed to making its websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

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

Non-accessible content

When last tested on 4 April 2023, the accessibility report showed that the website was 100% compliant with the standards.

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

PDFs (Portable Document Format) and other documents

Some of our PDFs and MS (Microsoft) Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and some forms published as MS Word documents (as well as PDFs) so that people with access to MS Word can complete them electronically. By December 2023, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.

We are working to make sure that any new PDFs or other documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

We work with our suppliers, contractors, and partners to make sure their systems and documentation adhere to the latest Government guidance on accessibility where they are supplying us with content. Where possible this is written into contracts and is part of our procurement procedures.

However, we cannot always guarantee that documents produced by external organisations and members of the public which are published on our website, are always fully accessible. We have to host a considerable number of documents in relation to planning applications, the local plan and neighbourhood plans, and it is not always possible to get all the different organisations to adhere to our accessibility requirements.

If this is the case and you need a document in an accessible format, please contact us.

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are continually working to improve accessibility. We regularly receive reports form Siteimprove, the automated system we use to check accessibility, quality assurance and search engine optimisation (SEO) and look to resolve issues on a weekly basis. We also respond to any issues identified by visitors to the websites and regularly review pages.

We have an active programme of searching out documents and other issues that do not meet the accessibility guidance. Where we find such issues, we resolve them or replace documents with HTML pages. We expect all these to be changed by December 2023.

We work with our third party suppliers to make sure their systems are as accessible as possible, and to resolve issues as quickly as possible.

We are working to move all our forms online so you can complete them on screen. Some of our forms are PDF (Portable Document Format) documents which you will then have to print and post to us, and a few are in MS Word format which you can complete electronically and email to us. If you experience any problems with the forms, please contact Customer Services by email: or phone 01284 763233.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 20 September 2019. It was last reviewed on 4 April 2023.

This website was last tested on 4 April 2023.

The test was carried out internally by West Suffolk Council, using Siteimprove for automated testing. The regular accessibility report run by Siteimprove shows that the site 100% compliant with the A and AA standard. It also includes AAA standard and best practice scores which bring the overall rating down to 97.4%.  This means that although we are meeting the legal requirements we are not quite meeting the additional levels of AAA and best practice guidelines. We continue to review the website and review any issues as soon as we can when a warning appears.

Read the full Siteimprove accessibility report – West Suffolk Council website 4 April 2023

This statement was prepared on 20 September 2019. It was last updated on 4 April 2023.

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