Accessibility statement for West Suffolk Council websites
These websites are run by West Suffolk Council:
- http://www.businessfestival.org (currently hosted externally)
- https://www.angliarevenues.gov.uk (we work in partnership with Anglia Revenues Partnership, and host their website).
- https://www.suffolkbuildingcontrolgroup.co.uk (a partnership of Building Control services across Suffolk)
We want our websites to be easy to use for as many people as possible, regardless of ability or technology. We are continuously working to:
- make the website text as simple as possible to understand:
- make navigation as easy as possible. You should be able to:
- listen to most of the website using a screen reader
- navigate most of the websites using just a keyboard
- navigate most of the websites using speech recognition software
- Zoom in to 200% without text spilling off the screen
Although we try to work to the accepted standards for accessibility and usability, it may not always be possible on all of the websites. Sometimes the use of third-party applications may cause accessibility issues for some users. If you experience any problems please contact us so we can work to improve your experience.
Advances in technology mean that most devices and web browsers have their own built in accessibility aids or assistive technology to help you to access the internet.
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 these websites aren’t fully accessible but we are working where possible to correct this and your help is welcome in spotting anything we have missed:
- many PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software
- live video streams don't have captions
- some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
- you can’t skip to the main content when using a screen reader on some of our websites
- some of the html code is not fully compliant
- some of the code (aria) which is used by screen readers is not fully compliant
- some of the systems this website links to are provided by third parties and are not fully accessible.
Our plans on how we are addressing these issues can be found in our What we're doing to improve accessibility section.
What to do if you can’t access parts of this website
If you are having issues accessing information on this website or need it in a different format like accessible PDF or large print:
- email email@example.com
- phone 01284 762333
We’ll consider your request and get back to you within seven working days.
Reporting accessibility problems with this website
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this our websites.
If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include:
- ‘Website accessibility’ in the subject line
- the web address (URL) of the page with the issue
- details of the issue.
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 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
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Non compliance with the accessibility regulations
- Some images don’t have a text alternative, so the information in them isn’t available to people using a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). We plan to add text alternatives for all images by September 2020.
- Some images contain text, so people with dyslexia or using a screen reader will not be able to read the information. This doesn't meet WCAG success criterion 1.4.5 (images of text). We plan to remove images containing text by September 2020.
- When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.
- On some pages the same link text is used for links going to different destinations, so people might not know the difference. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 (link purpose, in context).
We plan to make links and link destinations clear all pages by September 2020. When we publish new pages we’ll make sure link text meets accessibility standards.
On some pages the headings are not nested correctly, which may confuse people using a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships).
We plan to make sure headings are set up correctly on pages by September 2020. When we publish new content we'll make sure heading use meets accessibility standards.
On some pages there isn't sufficient contrast between the colour of the text and the background, making it hard to read the information. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum). We plan to improve colour contrast by September 2020.
PDFs and other documents
Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services, but may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, role value).
By September 2021, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages. Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish should meet accessibility standards.
We cannot always guarantee that documents produced by external organisations, and published on our websites, are fully accessible.
We have to host a considerable number of documents in relation to the local plan and neighbourhood plans and it is not 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.
Navigation and accessing information
There’s no way to skip the repeated content in the page header on some of our websites (for example, a ‘skip to main content’ option). This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks). we are planning to add skip to content on all of our websites by September 2020.
On some pages tables do not have a description set using the caption element. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships. We plan for all tables to have descriptions by September 2020. When we publish new tables we’ll make sure they meet accessibility standards.
Other web development issues
- On some pages HTML is used to format content rather than CSS. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships). We plan to make sure CSS is used by September 2020.
- On some pages iFrame has no 'title' attribute or the 'title' attribute is empty. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role, value). We plan to make sure iFrames have 'title' attributes by September 2020.
- On some pages the italics-tag 'i' is used to highlight text. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (1.3.1 information and relationships). We plan to remove italics tags, (except where they are necessary for a legal term) by September 2020.
- On some pages the tabbing order is not logical. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.3 (focus order). We plan make sure tabbing order is logical by September 2020.
- On some pages some of the code (WAI-ARIA) which is used by screen readers is incorrect or redundant. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role, value). We plan to correct the WAI-ARIA code by September 2020.
We believe that the cost to fix some issues now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will make another assessment in the future, for example when supplier contracts are up for renewal.
Interactive tools, transactions and third party software
Some of our systems and interactive forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website, but are not fully accessible. We do not have direct control over these third party systems.
We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will make another assessment when the supplier contract is up for renewal.
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 doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).
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 old PDF newsletters, posters or campaign materials that might still be published and accessed through our website.
We try to make sure that new PDFs or Word documents we publish and are produced by us, meet accessibility standards. We cannot always guarantee that documents produced by external organisations, and published on our websites, are fully accessible.
If this is the case and you need a document in an accessible format please contact us.
Live video streams don’t have captions. This doesn’t meet 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.
How we tested our websites
This website is tested for accessibility, quality assurance and search engine optimisation every week. The automated tests are carried out by Siteimprove https://siteimprove.com/ who produce reports detailing any issues which we then work to resolve. They have a scoring system and rate the results out of 100. The score can only be seen as a guide - some issues are minor but affect many pages, some are more major but only affect a few pages. We continually monitor the results and constantly work to resolve the issues.
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 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 of 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: email email@example.com or phone 01284 763233.
This statement was prepared on 20 September 2019. It was last updated on 23 April 2021.