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Accessibility statement

Accessibility statement for www.northwarks.gov.uk

We are committed to making our website and applications accessible to all our users and have an ongoing programme of testing and making updates and improvements. We are always happy to receive feedback. Please use our online form https://www.northwarks.gov.uk/contactus to let us know about any problems you have had or email webmaster@northwarks.gov.uk.

This website is run by North Warwickshire Borough Council. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. You are able to: 

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts - Accessibility Setting page
  • 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)
  • follow headings in a logical sequence
  • identify images from the alt text associated with them
  • use link text which describes the topic it links to

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

You can also change the text size on the website to make it either larger or smaller via your browser settings. Some browsers will allow you to magnify the whole page. 

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 aren’t fully accessible: 

  • most older PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software
  • you can’t modify the line height or spacing of text 
  • live video streams don’t have captions.
  • Some of our online service are hosted by third-party suppliers and you may find navigating these services difficult depending on their level of web accessibility.

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 us:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you as soon as possible and within 5 days.

If you can’t view the map on our ‘contact us’ page https://www.northwarks.gov.uk/contactus , call or email Customer Services for directions - see above.

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 in this statement or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact webmaster@northwarks.gov.uk or to make a complaint use the 'Was this information useful?' section at the bottom of this page.

To help us find the problem area of the website please send us:

  • details about what you were trying to do and why you found it difficult or impossible to do
  • details about your computer and software. For example; if you know or can find out the operating system and version you're using, the browser software and version you use to view the web
  • if it's related to the problem you're experiencing. Include any settings you have customized or any assistive technology that you use

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 query or complaint contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. 

You can contact us by:

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

North Warwickshire Borough Council is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The council’s website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1.  Testing has scored the site as 99% compliant with the requirements of the WCAG 2.1 AA standard and 99% compliant with the AAA standard.

Non accessible content

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

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

Some areas of non compliance can be sorted out by the council and are resolved when highlighted by testing or as part of a planned improvements.   

  • Some images don’t have alternative text descriptions. 
  • Empty heading tags and heading tags in incorrect order
  • Same text linking to different URLs
  • Link text that doesn’t describe the topic it links to ie ‘click here’
  • Correcting invalid HTML
  • Ensuring that opening and closing tags are used according to specification
  • Sitemorse tests our website against the critical and complex set of W3C WCAG 2.1 (and Digital ADA) accessibility standards / accessibility rules and reports failings allowing us to correct as necessary

The majority of images used on the website have a text alternative, making them available to people using a screen reader.  If testing picks up problems, including missing alt text it is corrected as soon as possible.  When we publish new content or develop new online services we test them against accessibility standards.

Disproportionate burden

The majority of our accessibility problems are caused by having to use other organisation’s web portals or online services delivered using business applications.  These portals and applications are often widely used in the public sector and responsibility for compliance lies with the provider or application developer.  This development would be too costly for the Council to initiate and a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.  Areas of the following services may be non compliant.

Interactive tools and transactions

Some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag.

Our forms and payments functionality are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships). 

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 system is developed or replaced. 

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

  • Historic information provided in PDF documents
  • Video taken and posted on the website or social media

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).

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.  We plan to review these and either fix them or replace them with accessible HTML pages, some of this work will take place as part of a planned upgrade which is scheduled to take place from March 2021.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix documents published before the 23rd September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. For example, we don’t plan to fix 

  • PDF documents published in relation to past Council meetings and decisions.
  • PDF versions of information that is also available in an alternative accessible format on the website for example information published under the Transparency Regulations.
  • PDF documents produced as background to the Council’s Local Plan.
  • PDF documents which contain information which is no longer current. 
  • Documents and PDF’s produced by other organisation’s but posted on the Council’s website for information.  

We will work to ensure any new PDFs or Word documents produced by the council and then published will meet accessibility standards.

Live video

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

How we tested this website

This website is tested weekly by Sitemorse and you can find a summary our results by searching their website blogs for ‘Local Government Index’.  We regularly score 9 out of 10 for accessibility and test specific pages if we have concerns about them or before they are published.  

The website is also tested monthly by Silktide https://index.silktide.com/uk-councils/leaderboard

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are planning to upgrade our website content management system and review and refresh our website design and content during 2020.  Changes will be tested for accessibility and usability.  

We will improve accessibility where it is not prohibitively costly or difficult and the change is in our control such as PDF removal and image descriptions.

Improvements that are currently regarded as disproportionally costly will hopefully be addressed by the developers or when we replace these systems.  

This statement was prepared on 6th August 2020.  It was last updated on 28th April 2021.