Accessibility Statement

Using this website

This website is run by Wealden District Council.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website.

We are always working to make our website as accessible and usable as possible.

For example, that means you should be able to:

  • 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)

Also you should be able to do the following using ReadSpeaker free software:

  • read the page out loud or read selected text 
  • remove clutter and display only the main text customise options to suit your individual needs or preferences

We have also tried to make the website text easy to understand.

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 of our audio recordings of meetings do not have transcripts
  • some of our live and recorded video streams do not have captions
  • there are areas where you cannot change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • some of the tiles on the homepage and the departmental landing pages are difficult to navigate without a mouse however you can use our search bar to find information.
  • most older PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some of our videos are embedded from YouTube and may feature labelling from YouTube itself, which is incorrect or not sufficiently descriptive – you can visit our YouTube channel to see more of our videos
  • some images do not have Alternative Text
  • many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be marked up so they’re accessible to a screen reader. The Accessibility regulations 2018 do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.
  • any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.
  • some of our resource documents, such as posters, are designed to be downloaded and printed, so these may not be fully accessible.
  • some documents that are essential to providing our services, such as forms published as Word documents, may not yet be accessible. We are working through these to create HTML pages and accessible documents where possible.

Issues with interactive tools and transactions

Our online benefit application forms, job information and application form system, payment system, online forms and planning and our councillor committee pages may be difficult to navigate using a keyboard or screen reader software. These pages are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website.

We do offer alternative formats. If you need information on this website in a different format please contact us using our online contact us form.

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

You can get alternatives to non-accessible content by:

  • Viewing PDFs by getting the latest free Adobe Reader software
  • Listening to our website  using ReadSpeaker on our website.
  • If you need information on this website in a different format like large print, easy read, audio recording or braille please fill in our online contact us form.
  • We will consider your request and aim to reply within 20 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, contact the website team by using our online contact us form or email our website team

Enforcement procedure

We (Wealden District Council) are responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations.

If you are 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

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. Find out how to contact us through our find us webpage

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Wealden District 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.

As part of our general website update process we plan to incorporate any further outstanding accessibility improvements over the next year, this includes better keyboard navigation, and improvements to audio based screen readers. When we publish new content we will make sure link text meets accessibility standards. We expect this to be completed by the end of 2021.

What we are doing about the issues with PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents don’t meet accessibility standards. For example, they may not be marked up so they are accessible to a screen reader.

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

What we are doing about the issues with images, video and audio

Some of our older videos may not feature captions.
Many of our videos are embedded from YouTube and may feature labelling from YouTube itself, which is incorrect or not sufficiently descriptive – you can visit our YouTube channel to see more of our videos.

How we tested this website

Our website is checked by SiteImprove for Level A, AA and AAA standards of the WCAG 2.1. We continue to monitor issues that arise using their live report for our website. We aim to fix them as soon as we are able to.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We have produced an accessibility roadmap below which shows how and when we plan to improve accessibility on our website.

Now

Accessibility Audit of all documents on this website – Currently in progress

Additional training to staff to add alternative text to photos and make PDFs accessible

Next

Accessibility Audit of all website pages – completed in December 2020 and further development work taking place from the findings from this.

Future

Consider and action any issues arising from the above accessibility audits.

We will also continue to fix issues as they arise from the live SiteImprove report for our website.

This statement was prepared in January 2020. It was last updated on 22 December 2020.