Wealden District Council
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Accessibility Statement

Using this website

This website is run by Wealden District Council. This accessibility statement relates to www.wealden.gov.uk.

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 is our website – Automated checking report October 2022

To meet the accessibility standards. We aim to meet A and AA Standards as set out in WCAG 2.1.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the following:

Where we are fully meeting the WCAG 2.1 A Standard:

Keyboard accessibility is an essential component of an accessible website. Visitors who can’t easily use a mouse may instead use a keyboard (or keyboard alternative) for navigation. This includes people who are blind and people with motor disabilities. We have therefore design our website so that the scrollable element of the keyboard is accessible.

We monitor this regularly and the last test which dated 24 October 2022 showed that 100% of our pages meet this WCAG Level A conformance.

Images and SVGs can be marked as decorative if they do not add any new information to the page. This can improve the user experience for people who use screen readers – by cutting out irrelevant “noise”. We make sure our images and SVGs which are marked as decorative are correctly marked and not for more than decoration.

We monitor this regularly and the last test which was dated 25 October 2022 showed that 100% of our pages meet this WCAG Level A conformance.

Headings help to break up content and make it easier for visitors to scan a page for information. They need to be set up correctly so that visitors using screen readers can use them in this way.

A heading is considered “empty” if there is no text for a screen reader to relay to the user. Image headings are considered empty if no text alternative is available.

Empty headings can also be created accidentally in some CMS editors — this is usually due to the “heading” style being applied to spaces in between text.

We monitor this regularly and the last test which was dated 26 October 2022 showed that we do not have any empty headings on 100% of our pages. We therefore meet this WCAG Level A conformance.

When we add the <object> tag to embed multimedia or content from another part of the web — such as Youtube or another part of our site.

The text alternative should include the purpose or meaning of the content embedded within the <object>. If there is text within the content, the text alternative should match this.

We monitor this regularly and the last test which was dated 26 October 2022 showed that we use the correct text alternative when we embed an object. This was tests on all of our and 100% of our pages using this had the correct alternative text. We therefore meet this WCAG Level A conformance.

People who use screen readers need to be able to hear the speech output in order to navigate the page.

Audio content that plays automatically can make navigation more difficult — especially if there is no way to switch it off.

We monitor this regularly and on the last test which was dated 26 October 2022 showed that we do not have auto play on any of our website pages. We therefore meet this WCAG Level A conformance.

Data tables can present a challenge to people who are blind or have low vision — especially if the table contains a lot of information.

While sighted visitors may be able to use visual cues to scan tables for information, people using screen readers can only do this if cells and headers are marked up correctly in the code.

We monitor this regularly and on the last test which was dated 26 October 2022 showed that on all of 594 occurrences of this on our website we met this WCAG Level A conformance requirement every time.

Data tables can present a challenge to people who are blind or have low vision — especially if the table contains a lot of information.

While sighted visitors may be able to use visual cues to scan tables for information, people using screen readers can only do this if cells and headers are marked up correctly in the code.

We monitor this regularly and on the last test which was dated 26 October 2022 showed that on all of 668 occurrences of this on our website we had table headers referenced correctly. We therefore met this WCAG Level A conformance requirement.

Vector graphics, such as SVGs, are often used for decorative images and backgrounds.

When this happens a ‘role’ needs to be assigned to the image — which suggests it conveys something important to the user.

We monitor this regularly and on the last test which was dated 26 October 2022 showed that we do not have any vector images without a text alternative. We are therefore meeting this WCAG Level A conformance requirement.

Roles provide information about content structure and how page elements fit together.

We are required to make sure our role layout is relevant and meaningful.

We check this regularly and on our last check on 26 October 2022 our test showed that 100% of the 79,197 occurrences of using roles we had all of these correct.  We are therefore meeting this WCAG Level A conformance requirement.

We have developed our website so that when an image is uploaded, this does not fallback to an image file name if the web author doesn’t add a text alternative. We are therefore meeting this WCAG Level A conformance requirement.

Last checked on the 26 October 2022.

Visual content such as videos must be accessible through audio or text, so we make sure an alternative is provided.

We check this regularly and on the last test on 26 October 2022 our test showed we are meeting this WCAG Level A conformance requirement.

A transcript gives a text alternative to the information on an audio file. This makes sure our audio content is accessible to users who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Our last website check on this was 26 October 2022 which showed that we do not have any audio without a transcript. We are therefore meeting this WCAG Level A conformance requirement.

When designing our website we made sure the use of images on buttons could only be used when a text alternative is in place.

Our last website check on this was 26th October 2022 which showed that we do not have any image buttons without a text alternative. We are therefore meeting this WCAG Level A conformance requirement.

Captions allow users to access the audio part of our videos and makes them accessible to those with a hearing impairment.

Our last website check on this was 26 October 2022 which showed that we do not have any videos without captions. We are therefore meeting this WCAG Level A conformance requirement.

Roles help users of assistive technology to understand page elements and navigate through our pages.  

In total our website has 16,557 occurrences. All of these have been checked on the 22 September 2022 and the results showed that all of these use the standard and correct WAI-ARIA definitions. We are therefore meeting this WCAG Level A conformance requirement.

Images and SVGs can be marked as decorative if they do not add any new information to the page. This can improve the user experience for people who use screen readers – by cutting out irrelevant “noise”.

We make sure our images and SVGs which are marked as decorative are correctly marked and not for more than decoration.

We also make sure that for these page elements, that they are not focusable.  This means that they are removed from the reading order from the screen reader so that they do not cause confusion.

On our website we have 1,085 occurrences where have made sure hidden elements of the website are not focusable. Our last check on this on 3 April showed that 100% of our hidden elements are not focusable. We are therefore meeting this WCAG Level A conformance requirement

An ARIA shows information about the interactive page elements. For example it can tell screen readers if a check box is checked or unchecked.

During our last website check on 26th October 2022 we found that we have 315,349 occurrences where we are using the correct required ARIA attribute. We are therefore meeting this WCAG Level A conformance requirement.

Inline frames (also known as iframes) are used to insert content from other parts of the web. This could be, for example, use to embed a video.

We have developed our website so that the Inline Frame creates a unique descriptive text alternative so that screen reader users can understand the purpose of the Inline Frame on the page.

Last checked on 26th October 2022

We make sure that any interactive element of the website has a visible text label which meets its accessible name.

We know that using two different names on a single page element can create confusion for customers using assistive technology.

We tested our website in 16 September 2022 to make sure we comply and found that out of the 4,714 occurrences across our website (where we need to match visible labels and names correctly) we match every single one. We are therefore meeting this WCAG Level A conformance requirement.

Inline frames (also known as iframes) are used to insert content from other parts of the web.

We make sure that all of our inline frames have a title that summarises the visual content so screen readers understands the content or purpose of the iframe on the page

Last checked 26th October 2022

Throughout our website we have 9,407 occurrences where we use buttons to help users navigate around our website.

We have developed our website to meet the WCAG2.1 requirement that  as standard all buttons must have a text label.

We completed a check of our website on 26th October 2022 which showed all of our website buttons met this requirement.

Throughout our website we use links to help customers to navigate to find information. We have developed our website so that we meet the Level A requirement for all links to have a suitable alternative text.

When we completed our website check on 26th October 2022, we found that we have 120,196 occurrences where we use links and the check showed that all of these have alternative text.

We know the importance of allowing our customers enough time to read information and navigate at a pace which they want to use.

Sudden refreshes or redirects can cause confusion for people with visual or cognitive impairments. We make sure we do not use any <meta> elements so that our pages do not refresh or redirect without warning.

Our latest website check in 26 October 2022 show that we have 1306 website pages. None of these refresh or redirect so we are therefore meeting the WCAG 2.1 requirement.

We have designed our website so that our language tags tell screen readers how to pronounce the text on our pages.

When we checked our website in 26th October 2022 we found that we have no occurrences where our language tags are mismatched.

This means that because our language tabs are not mismatched (e.g. the page’s lang and xml.lang attributes do not conflict with primary language subtags) there should not be confusion for people who use screen readers.

We have designed our website so that our language tags are available on every page. Language tags tell screen readers how to pronounce the text on our pages.

We know that a misspelling in the lang attribute can stop information being accessible so we regularly monitor this.

Last checked on 26th October 2022

Throughout the website we have 108,117 occurrences where we use element IDs. The elements on each page must have unique IDs so that screen readers can read information in the correct order as on the website layout.

During our website check in April 2022 all 108,177 occurrences have been checked and all of them meet the requirement to have unique IDs on each page.

We use text alternatives to describe images on our website so that people who are unable to see them can understand what the image is.

Throughout our website we have 2,075 occurrences where we use images. Our website check on the 26th of October 2022 found that all of our images have a text alternative.

We are required to have a descriptive title for every web page. This is because the page title is the first thing a careen reader announces after a page loads. This therefore lets users know where they are on our site.

During our recent website check in October 2022, we found that all of our website pages (1,548 in total) have descriptive text.

A recent check in April 2022 found that the header on the website has a ‘mywealden’ link and a ‘register’ link on most of our website pages. The report told us that these two links have the same name but go to different website pages.

As these headings are on most website pages our overall score for this is lower than what we would want. We are investigating this as we disagree with the findings of this report and we are in the process of raising with the third party who completed this check for us.

There may be other pages where we have two or more links but it is difficult to see in the report. The last time we did however check this was on the 26th October  where we did not have any occurrences where we had two links with the same name pointing to two different web pages.

People who are colour blind may be unable to find a link if colour is its only distinguishing feature.

Providing another visual cue -such as underlining or bolding the link text- will also make it easier for non-colour blind people (especially people with low vision) to scan the page.

We designed our website to have clearly identifiable links in two ways. During a recent website check on 3rd April 2022 we had one link which was not clearly identifiable.

We resolved this issue, however on 10 April after an upgrade to WordPress the underlining identifiable feature of the link has been removed.

The Web Team have worked on this. They needed to have the latest upgrade owing to security reasons and this took place over night on 4 April 2022.

As of the 22 November 2022 this has been fixed.

Where we are not fully meeting the WCAG 2.1 A Standard:

Our online forms ask customers for information to be completed. Most questions are set as an element. And each element should have a descriptive text label.
Having a descriptive text label means that visitors using screen readers can understand what information is required.
We have 1,658 occurrences where we use form elements. However 7 of these are missing a form field label.
We are developing upgrades to the homepage, jobs page and navigation menu which should remedy these seven missing text labels. We are in the process of exploring how much work is involved so will then be able to publish a date on when we aim to have a remedy for this.
This has been an issue since 28 March 2022

Where we are fully meeting the WCAG 2.1 AA Standard

Our customers can zoom in to our page at least 200% without losing information.

We have tested this by zooming in on pages and increasing the font size in our browser.

Last checked 26th October 2022

When customers can’t use a mouse they sometimes use a keyboard to navigate our website.

We make sure page elements have a focus when they tab through our pages.

Our latest check on 26th October 2022 showed that we have 126,158 occurrences where we allow customers to tab through the pages and all of these have the keyboard focus indicator

We know that some website visitors may be unable to rotate their device – for example someone with a disability may have their device mounted at a landscape.

Also some customers with a visual impairment may prefer to use landscape so that they can read more easily if they zoom in.

That is why we have not locked our page orientation on our website or website pages.

Last checked 26th October 2022

We have developed our website so that videos are audio-described. We run regular checks and the last check on 26th October 2022 showed us that we do not have any videos which are not audio-described/
This shows we are meeting the WCAG 2.1 AA conformance

Auto-complete helps customers to complete information on a form quickly and accurately by recommending personal information that they have on their device.

This can help with assisted technology and those with cognitive impairments.

We have recently ran checks on our auto-complete to check it is type correctly and in the right order so that it delivers the correct user experience.

Last checked 26th October 2022

Text that is too faint may be difficult to read with those with a visual impairment or are colour blind.

We have 51,946 occurrences on our website where we meet the colour contrast requirements

Last time checked 22nd November 2022

Where we are not fully meeting WCAG2.1 AA standard:

We have 1,544 pages where customers can zoom in to the pages, but there is two that hasn’t yet added in the zoom.

The page is a new strategy we are developing using In5. This is in a draft format and not linked from any other website page. We recently added this to our website to give online access during presentations. At the moment this page has the view port as restricted meaning that customers cannot zoom in to a page. We have contacted In5 and are upgrading our package so that we can have access to no longer restrict the view port.

This has been an issue since 16th of July 2022

How accessible is our website – manual checking

Having done automated and manual checks including an accessibility audit we know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  1. Older documents. Most older PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software. 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.
  2. Third Party content. Some Local Plan pages and associated PDFs have a few broken links as they were developed by a third party.
  3. We are aware of an outstanding issue relating to our online forms provided by a third supplier. This is hosted on another website. We are 50% of the way through remedying these and hope to have this issue resolved by June 2022.
  4. Some documents may not be accessible yet including PDFs have been added on to our website after 23 September 2018. We are working towards converting these to HTML or accessible documents using a third party, our Web Development Team and various departments. We have introduced a new content policy and are working with a third party to give training to staff. We have kept close monitoring and can see that 23 of the PDFs have had more than 50 views on our website so these will be our priority. We are also considering creating a PDF policy and how best we can adopt this.
  5. Some of our resource documents, such as posters, are designed to be downloaded and printed, so these may not be fully accessible.

Disproportionate burden

We believe that fixing accessibility problems with some content would be disproportionate; this mostly relates to large complex documents and third-party systems.

This could be because they are too technically complex to change, have low usage but high costs to change, we may not own the source/copyright or we are unable to influence third party supplier development plans.

In the future when replacing systems or commissioning new documents we will look for ones that do meet accessibility standards.

What to do if you can’t access parts of this 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 contact us form.

You can get alternatives to non-accessible content by:

Viewing PDFs by getting the latest free Adobe Reader software

Listening to our website or translating it using ReadSpeaker on our website

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we are not meeting accessibility requirements, please fill in our report a website fault form.

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 are not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us

The best way to contact us is online, using our contact us form.

Our reception is currently close but we can arrange an appointment by arrangement. Our reception has audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Technical information about the accessibility of this website

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.

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 are 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 – This is currently in progress using Siteimprove to identify those documents published since 23 September 2018 so we can determine what can be fixed given our staff resources. We  are also creating further training for staff.

Next

Accessibility Audit of all website pages – We use Siteimprove on a daily basis to check the accessibility of our web pages and flag up any potential issues. We complete regular website audits focussing on five areas.

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.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 15 September 2020.

It was last reviewed on 19 May 2022.