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Accessibility

Last updated on: 03-Dec-2020

1. Our statement

We want everyone who uses our website to be able to find, read and understand our content.

We create content to meet the accessibility standards outlined in this statement. All content we create is compatible with assistive technology.

View the site your way

You can change the colours, contrast levels, font styles and magnify the page to 300% or more without the text spilling off the screen.

Navigation

Navigate by headings

Our headings are all logically ordered. Use browser plugins or assistive technology such as screen readers to list the headings and subheadings in the page and go straight to the heading you need.

Navigate by links

Users of assistive technology such as screen readers can get a list of all the links on a page and understand their purpose from the link text.

Navigate by keyboard

Users navigating by keyboard can see the currently focused-on interactive element, such as links and form fields through a high contrast highlighted outline.

When navigating with a keyboard you will find the option to ‘skip to main content’ at the top of every page.

Listening to content

Use text to speech browser plugins or assistive technology to listen to content you select with the mouse or keyboard.

Screen reader users can both listen to the content and navigate around through the site pages and menus.

Using different devices

You can use our website on a wide range of different devices. This offers you a variety of compatible assistive technologies.

My Computer My Way (MCMW) offer guides to using assistive technologies to use websites with a range of devices.

Alternative formats

We’ve designed our content to be as accessible as possible by providing maximum personalisation. If you still experience barriers, you can contact us by sending an email to accessibility@gravesham.gov.uk to request alternative format documents.

Web standards

Our website is developed using valid HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript to the standards laid out on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). We strive to sustain Level AA standard.

The website content works with assistive technologies that visitors might use. For example, screen readers or text only browsers.

Auditing

We carry out regular accessibility audits of the website and a full website audit on an annual basis using WCAG 2.1 AA standards which guide our long term audit and improvement plans.

We use Silktide (a website quality assurance tool) to scan our website every day and it keeps us updated about any changes in accessibility and quality assurance. We actively check these reports and make changes as necessary.

In addition to this, we carry out ad-hoc testing of pages and the site as a whole using third party testing tools. The majority of this testing is completed with the assistance of Silktide, Sitemorse and the WAVE accessibility evaluation tool.

For more information about our commitment to compliance and how we check and maintain the accessibility of the website, read our technical accessibility statement.

What we do about known issues

We strive to achieve and maintain WCAG 2.1 AA standards, but it is not always possible for all our content to be accessible. Where content is likely to create a barrier, we’ll state a reason, warn users and offer alternatives - see our known issues page for more details.

If we have failed to identify a barrier, you can contact us by sending an email to accessibility@gravesham.gov.uk.

Third party content

Links to other websites

We link to other websites that may offer benefit to our users. This may include:

  • news websites
  • social media platforms
  • official information sources, such as The Met Office, GOV.UK or NHS.UK.

We are not responsible for the accessibility of these or any other websites we do not manage.

Content created by us on third party platforms

We often create content which is hosted on third party platforms. This includes:

  • content we create for social media, such as Facebook or Twitter
  • videos hosted on YouTube or Vimeo

We are responsible for ensuring the content we supply meets accessibility requirements; however, we are not responsible for the accessibility of the platform itself.

For example, when we add video to one of our YouTube channels, we will ensure any subtitling, captions and audio-description are included as required; however, we are not responsible for the accessibility of the video player itself.

Using third party content or functionality on our website

We often use third party content or functionality on our website. This allows us to offer a wide range of services that can be completed by you online at any time. They are each ‘skinned’ to look like our website but are based on a different technical platform. This includes:

  • Online forms for customers to fill in
  • Self-serve system to manage your Council tax account
  • Card payment system
  • Our latest job listings

Where we choose to feature third party content or functionality on our website, we are responsible for ensuring it meets accessibility standards.

If we have paid for content to be created, or have a contractual relationship with the commissioner, we ensure accessibility guidelines are met as part of contractual obligations.

Where we are legally required to feature third party content or functionality, we cannot reasonably accept responsibility for ensuring it meets accessibility standards. However, where it is within our control, we will make every reasonable effort to work towards meeting accessibility requirements.

We are currently working with our third party suppliers to ensure that they are compliant by the deadlines outlined on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), including:

  • Granicus forms (my.gravesham.gov.uk)
  • Adelante payment system (payments.gravesham.gov.uk)
  • Jobsgopublic job listings (ats-gravesham.jgp.co.uk)
  • Northgate Council Tax online account (www.northgate-nes.co.uk/)
  • Modern.gov committee portal (democracy.gravesham.gov.uk)
  • Civica PCN and permits (pes.gravesham.gov.uk/cewebportal/)
  • Planning search (plan.gravesham.gov.uk)

Video, audio and downloads

Where we use rich media we make sure the media control buttons can be used without a mouse and are labelled for screen readers.

All new pre-recorded video content as of September 2019 has one or more of the following: closed-captioning, a transcript or a summary of the key information.

Our website has some downloadable resources including Word documents and PDFs: Read about the accessibility of downloadable content.

We currently have approximately 450 downloadable PDF documents on our website, either linked directly or via another document.

We are working our way through these with the aim of dramatically reducing this number and making as many as possible available on the website itself in HTML format or online forms. Any that do remain, and are either key to providing a service or published after September 2019, will be edited and run through accessibility tools to ensure their compliance.

Contacting us and what happens next

Please contact us if you have any problems with accessing our content; be as specific and detailed as you can. Please also tell us what you like and find useful.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has useful tips on contacting organisations about inaccessible websites.

Complaints process

Once you have reported a problem with our website or asked for an alternative format, but you are not happy with our response, you can use our complaints process to register your difficulty.

Enforcement procedures

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Last update

This statement was last updated on 1 October 2020. We update this statement annually and will review it in September 2021.

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