Visual text, including text-based controls can be scaled so that they can be read directly by users with visual impairments without using assistive technology such as a screen magnifier. Text must be able to be resized up to 200 percent without loss of content or function.
We have improved our website to include a visible focus on the hamburger menu when resized to 200% in July 2021.
Images with text
Images of text cause problems for users who need to adjust how visual content like font size, spacing or colours are displayed. The image quality can reduce and become blurry when users increase page magnification. As of June 2021 we have worked to remove images of text with significant content with no real text alternative.
Pause, Stop, Hide
Content that moves, flashes or updates automatically can be a severe distraction for certain users, making it difficult to use the page. It can also cause problems for assistive technologies like screen readers.
As of 26th July 2021 we have added a method to allow users to control the frequency for content that automatically begins ‘auto-updating’ in our banner carousels.
Reflow or ‘responsive web design’ helps users with low vision who may need to enlarge text on a webpage and read it in a single column without scrolling in more than one direction. It also helps users who are viewing the page on a mobile device.
If a page does not support reflow it can appear smaller and more difficult to use or content may be cut off.
We have improved visible focus throughout our pages to make it easier for user to tell what functionality is actionable via keyboard at both 200% and 400%.
Poor colour contrast makes it difficult for someone with sight loss to see the content properly. If there is a big difference between the background and foreground colours it should be much easier to see the difference between them.
As of July 2021, we have improved the colour contrast of our header menu on our homepage, the date on our news highlights and improved our Covid Information page.
Users should be able to navigate a web page in an order that makes sense. Keyboard navigation should reflect a navigation sequence that is consistent with the meaning of content. Logical navigation reduces confusion and shows logical relationships between content and components.
We have, as of July 2021, corrected an error on our contact page to prevent focus skipping straight to the ‘any further enquiries’ input.
Info and Relationships
Form labels help assistive technologies to understand what input is expected in a form field. Adding a label reduces confusion and enlarges the clickable area which helps users with limited motor control.
We identified that the four date inputs on our Planning Application Search Form required labels. As of mid September 2021 this has been corrected following the install of our Planning system update and changes to our Online Planning Register.
Language of Page
Assistive technologies are more accurate when a web page has a specified language. For example, knowing the language means screen readers can accurately convert text to speech with the correct pronunciation, visual browsers can display the correct characters and media players can show the correct captions.
As of mid September 2021 this has been corrected following the install of our Planning system update and changes to our Online Planning Register correcting the <html> element to include a lang attribute.
A visible focus helps users know which element has keyboard focus and where they are on the page. When an element gets focus there should be a visible border around it. Highlighting the element that has keyboard focus or is hovered over can provide information like whether the element is interactive or the scope of that element.
We have made improvements to this issue week commencing 26 July 2021 ensuring a visible keyboard focus on our website search bar when activated via keyboard and improving the contrast on our logo.
As of mid September 2021 this has been corrected following the install of our Planning system update and changes to our Online Planning Register. These have added a visible keyboard focus on the various logos in the footer of our Planning Application Search Form, or a clearly visible focus indicator on the user interface components on the form, which made it hard for the user to tell where they are on the page.
Issues with navigation
Some information is provided as content within a map. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 Non-text Content. We aim to publish all content that is only available in a map as HTML. We aim to have replaced existing information maps by the end of October 2021.
A small number of pages contain tables that are used for layout purposes. As of August 2021 we have revised all tables to include a header scope element.
As of August 2020, we have fixed the ability to zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen.
There is not currently more than one way to locate a web page within a set of web pages. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.5. We aim to add a dynamic sitemap by the end of October 2021.
We have added a current keyboard operable user interface that has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is visible. Since Jan 2020 we have worked to ensure that control change appearance when they are selected (WCAG AA 2.4.7). Through internal testing we have identified approximately 50 pages where this does not occur. We are working with our web developers to rectify these remaining pages by October 2021.
All link names should be accessible by a screen reader and be descriptive enough to inform a user of where that link will take them. We have been going through links and improving them. Since August 2020 we have improved descriptive links to over 700 pages. We are continuing with this work and aim to complete this by the end of October 2021.
We have worked to ensure all button have names that are accessible to screen readers and descriptive enough to tell a user where that button will take them.
Issues with PDFs and other documents
Many of our older PDFs and other documents don’t meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be marked up so they’re accessible to a screen reader.
Some of our documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our planning service, and forms published as Word documents. We have a programme of work currently in progress to either recreate these documents as an accessible PDF or an HTML webpage.
At the end of February 2021, we issued PDF guidance to staff producing such documentation, we are currently working with a third-party contractor to produce new in-house brand guidelines that will include structure PDF templates to ensure all new documents have consistent and accessible heading structures and reading orders.
We are reviewing the scale and scope of the work to remediate PDFs published since September 2018 and will update this accessibility statement when this review is complete.
The accessibility regulations don’t require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they are not essential to providing our services.
We aim to ensure that any new documents we publish meet accessibility standards. If there are any documents that you are unable to access, please contact us for an accessible version. See ‘Alternative formats’ above, in this statement.