Accessibility statement

This statement covers the South Holland District Council website.


Web accessibility means a website should be able to be used by anyone. We aim to provide a website that is beneficial and meets the needs of our citizens, allowing anyone to safely and comfortably use our website and access council services online.

Accessibility regulations

As a local authority, we are required to provide websites and mobile applications that are easy to use and comply with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018, which includes people who use:

  • assistive technology, such as screen readers and speech recognition software
  • browser customisations, such as magnifying websites by zooming in or changing colour schemes.

This accessibility statement will be updated regularly, to be transparent with our progress with web accessibility and to ensure the information we provide is accurate. 

This statement was prepared in February 2020 and last updated on 18 September 2020.

Website accessibility testing

Our website has been undertaken audited to test its compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1), on levels A and AA. The audit was carried out by ShawTrust and the results were received on 31 July 2020. 

Continuous testing is being handled in-house by our dedicated Digital Team, through the use of an automated tool known as Silktide. This is in addition to utilising the manual skills and experience of staff within the Digital Team.

Accessibility of our website

Our website is designed to be used by as many people as possible. The text on this website should be clear and easy to understand. You can also:

  • zoom-in up to 300 percent
  • navigate the website using a keyboard.

Non-accessible areas of our website

Some areas of our website are not fully accessible, such as:

  • colour scheme contrasts
  • incorrect heading elements on pages
  • PDF and Word documents
  • pages and attachments are not written in clear, plain English
  • some videos don't have transcripts or visible captions/subtitles
  • some tables don't have row or column headings
  • some images don't have alternative text
  • links aren't easily identifiable.

Request accessible content

If you need any information provided on this website in an alternative format that suits your needs, please contact us.

Report an accessibility problem

We welcome any suggestions you may have to improve the accessibility of our website. If you experience any accessibility problems that aren't mentioned on this page or if you think any part of this website doesn't meet the accessibility requirements, please let us know by emailing website@sholland.gov.uk.

Accessibility enforcement

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. If you contact us about an accessibility problem and aren't satisfied with our response, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) in the following ways:

Disproportionate burden

Utilising the outcomes of the audit conducted by ShawTrust and continuous automated audit via Silktide, we will actively publish any accessibility issues that arise where we may assess such issues as a disproportionate burden. Any such issues will be fully evaluated and published publicly as part of this statement.

View our ShawTrust in-progress accreditation certificate.

ShawTrust logo

Technical details about our website

We are committed to ensuring our website is accessible by complying with:

We are currently only partially compliant with these regulations and are actively working to achieve the standards required. All current non-compliant accessibility issues are noted below, including details of how we intend to correct them.

Text content and headings

All written content on the website is undergoing a revamp to ensure it meets the standards required under the regulations, as well as our content strategy and style guide.

This work aims to be completed by December 2020 and will be continually assessed thereafter.

Images

Images used on the website will have non-descriptive alternative text added to them. This work will be completed by December 2020 and will be continually assessed thereafter.

Video

All pre-recorded videos produced by the council since 23 September 2018 may not have subtitles, captions or transcripts, as are not required to do so under the accessibility regulations.

Any pre-recorded video produced by the council from 23 September 2020 will include captions and transcripts.

Live video

Any live videos produced by the council will not have captions or a transcript, as these are exempt from the accessibility regulations.

Tables

Tables will be reworked to include row or column headings. This work will be completed by December 2020 and will be continually assessed thereafter.

Links

Links aren't clear in contrast to standard text, as such the design of hyperlinks will be updated. This work will be completed by December 2020.

A number of empty links have been identified throughout the website. These will be removed and appropriate guidance put in place to ensure empty links do not reoccur. This work will be completed by December 2020 and will be continually assessed thereafter.

Links without sufficient descriptive text exist on the website, making it harder for screen reader users to navigate the site. Work to amend any such link text will be completed by March 2021 and will be continually assessed thereafter.

Colours

The colour palette used on the website doesn't support acceptable combinations or contrasts, as such the colour scheme used will be updated. This work will be completed by October 2020.

PDFs and other documents

PDFs and documents published since 23 September 2018 are being reviewed and will be:

  • removed and recreated as standard HTML web page content, or
  • removed and recreated as accessible PDFs/documents, or
  • may be assessed and fall within 'disproportionate burden'.

This work aims to be completed by March 2021.

Any PDF or document that was published prior to 23 September 2018 will not be reviewed and as such, may not meet the accessibility standards.

Tables used for layout

Our legacy online forms system uses tables for layout purposes. This system is being phased out over the coming months. In the meantime, forms served by this legacy system will have their layout tables marked-up to indicate their role as presentation only, for the purposes of screen reader users. This work will be completed by October 2020.

Languages

Page text in other languages should be marked-up appropriately in order for screen readers to identify and read out translations appropriately. This work will be completed by December 2020 and will be continually assessed thereafter.

Transactional timeouts

When using online forms, session timeouts can cause data to be lost where the page button has not been activated within a certain timeframe. Work to provide a timeout extension solution will be completed by March 2021.

Skip navigation

One of the first interactive items on a web page should be a link to the beginning of the main content, bypassing blocks of material that are repeated on multiple web pages. Work to provide this mechanism will be completed by March 2021.

Unlabelled form fields

All online form fields need to be labelled clearly for screen reader users. Work to ensure this requirement will be completed by March 2021.

Fieldsets

Fieldsets should be used correctly on forms, where required, for grouping form fields. Where fieldsets are used, legends to describe the fieldset function should be provided. Work to ensure this requirement will be completed by March 2021.

Frames

When a screen reader user hears a list of frames on a page, the user needs to know the purpose of each one. Descriptive titles of all frames used on our website to present videos and maps need to be added. This work will be completed by March 2021 and will be continually assessed thereafter.

HTML mark-up errors

Mark-up errors such as 'missing end tags' mean screen readers may skip important content. Use of automated tools will capture errors in order for them to be corrected. This work will be completed by March 2021 and will be continually assessed thereafter.

Elements not visible in focus

Users who rely on a keyboard to navigate a website use the tab key to cycle through the links on a page. A visual cue is required to highlight which link is currently in focus, so that users can identify where they are within the set of links on a page. Work to ensure visual cues for keyboard users are present on our site will be completed by March 2021.

Links to documents

Links to any documents that are not web pages (for example, PDF documents) should indicate their document type within the link itself and they should open in a new window. Work to achieve this will be completed by March 2021 and will be continually assessed thereafter.

ARIA references

Ensuring that all ARIA references are correct will assist users of assistive technology navigate the website in a similar way to that of a sighted person. Work to ensure no broken ARIA references are present on our site will be completed by March 2021.