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Website accessibility and support

Last updated 16 December 2022

Accessibility statement for wyreforestdc.gov.uk

Find out how accessible our website is, how to report accessibility issues and what to do if you can’t access parts of this website.

This accessibility statement applies to www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk and www.wyreforest.gov.uk

This website is run by Wyre Forest District Council. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 200% 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)

We’re also working on making the website text as simple as possible 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 aren’t fully accessible:

  • most older PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams don’t have captions
  • 3rd party booking iframe doesn't have an accessible name

External services

Some of our services supported by 3rd party software have their own accessibility statements with details of how accessible the service is, how to report problems and how to request information in an alternative format. 

Planning search and view

This system is built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. View planning search and view accessibility statement.

Benefit application forms

This system is built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. View Victoria Forms accessibility statement.

Planning policy consultation

This system is built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. 

My Wyre Forest 

This system is built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. View My Council Services accessibility statement.

 

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille please contact the relevant department. If you are not sure which department you need please email web@wyreforestdc.gov.uk.

We’ll consider your request and get back to you as soon as possible.

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 accessibility requirements, contact the web team web@wyreforestdc.gov.uk, 01562 732979 or by email web@wyreforestdc.gov.uk.

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’re 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 customer service centre has portable audio induction loops. Please contact us before visiting if you have any specific requirements.

Find out how to contact us

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Wyre Forest 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.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 to AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Not all frames have accessible names. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (Bypass blocks) or 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). The 1 iframe in violation is a 3rd party embed which we have been unable to edit.

Not all ARIA attributes have valid values. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). This is something we are working in house and with partners to fix.

The hamburger menu is not accessible when using keyboard tabbing at 200%. This does not meet WCAG success criterion 1.4.4 (resize text). This is under investigation and will be fixed soon.

Committee information and documentation archive

This system is built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website.
Some text or user interface components within these services do not have sufficient colour contrast. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (contrast (minimum)). We are working to fix this.

Some images do not have an appropriate text alternative, so all the information in them isn’t available to people using a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). We are working to fix this.

The documents contained within the committee are inaccessible PDFs, we have no plans to fix those published before 23 September 2018 as these are exempt from regulations however we are working to update templates to ensure new documents are as compliant as possible within the requirements of the committee documentation. This process involves software updates and officer time to upgrade the templates and therefore is not expected to be completed until later in 2021.

Disproportionate burden

We believe that there are some fixes which would require an excessive use of officer time (resource) and funds.

All service areas have had their budgets reduced significantly over the last few years. This includes the website budget. The council currently has a funding gap estimated to be £2m by 2024-25 . It is in this position as the way the council is funded has changed. The general Government grant to the council reduced from more than £1m in 2010 to zero in 2020 and the Government’s New Homes Bonus has fallen from £2.4m in 2016-17 to only £0.243m now. Costs are rising and the authority has incurred substantial additional costs and lost income due to COVID-19: these have not been fully covered by the Government.

We believe the most responsible use of public funds is to focus resources on actively improving the current and future accessibility of the website, rather than making retrospective fixes. We believe the 1 FTE web officer should concentrate on future development and ongoing duties.

We are actively engaged in upgrading 3rd party software to make sure users have the best possible experience for the best value possible. We will continue to seek the best possible solutions for our customers.

As such we have assessed certain fixes to be a disproportionate burden on the authority from a resource and financial perspective. Ongoing assessments have been carried out on these fixes since the introductions of the regulations. View the latest position on each area:

We are unable to quantify the number of users that would benefit from making the fixes detailed. According to the 2011 Census 9.2% of people in Wyre Forest have long-term health problems or disabilities such that their day to activities are affected a lot. It is impossible to know how many of these people will be largely affected by us not fixing these issues, however it is fair to say that a significant proportion of them will actively benefit from the planned development and improvements we are focusing on.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

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 our meetings documentation archive or local plan evidence base. These documents would take a disproportionate amount of officer hours to convert due to the complexity and detail (images, graphs and diagrams). They are important historic records and we will always help with any requests for accessible versions if requested.

We have converted a vast number of documents from inaccessible PDF format to HTML with the migration of the website into it’s new format.

Any new PDFs or Word documents produced and published by us will meet accessibility standards wherever possible.

Live video

Live video streams don’t have captions. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions - live).

We don’t plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Online mapping

Online maps and mapping services are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We have relaunched our website on an updated CMS system to improve accessibility. We are using a quality monitoring system to constantly scan the website for any errors than can be detected automatically and continue to manually check the site for quality. We are working with 3rd party suppliers to ensure accessibility fixes are implemented as systems are updated. We are working with colleagues to develop accessible templates that can be used for documents such as committee items, historically written for print.

We have engaged the Shaw Trust to complete an external accessibility audit on our site. This is due to be completed by mid April. Any further issues identified by them will be addressed as a matter of urgency. 

Logo - shaw trust accessible

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This website was and continues to be regularly tested and automatically scanned for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines V2.1 level A and level AA. These tests have been carried out internally by Wyre Forest District Council web team.

We tested:

  • A sample of pages from our main website platform, available at www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk
  • Our payments site; committee information and documentation storage; our planning application search and view function; document archive site; planning policy consultation portal and our reporting tool (My Wyre Forest)- services based on a different 3rd party technical platform but ‘skinned’ to look like our website.

This statement was originally prepared on 12 September 2020. It was then reviewed 23 April 2021. It was last updated on 16 February 2022.

 

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