Accessibility, cookies, data protection, payments and copyright | Central Bedfordshire Council

Accessibility, cookies, data protection, payments and copyright

Accessibility and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

This accessibility statement applies to this website (www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk).

This website is run by Central Bedfordshire 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 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)

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

Recite Me accessibility features

At the top of our website, you will see a button that says Speak / Translate. This opens up Recite Me. Recite Me cloud-based assistive technology toolbar allows web visitors to customise our digital content, so that they can consume it in ways that work for them.

Recite Me features

Screen reader

The Recite Me screen reader helps website visitors to perceive and understand our digital content by reading aloud website text, which can be customised to suit the viewer.

Reading

To simplify and support our website visitors Recite Me provides five main tools:

  • ruler
  • screen mask
  • magnifier
  • margins
  • dictionary

Styling

The Recite Me assistive toolbar allows you to change the way our website looks. Users are able to customise the websites colour scheme as well as the texts font style, size, colour, and spacing.

Translate

The Recite Me assistive toolbar quickly and easily translates all our web content into over 100 languages, including 35 text to speech voices.

Simple language

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website aren’t fully accessible, for example some:

  • images contain text which you may not be able to read
  • links don't make sense on their own
  • PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen readers
  • videos don’t have captions or audio description
  • interactive tools are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format, email letstalkcentral@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk or call Customer Services on 0300 300 8301.

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in five working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements please email letstalkcentral@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk and we will get back to you within five working days. Your feedback will be sent to the Web Team. if they need to pass you on to a service, they will give their contact details directly to you.

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

Our customer services centres all remain closed. This includes our main offices at Watling House, Dunstable and Priory House in Chicksands. Libraries with customer services also remain closed. If you need help, information, support or advice please use this website.

If you cannot self-serve online, we'll provide a service telephone number. Please do not call in to see us as visitors are currently only being accepted by appointment only.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Central Bedfordshire 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 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.

How we tested this website

This website was is regularly tested by automated software, provided by Site Improve (siteimprove.com). We tested our main website platform www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

Non-accessible content

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

Level A errors

  • link identified only by colour - WCAG 1.4.1. This relates to two links in the footer of our website (Handcrafted by Spacecraft. Powered by Jadu Continuum). 
  • link text is too generic in its current context - WCAG 2.4.4. Our cookies alert uses the text 'Learn more'. This is too generic and we plan to fix the link text. 
  • input field has no description - WCAG 1.3.1, WCAG 3.3.2 and WCAG 1.4.2. This is an issue with the Hotjar feedback tool we use on the website. We've fed this back to Hotjar and whilst they have no immediate plans to fix, they will review in future
  • text area has no description - WCAG 1.3.1, WCAG 3.3.2 and WCAG 1.4.2. This is an issue with the Hotjar feedback tool we use on the website. We've fed this back to Hotjar and whilst they have no immediate plans to fix, they will review in future
  • HTML is used to format content - WCAG 1.3.1. This is an issue with videos being embedded on our site from 3rd party sources. It currently affects 9 pages (as of 3 September). 
  • Select box has no description WCAG 1.3.1, WCAG 3.3.2 and WCAG 4.1.2. This is an issue affecting two eforms on our website. This is due to be fixed as part of a future update to our core system. 

Level AA errors

  • Element not highlighted on focus. Error identified and we are working on a fix for this.

We will update this statement each time an error is fixed.

Fixing all PDFs published before 23 September 2018

Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

We have links to over 6,000 PDF documents on our website. In addition to the PDFs we currently directly link to on this website, or committee services generate around 140,000 documents each year and within the Planning Department there are well over 1 million PDFs alone. 

Some of these PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. An example of these essential documents are guides on how users can access our services. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages. 

Fixing documents

Having checked www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk, we’ve assessed that it would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of No. 2 Regulations to fix all documents published on the website since 23 September 2018.

Central Bedfordshire Council store their documents in the Cloud with BOX. Therefore, we are unable to determine which PDF documents were produced before 23 September 2018 as the majority of our documents are stored in the Cloud with BOX.

Cost of fixing documents 

It's difficult to know how long it would take to make every document accessible without first reviewing each one. 

However, if it took approximately one hour to review and fix each document within the scope of the accessibility regulations, fixing all 6,000 would take 1,000 days (based on an ‘agile’ 6 hour working day). That is not including the further 1 million plus documents also identified above. The impact therefore of fully meeting the requirements is too much for us to reasonably cope with given the number of staff available who are trained to do this work, the number of hours it will take them, the resultant cost to the Council and the fact that not all PDFs are essential to our services, and particularly to disabled users.  

Our approach

We’ve reviewed the website content statistics for all pages on the site. 75% of all pages viewed on the website represent 217 pages. We’ve assessed these pages and found 40 pages with documents on them which would need to be made accessible. We will do this by 23 September 2020.

We will review new documents for the website to make these accessible.

We are also working with our Cloud based supplier (BOX) to see if there is an opportunity to make PDFs stored on BOX accessible. 

We will update this statement as we progress with this work. 

Exemptions

Please note we do not need to fix the following types of content because they are exempt from the accessibility regulations:

  • pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020
  • live audio and video
  • heritage collections like scanned manuscripts
  • PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 - unless users need them to use a service, for example a form that allows users to request school meal preferences
  • maps - but we will provide essential information in an accessible format like an address
  • third party content that’s under someone else’s control if you did not pay for it or develop it yourself - for example, social media ‘like’ buttons
  • content on intranets or extranets published before 23 September 2019
  • archived websites if they’re not needed for services your organisation provides and they are not updated

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was last reviewed on 21 September 2020.