Accessibility Statement for Essex Local Offer website

This accessibility statement applies to the Essex Local Offer website.

The website is run by Essex County 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

We’ve also made 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 are not fully accessible:

  • you cannot change the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some videos do not have captions and transcripts
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • you cannot skip to the main content when using a screen reader

 What to do if you can’t access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format, email: essex.localoffer@essex.gov.uk.  We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 10 days.

A different format might be accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille.

 If you don’t have internet

If you don’t have internet, you can access this website for free by visiting your local Essex library.  Find your nearest library and opening times.

There are people who can help you with using the website. Speak to a member of a SEND team at Essex County Council, your lead health or social care worker, or SENDIASS.

How we test this website

We use SiteImprove to check how accessible the website is.

We also use a plugin which tells us how readable the content is.

Compliance status

We are committed to making our website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

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

Issues with technology

Some of the information in our contact form isn’t available to people using a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value), 1.3.1(Info and Relationships) and 3.3.2 (Labels or Instructions).

We plan to change our contact form so that it meets accessibility standards.

Issues with images, video and audio

Some images do not have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

We are working through our images to make sure they have a text alternative.  When we add a new image, we make sure alternative text is added.

Issues with navigation and accessing information

There’s no way to skip the repeated content in the page header (for example, a ‘skip to main content’ option).

It’s not always possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it more difficult to view the content.

It’s not possible for users to change text size without some of the content overlapping.

We are writing a specification for a new website.  This includes

Issues with PDFs and other documents

Some of our PDFs are essential to providing our services. For example, we have forms published as Word documents. We plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We have made significant changes to our website so that people with disabilities can access it.

Reading the website

We aim to make our website as easy to read as possible and follow the Plain English principles. We are constantly working to improve our website and make it easier to understand.

It is the responsibility of the service or provider to make sure that their page content is accessible; not the web administrator.

PDFs and documents

We aim to provide content in html format where possible. Where we have to use different formats, this will be because:

  • the information is too long or too complex for a webpage
  • the content is an official council document, for example council strategy documents or
  • the user is likely to want to print the content, for example a brochure
  • the document is needed in its original format – for example, bus timetables
  • documents are from other agencies – for example, government publications or reports

We are working to improve the accessibility of our documents. It is the responsibility of the service or provider to make sure that their pdfs and document are accessible; not the web administrator.

Low graphics pages

These pages are quicker to download and useful if you don’t need the images or if you are on a slow connection.

Google Translate

You can use the Google Translate feature at top of the page if English is your second language, or you would prefer for the information to be translated into a different language. You can translate into over 90 different languages.

Browsealoud accessibility software

To help you access our website, you can use the Browsealoud software to listen to our website.

Browsealoud helps people with low literacy and reading skills, dyslexia, English as a second language and people with a mild visual impairment.

Browsealoud reads the content of a website to the user, who can select from a range of voices. It can read all types of content including text, tables, pdfs and alt text for images.

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, email: essex.localoffer@essex.gov.uk.

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 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).