You Said, We Did – 2015 to 2017

Local authorities must publish comments about their Local Offer received from or on behalf of children with SEN or disabilities and their parents/carers, and young people with SEN or disabilities. You can read more about this from page 65 in the SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years.  Below is a summary of the comments we received from 2015 to 2017 and what we have done about them.  You can also read the summary for 2018 to 2019 on the You Said, We Did – 2018 to 2019 page.

If you would like to comment on the content or accessibility of the Essex Local Offer, then we would love to hear from you. Email:


You said

We did

The homepage is very busy and fussy. I feel that a white background would be much clearer.

It is easy to use but there is too much colour.

In 2015, We changed the background of the homepage to a clear white background to improve the accessibility of the site. See below pictures of the changes we made.

Old ELO homepage picture

new ELO homepage picture

I feel that an option for the preference of language available to users should be offered along the top bar. We moved the Google Translate bar from the bottom of each page to the top.
I was not aware that more information such as a search option was available if I scrolled down further on the home page. With the re-vamp of the homepage page in August 2015, we also altered the search facility so it was alongside the category buttons instead of at the bottom of the page.
More pictures and visual icons are needed. We have been lucky enough to have some students from Harlow College take pictures of the surrounding areas, which have gone on the site. More pictures will be uploaded and we are working on more ways for the website to be more visually appealing.
The site needs to be more accessible.

In August 2015, we added in a Plus/Minus button in order for the text on the site to be enlarged for easier reading for some users.

In January 2017, we added an accessibility widget on the top right of the Local Offer page. This widget translates and speaks translated text aloud, with a choice of reading speeds. Has highlighters to enhance reading, on-screen text magnifier, MP3 generator for offline listening and web page simplifier for easier reading.

The search box is difficult to use when you don’t know what you are looking for. We launched a new search facility in January 2016, to help improve finding what you are looking for on the site. Start typing in what you are looking for and see if anything similar appears.
A social media page would be better to encourage families and young people to see the latest events and news. In January 2016 we launched a Facebook Page for the Essex Local Offer. ‘Like’ the page to keep up to date with the latest events and updates regarding all things SEND!
I want a list of mainstream units or specially resourced provision. In September 2016, we created a new subcategory under Education for enhanced provision.
I am visually impaired and need an audio button to read out the information.

As of December 2016, we are looking at developing an audio accessibility option. We have tried to create a site which is suitable for people using screen readers and other tools that can help those who are visually impaired.

In January 2017, we added an accessibility widget on the top right of the Local Offer page.

The early years section is really confusing. In January 2016, we reviewed our early years section and we now just link to the Family Information Service (FIS) as all providers and information are listed in one place and are regularly updated including what they provide for SEN.
It’s not obvious that there is more text under each sub-category or that the header is a hyperlink to an information page. In July 2017 we moved the sub-categories to the right hand side of the text so that both are visible at the same time. We also added ‘read more’ hyperlinks at the end of the text so that it’s clearer when further information is available.
The One Planning and Education Health & Care Plan category is red which I associate with anger. In August 2017 we updated the colours of all the categories, paying particular care to use more positive shades and remove the colour red.
It would be good if there was a link to the Facebook page on the website. In August 2017 we added a Facebook widget to the homepage of the Local Offer which displays a preview of our most recent posts and allows users to click through to the main Essex Local Offer Facebook page.
The information on Preparing for Adulthood is hidden and difficult to locate.  In August 2017 we created a new category on the Home page called Preparing for Adulthood and moved the existing information so that it is easier to access.

More information about how the Essex Local Offer has changed and coproduced can be found on the Coproduction and Consultation page.