Accessibility

Accessibility statement

Using this website

This 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 (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

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 had the website assessed by the Shaw Trust on 24 June and the following issues were identified:

  • keyboard activated ‘skip to main content’ takes the user to the navigation first instead of the title of the content
  • the search results page title uses h2 and not h1
  • the search field does not have a descriptive label
  • the ECC logo in the header does not have ALT text. This affects most pages.
  • the list of options on the landing pages is not formed correctly. A screen reader reads it as a horizontal list with items separated by a comma. It needs to be a vertical list with a * before each item
  • news stories are being generated with a duplicate HTML ID
  • some of our video content is missing descriptive text in the iframe tag including the ‘what is a pre-paid card’ video on the Personal budgets page. This video also has automatic captions which don’t quite reflect the content.

We have been working to resolve these issues and released new code on 17 September 2019. The Shaw Trust will be assessing our website again from 24 September.

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

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille email the Equalities and Partnerships Team at ECC.Equalities@essex.gov.uk.

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 20 working days.

How we tested this website

This website was tested by the Shaw Trust Accessibility Services and they reported their findings to us on 24 June.
See our in progress accreditation certificate.

We decided on a broad testing approach that would enable us to look beyond the Content Management System and include other key systems and features.
We tested:

The Shaw Trust are assessing our website again from 24 September.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Essex County Council is committed to making its 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 listed below.

Issues with technology

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be marked up so they’re accessible to a screen reader.

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents.

We have created a register of PDFs which are essential for service delivery and are working through these to create HTML pages and forms. This work will be completed by 23 September 2020.

We understand that the 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. However, if you need information in an alternative format, email the Equalities and Partnerships Team at ECC.Equalities@essex.gov.uk.

Issues with images, video and audio

Live video streams don’t have captions.
Whilst we understand that live video streams are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations, we realise that this is still an important part of our web content. However, we will be focusing our efforts on increasing the accessibility of other areas
first.

Issues with interactive tools and transactions

Our forms are built and hosted using a third party product. We are in the process of upgrading all of our forms to the latest version of this product.

The vendor states that ‘citizen facing products are being updated to ensure they meet all required elements of the accessibility directive that require implementation in the EN 301 549 mandate.’

The Shaw Trust has identified the following issues with our current forms:

  • when mandatory fields are left blank, the screen reader is left on the ‘Next’ button as they try to progress rather than being taken to the top of the page and notified of the missing information.

Other accessibility issues

We use a pop-up poll to capture user feedback on the website. The Shaw Trust has identified the following accessibility issues:

  • the survey page has a missing heading 2 and 3
  • the poll pop-up has ambiguous form fields where the Yes No radio buttons are not related to the question
  • the default language has not been set

We use an external e-newsletter provider to manage our e-newsletter delivery. The Shaw Trust has identified the following accessibility issues:

  • the e-newsletter selection has unlabelled form fields

In all cases we are working with suppliers to resolve the issues.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

This statement was prepared on 26 June 2019 and updated on 23 September 2019.
We released new code to the website on 17 September to fix issues which were identified by the Shaw Trust.

We are working to resolve all identified accessibility issues which are within our control and will release them to the website by 23 September 2019.

We are working with suppliers to resolve any identified accessibility issues where we do not have direct control over their product.

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 the requirements of the accessibility regulations, email the Content Team at web.contentteam@essex.gov.uk.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing 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

We provide a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Contact us:

General enquiries

Telephone: 0345 743 0430
Email: contact@essex.gov.uk
Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm


or, Visit us.

If you can’t view the map on our Visit us page, call or email us.

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