Accessibility

Accessibility statement for Essex County Council

This accessibility statement applies to the Essex County Council website located at essex.gov.uk

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 400% 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

Essex.gov.uk has been tested and accredited by the Shaw Trust to be accessible in line with WCAG 2.1 AA standards.

However, we know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • when increasing the font size some items overflow and maybe slightly difficult to read
  • the hotjar feedback drawer has some low contrast and can be difficult to read when the font size is increased
  • the hotjar feedback survey has illogical heading order, no default page language and form fields that cannot be easily determined
  • forms used on the site do not provide clear error messages
  • news graphic has text in
  • headings on some pages are illogical and heading levels are sometimes skipped
  • multiple lists are implemented with only one item each

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.

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 Accessibility Team at accessibility@essex.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

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.

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.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 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

  • when increasing the font size to 200% some text overflows its container or is obscured from view. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.4 (Resize Text). We aim to ensure that when resizing text that we do not lose content or functionality by 1st June 2021
  • some graphics have text in. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.5 (Images of Text). We plan to ensure all images are free from text by 1st June 2021
  • the order of headings is not always logical and sometimes heading levels are skipped. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.6 (Headings and Labels). We plan to ensure all headings are used correctly by 1st June 2021

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. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.3.1 (Error Identification).
    We are working with our supplier to resolve the issue.

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. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.3.2 (Labels or instructions)
  • the default language has not been set. This fails WCAG2.1 success criterion 3.1.1 (Language of Page)

We are working with the supplier to resolve the issues.

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

PDFs and other documents

Although some of Essex County Council’s older PDFs are inaccessible and do not meet accessibility standards, we are working towards making as many PDF’s meet WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards as possible.

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.

We are prioritising making PDFs accessible that:

  • contain information on how users can access our service
  • are most frequently dowloaded
  • contain information that has a statutory requirement

We have developed training and guidance to help all document creators develop accessible documents.

Our plan is to ensure that all essential PDFs meet accessibility regulations by 1st June 2021.

Live Video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

What we are doing to improve accessibility

We have been working with the Shaw Trust to fix identified issues and released these to the website on 23 September 2019. The Shaw Trust have assessed us subsequently and have issued us with an Accreditation Certificate.

We will continue to monitor accessibility using automated and manual checks.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 26 June 2019. It was last reviewed on 22 September 2020.

This website was last tested on 22 September 2020. The test was carried out by Essex County Council.

Updated 30 September 2020

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