Accessibility

Accessibility statement for Essex County Council

This accessibility statement applies to the Essex County Council website. It also includes web tools needed to complete tasks and user journeys located at:

essex.gov.uk
essex-self.achieveservice.com
essexcountycouncilcovid19forms.evolutive.co.uk
essex.sishost.co.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 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using 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 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 accessible:

Perceivable

Some images have missing or incorrect alternative text.

Some headings do not look like headings and some text that look like headings are not.

Some links and buttons are used incorrectly.

Lists are not always used correctly, in the contents each item is a list, some lists have incorrect aria roles, and, on some forms, an unordered list is used when it should be ordered.

On some form inputs there are no autocomplete values making it difficult for some users to fill in the forms.

Some text has low contrast and is difficult to read.

When increasing font-size to 200% some text is difficult to read or obscured.

Some news stories use images with text that cannot be altered.

When zooming in, some text and content Is obscured or difficult to read. This occurs on:

  • the Hotjar feedback mechanism
  • the Essex county council header
  • the Essex county council footer sign up input
  • the school admissions application form
  • Covid-19 business support form
  • register a birth form summary.

When text spacing is applied the placeholder text is obscured.

Operable

Some elements cannot be controlled with a keyboard including:

  • the cookie banner
  • the feedback mechanism
  • some form inputs that select dates.

On some of our forms there is no option to adjust timings.

On some of our forms the page titles are not clear of the page content.

The focus order on some of our forms and our feedback mechanism is not always logical.

There is only one way to get to the news section.

Some items on our form and feedback mechanism have focus styles that cannot be or are difficult to see.

When adding records to the admissions form the label does not match the accessible name so would be difficult for voice-controlled users to control.

Understandable

On some forms choosing an address or selecting an appointment time creates a change of context.

Some registration forms will not let you proceed until you have corrected errors that are unidentified.

Some forms have inputs that expect numerical values only but do not tell the user.

Some inputs do not provide clear error suggestions when adding records to a table in the admissions application form or when entering a date of birth when registering a birth.

Robust

In many places the correct markup is not used correctly. This may have an effect on users who require the use of assistive technology or want to change the website layout or style to improve their experience. This occurs on:

  • the secondary school places page
  • School applications form
  • Covid-19 Business support form
  • when registering a birth, death or marriage.

On some pages the correct name role or value is not assigned, this could affect users of assistive technologies or require said technologies to provide information about states, properties, and values etc. This occurs on the:

  • feedback mechanism
  • school applications form
  • Covid-19 business support form
  • main search functionality
  • register a birth form.

How to contact our Accessibility team

Contact our accessibility team to request a different format. This could be an accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille.

Email: Accessibility@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. Contact the accessibility team if you find any problems not listed on this page.

Email: Accessibility@essex.gov.uk

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

Enforcement procedure

The Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations came into force in 2018. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) enforces these.

Contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) if you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint.

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. 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 commits to making its website accessible. This is under 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. This is 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

Essex County Council website

Perceivable

Some images have incorrect or missing alternative text. This makes it difficult for users of assistive technologies to understand the purpose of the image. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text content). We plan to ensure all images have the correct alternative text. At this current time we have no fixed resolution date.

Some links, lists and headings are not in a correct format. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info & Relationships). We plan to ensure all elements are correct At this current time we have no fixed resolution date.

When resizing text to 200%, some text becomes obscured or difficult to read. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.4 (Resize Text). We plan to ensure that when resizing text all content is still visible to users by 29th October 2021.

When zooming in on the page up to 400% some content is impossible to read. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10 (Reflow). We plan to ensure that all content reflows when zooming in by 14th September 2021.

Applying text-spacing obscures some text. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.12 (Text-spacing). We plan to ensure all text is available to with text-spacing by 29th October 2021.

Operable

You cannot dismiss the cookie banner with the keyboard. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard). We plan to ensure all functionality is available with a keyboard by 29th October 2021.

Robust

The pagination on search results resubmits the search term. This functionality is not noted to users via the role attribute. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). We plan to ensure all functionality includes the correct name, role, and value by 29th October 2021.

Covid business support

Perceivable

The business support logo has no alternative text. This makes it difficult for users of assistive technologies to understand the purpose of the image. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text content). We plan to ensure all images have the correct alternative text by 30th September 2021.

The main heading is not marked as a heading but looks like a heading. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info & Relationships). We plan to ensure all elements are correct by 30th September 2021.

The form does not include any autocomplete values making it difficult for some users to fill in the form. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.5 (Identify input purpose). We plan to ensure all inputs that that can use an autocomplete value have one by 30th September 2021.

When resizing text to 200%, the heading overlaps the logo making it difficult to read. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.4 (Resize Text). We plan to ensure that when resizing text all content is still visible to users by 30th September 2021.

When zooming in on the page up to 400% some content overflows and creates a horizontal scroll. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10 (Reflow). We plan to ensure that all content reflows when zooming in by 30th September 2021.

Operable

The form refreshes itself without warning after set periods of time. This makes it difficult for some users to fill in the form. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.2.1 (Timing adjustable). We plan to ensure that the form provides clear warnings to users before it times out by 30th September 2021.

The form uses modals. Keyboard focus can leave the modal without dismissing it but mouse users cannot. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.3 (Focus Order). We plan to ensure that keyboard focus order is always logical by 30th September 2021.

Understandable

Some inputs need numerical values only. There are no instructions that tell users this. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.3.2 (Labels and Instructions). We plan to ensure all labels and instructions are clear to the user by 30th September 2021.

Robust

Some elements include incorrect attributes. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.1 (Parsing). We plan to ensure all attributes are correct by 30th September 2021.

Some form inputs do not have connected labels. Some form elements are formatted with tables. This makes it difficult for users of assistive technologies to interact with. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). We plan to ensure all form inputs are connected to their labels and formatted correctly by 30th September 2021.

Granicus Forms

Perceivable

We build and host our forms using a third-party product. We are upgrading all 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 use of links, lists and roles is not correct. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (Info & Relationships). We plan to ensure all elements and their attributes are correct by 16th November 2021.

Some forms do not include autocomplete values. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.5 (Identify input purpose). We plan to ensure all inputs that can use an autocomplete value have one by 16th November 2021.

When increasing font-size to 200% some options become unavailable or difficult to interact with. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.4 (Resize Text). We plan to ensure when increasing font-size there is no loss of functionality or content by 26th November 2021.

When zooming in to up to 400% some content and functionality becomes obscured. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10 (Reflow). We plan to ensure when zooming in that all content and functionality is available by 1st December 2021.

Operable

Some form functions such as date pickers and collapsible rows does not work with a keyboard. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard). We plan to ensure all form functions are controllable with a keyboard by 29th November 2021.

Some forms have a timeout with no option to extend the form duration and some form messages disappear before the user has time to read them. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.2.1 (Timing Adjustable). We plan to ensure users can extend the time needed for time restricted content or functionality by 29th November 2021.

When using a keyboard to complete the form the focus order is not always logical. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.3 (Focus Order).

When using a keyboard focus styles are not always visible. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.7 (Focus Visible).

We plan to ensure all focus styles are visible by 30th October 2021.

We plan to ensure the focus follows a logical order by 29th November 2021.

Understandable

When selecting an address, there is a change of focus without warning. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.2.2 (On Input). We plan to ensure there is no change of context when inputting data into a form by 30th October 2021.

Robust

The forms include invalid HTML and HTML attributes as well as incorrectly implemented CSS. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.1 (Parsing). We plan to ensure all HMTL, CSS and attributes are implemented correctly by 29th November 2021.

Some form inputs do not have connected labels. Some form elements are in tables. This makes it difficult for users of assistive technologies to interact with. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). We plan to ensure all form inputs connect to their labels and are in a correct format by 1st December 2021.

Some role attributes are not correct. Some form values contain prior information given to the user. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). We plan to ensure the correct use of roles, names, and values by 1st December 2021.

Stopford bookings

Perceivable

There are no autocomplete attributes set in the form. This makes it difficult for some users to complete the form. This fail WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.5 (Identify input purpose). We plan to add autocomplete attributes for form inputs by 29th October 2021.

When increasing font-size, select-boxes do not increase in size. This means some text is not readable. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.4 (Resize text). We plan to ensure all text and content is visible when font-size increases to 200% by 29th October 2021.

On the summary page of some forms when zooming in to 400% the summary table can overflow the main page container creating a horizontal scroll. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10 (Reflow). We plan to ensure when zooming in that all content is available and not obscured by 29th October 2021.

Operable

When trying to complete some forms with a keyboard, you cannot select a date and time. You cannot select the next and previous arrows. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard). We plan to ensure all functionality is operable with a keyboard by 29th October 2021.

When filling in some forms the page titles are generic and not descriptive of the section. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.2 (Page Titled). We plan to ensure all page titles are descriptive of their page content by 29th October 2021.

Understandable

When selecting a location on some forms, extra inputs are made available to the user. These appear above the input that triggers the change. This happens without giving any instructions to the user. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.2.2 (On Input). We plan to ensure that any change of context on input is described to the user before they interact with the input by 29th October 2021.

When inputting a date, if the format is incorrect the error message does not provide a clear way to overcome the error. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.3.3 (Error suggestion). We plan to inform users of how to overcome errors in form inputs by 29th October 2021.

Robust

Many form pages have incorrectly implemented HTML. This includes:

  • incorrectly used Meta tags
  • duplicate ID’s
  • missing alt attributes for images
  • closing paragraph tags with no opening tag
  • incorrectly used role values
  • some elements include attributes that they should not
  • for attributes that do not connect to an input.

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.1 (Parsing). We plan to ensure all HTML is correctly implemented by 29th October 2021.

Hotjar Feedback

Perceivable

When increasing font size content and functionality on the feedback mechanism is obscured or overflows. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.4.4. (Resize Text). We plan to ensure all content and functionality is available to the user when increasing font size by 1st December 2021.

When zooming in to 400% options for the form are no longer visible and there is no visible focus on some options. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10 (Reflow). We plan to ensure that when zooming in all options remain available to the suer by 1st December 2021.

Operable

When collapsing the feedback tab, the focus remains in the tab even when it is minimised. If the options are hidden, they should not be accessible via a keyboard. This could confuse keyboard only users. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard). We plan to ensure keyboard functionality works only when the component is in view or available to the user by 1st December 2021.

When filling in the feedback form, clicking next takes the focus to the top of the page, forcing the user to tab through the whole page to fill in the next section of the feedback. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.3 (Focus Order). We plan to ensure the focus order of all components within the feedback mechanism is logical by 1st December 2021.

In the feedback mechanism the next and close buttons do not receive visible focus. This can make it difficult for keyboard only users to operate the form. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.7 (Focus visible). We plan to ensure all interactive elements have clear focus style for all users by 1st December 2021.

Robust

Some buttons used on the feedback mechanism cannot be determined. This means they have no accessible name. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value). We plan to ensure all buttons have the correct attributes assigned by 1st December 2021.

Content not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

Some of Essex County Council’s older PDFs do not meet accessibility standards.

We're working towards making as many PDFs as possible meet WCAG 2.1 AA Accessibility standards.

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

We are prioritizing PDFs as they often:

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

We have developed training and guidance for document creators to make accessible documents.

Our plan is to ensure that all essential PDFs meet accessibility regulations by 14th September 2021.

Live Video

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

What we are doing to improve accessibility

We are currently working with internal teams and external suppliers to improve accessibility on Essex.GOV.UK and it’s connected services.

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 28 July 2021.

This website was last tested on 16 June 2021. The test was carried out by the Central Data and Digital Office.

The website was tested using Windows 10 Pro, Google Chrome and Firefox, NVDA and Axe testing software on a range of pages and user journeys. This included:

  • Home
  • Accessibility Statement
  • Contact us
  • Coronavirus
  • Current dates and locations for mobile testing units
  • Admissions
  • Secondary school places
  • Admissions booklet, policies and forms
  • School terms and holidays
  • News
  • Search
  • Admissions common application form
  • Register a birth page and form
  • Covid-19 Business support form
  • HotJar feedback

Updated 22 August 2021

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