Accessibility statement

This accessibility statement applies to www.telford.gov.uk, my.telford.gov.uk, webforms.telford.gov.uk and dac.telford.gov.uk, which are managed by Telford & Wrekin 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 200% 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)

Text colour and text size
We provide the ability to change the theme used across the website, where black text on a white background may be difficult to read you can try other colour schemes and contrasts, for example the 'High contrast' of yellow text on a black background. You can also change the size of the text on the screen, the spacing between the letters and switch the font used across our pages. View our accessibility settings page for details of how to change colours and fonts.

We also use the 'browsealoud' assistive technology app to help users navigate our site and we use plain English as much as we can to make the content easier to understand.

How accessible this website is

Parts of this website are not fully accessible. For example:

  • some pages and document attachments are not clearly written
  • some tables do not have row headers
  • some pages have poor colour contrast
  • some heading elements are not consistent
  • some images do not have good alternative text
  • some buttons are not correctly identified
  • images contain text which you may not be able to read
  • links don't make sense on their own
  • PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen readers
  • videos don’t have captions or audio description
  • interactive tools are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • 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
  • maps (and the information displayed on them) are not picked up in full by assistive technology for example keys elements such as magnification and points of interest
  • live video streams do not have sub-titles

Feedback and contact information

If you would like to comment on the accessibility of this website, or request any of the information in a different format, such as accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please contact us using our website feedback form.

We aim to get back to you within 14 days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact the Web Services team using our website feedback form.

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 with hearing impairment or speech impediment. The number is 18001 (01952) 380000. 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

Telford & Wrekin 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 and exemptions listed on this page.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Images
Some images don’t have a text alternative (alt text), so the information in them isn’t available to people using a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2022. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Some images contain text, so people with dyslexia or using a screen reader will not be able to read the information. This doesn't meet WCAG success criterion 1.4.5 (Images of Text). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2022. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Links
On some pages the same link text is used for different link destinations. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2022. When we publish new pages we’ll make sure link text meets accessibility standards.

On some pages the purpose of each link can't be determined from the link text alone. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2022. When we publish new pages we’ll make sure link text meets accessibility standards.

Tables 
On some pages tables do not have a description set using the caption element. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships. We plan to resolve this issue by April 2022. When we publish new tables we’ll make sure they meet accessibility standards.

PDFs and other documents
Some of our PDFs and other documents are not formatted so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, role value). Any new documents we publish should meet accessibility standards where they are required for essential services or users who are likely to have disabilities or impairments. Essential documents will be reviewed and made accessible by April 2022.

Contrast 
On some pages there isn't sufficient contrast between the colour of the text and the background, making it hard to read the information. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2022.

Language
On some pages the language has not been set in a way that can be understood by a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.1.1 (Language of Page). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2022.

Navigation
On some pages the tabbing order is not logical when navigating using a keyboard. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.3 Focus Order. We plan to resolve this issue by April 2022.

HTML
On some pages HTML is used to format content rather than CSS. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Information and Relationships. We plan to resolve this issue by April 2022.

Headings
On some pages headings don't cascade inside the features on the page. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.10 (Section Headings). We plan to resolve this issue by April 2022.

Final payment screens
The Civica payment service is not responsive on mobile devices, this fails WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.8 (Visual Presentation). We are working with the supplier to address this issue. At this time we are awaiting confirmation from the supplier as to when a fix will be implemented.

Chatbot 'Ask Tom Digital Assistant'
We are working with the third-party supplier of our chatbot to address the following accessibility issues, which will hope to resolve by December 2021:

  • WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard - the ability to navigate the chatbot using keyboard only.
  • WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships - missing ARIA children roles.
  • WCAG 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value - remove focusable descendants in footer elements of chatbot window.

Councillors’ minutes and papers (https://democracy.telford.gov.uk/)
The inclusion of this portal in the accessibility statement on the main council website is in relation to the PDFs used for agendas, minutes, reports and appendices hosted on the portal which are a combination of documents created internally and provided by partners/consultants, the latter being outside our control. This portal was launched on 1 May 2019, with the predecessor application (http://apps.telford.gov.uk/CouncilAndDemocracy/Committees) now classed as an archive website.

This portal is managed by Civica's Modern.Gov application, which in turn uses an application named 'Apose' to generate PDF documents hosted within the portal, unfortunately the current version of this software does not product fully accessible PDFs. We are working with the supplier to upgrade the Modern.Gov application to the latest version that is capable of producing accessible PDFs. We plan to resolve this issue by April 2022.

Disproportionate burden

Planning Online system (https://secure.telford.gov.uk/planning)
The current local planning application system, which is a portal linked to via the main council website, is over 11 years old has not been significantly improved upon for several years. The underlying application is no longer supported and we are currently in the process of identifying a replacement for this application, which we expect to be in place by late 2022/early 2023.

At this time, we are unable to ascertain a cost for resolving accessibility issues with the application, given the lack of knowledge of the code base and deployment of the application - unfortunately, this is a result of both the third-party supplier support no longer available and the loss of employees with knowledge, from a development perspective.

In terms of impact to users, visits to the website in the past 12 months (1 August 2020 to 31 July 2021, inclusive) generated 1,886,088 page views, which accounts for 15% of traffic we track across the *.telford.gov.uk domain (which includes the online planning application, the main council website and various other portals operating as sub-domains of telford.gov.uk). This accounts for the application pages only (html/.aspx) and does not include the views attributed to documents, which unfortunately are not tracked.

Further to the accessibility issues of the application, we believe the accessibility of the documents within the application also fall under disproportionate burden owing to the nature of the parties involved in the production of these documents. The documents in question are PDFs created by residents/members of the public, third parties and professional bodies in relation to planning applications made by members of the public, which are outside our control in terms of ensuring the documents are accessible. In addition, there could be legal ramifications/recourse if changes are made to documents which could interfere with the application process.

Since 23 September 2020 a further 20,411 documents have been added to the planning application system by members of the public, third-parties and professionals. Given the volume of documents that get added as part of planning applications and the reasons referred to above and taking into account that the size of the team (currently 2 full time employees) responsible for the council website, as well as the resources available, it would be inconceivable to manually review every document added to the planning application system.

We believe that attempting to resolve the accessibility issues with the current portal would be a disproportionate burden, within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will make another assessment of this in April 2022.

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

PDFs and other documents
Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing services e.g. PDFs that give users complex information in a clear format, using illustrations etc, or forms that were published as Word documents. By April 2022, 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. For example annual reports or documents used as an archive reference for work conducted in that year. Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Live video
We do not plan to add captions to live video streams, because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. All of our pre-recorded and edited film clips will feature subtitles/captions or a transcript. By April 2022 we plan to ensure all our pre-recorded videos meet the required standard.

Embedded clips from YouTube
When embedding Youtube content, it automatically generates non-compliant HTML5 code. We’re currently monitoring this to see if it has a negative effect on the overall user experience. At the time of publication that is not the case, but linked film clips will not function without the non-compliant code.

Embedded images from Flickr
We have a selection of photo albums on the site, some of which are only hosted on the photo-sharing website, flickr.com. The code used to embed an image or album can create non-compliant elements.

Maps
Maps and mapping services are exempt as long as essential information is provided in accessible digital manner for maps intended for navigational use. By April 2022 all maps will be presented alongside text equivalent information, where appropriate, for example, address/location details.

We aim to meet the needs of all visitors to our site, but we don’t yet have a way of presenting geographical information (maps and site plans etc.) in a fully achievable and accessible format. Currently all accessible map solutions would be impossible to implement for all residents due to both resource and installation issues. As new technologies emerge we will revaluate this topic.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We plan to identify and fix issues according to the timescales shown for each area above.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 22 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 7 November 2021. This website was last tested on October 2021. The test was carried out by Telford & Wrekin Council. We tested a large sample size of page types and varieties from our site, with the aim to make sure all types of user journey and the most popular tasks were represented, e.g. the main homepage and also the content listed under service landing pages.

We complete our accessibility audits by testing how the site performs when accessed using accessibility tools such as Siteimprove (to test coding elements) and WebAIM Contrast Checker (to test the contrast levels between colours with hexadecimal accuracy).