Accessibility

Accessibility Statement for Ards and North Down Borough Council

This accessibility statement applies to www.ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk. This website is run by Ards and North Down Borough Council. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website.

Browsealoud - Accessibility Tool

This website includes BrowseAloud accessibility software. BrowseAloud adds speech, reading and translation support tools to online content. It works on all major browsers and platforms, including mobile phones and tablets. All features are accessed from an easy-to-use floating toolbar on all web pages.

This means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the pages using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

www.abilitynet.org.uk has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible is this website

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • some page controls do not change appearance when they have been selected by the keyboard
  • some pages scroll in two dimensions on mobile devices
  • some images do not include alternative text
  • a number of PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different accessible format, for example large print, easy read, audio recording or Braille:

email enquiries@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk

call 0300 013 3333

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 10 working 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, email the Administration Department at enquiries@ardandnorthdown.gov.uk.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’) in Northern Ireland. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your request or complaint, please call ECNI on 028 9050 0600 and ask to speak with one of their Discrimination Advice Officers in their Legal Division, or email information@equalityni.org.

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

SignVideo provides our Deaf or Hard of Hearing customers who use British Sign Language (BSL) instant access to a SignVideo online BSL interpreter, in real time, on a video relay system. This service is free from your own home. It’s simple, fast and secure.

At some Council venues, we can connect you to a fully qualified SignVideo interpreter using an iPad, so you can see them on the screen. They will assist you to communicate with our staff. If you need any help, a member of our reception team will be on hand. Please note this service is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Ards and North Down Borough 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 2.1 AA standard due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

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

  • Some images do not have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). We plan to add text alternatives for all images within the next 12 months, by September 2021. When we publish new content we'll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.
  • Some pages require scrolling in two directions when viewed on small screens. This fails WCAG 1.4.10 (Reflow). Where possible, we intend to fix this problem within the next 12 months, by September 2021.
  • Some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard or a screenreader because form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.6 (headings and labels). We plan to add all label tags within the next 12 months, by September 2021. If you need any help with carrying out a task on our website, please contact enquiries@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk.

Third party tools

We use third party suppliers to deliver parts of the website. We have informed our suppliers that they need to meet the standards and we will review their compliance on a regular basis.

If you are having difficulties accessing any section of our website, please email enquiries@ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk.

Disproportionate burden

Some of our PDFs are not accessible but would be a disproportionate burden to update, particularly those which are extremely long or used by a low number of people. However, requests can be made to make specific content accessible for those who need it.

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

Some of our older PDFs do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.10 (section headings).

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. However, requests can be made to make specific content accessible for those who need it.

Any new PDFs that we publish will meet accessibility standards.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are going to ensure all future documents are published in accessible formats.

We are using some automated checks to alert us if something falls below the standard.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 22 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 15 March 2021.

We tested this website on 10 March 2021. We carried out our own testing using automated accessibility testing tool Sitemorse. We found 80% of pages and PDF files tested passed automated Priority 1 (A) checks, 99% passed automated Priority 2 (AA) checks, and 99% passed automated Priority 3 (AAA) checks.

Recent fixes

In response to a recent audit of this site, the following issues have now been rectified across the site:

Keyboard

Users should be able to use a keyboard to access all content and functionality of a web page. This means the page can be used by people with no vision as well as people who use alternative keyboards or input devices that act as a keyboard.

Focus visible

A visible focus helps users know which element has keyboard focus and where they are on the page.

When an element gets focus there should be a visible border around it. Highlighting the element that has keyboard focus or is hovered over can provide information like whether the element is interactive or the scope of that element.

Operating systems have a native indication of focus, which is available in many browsers. The default display of the focus indicator is not always highly visible and may even be difficult to see especially on coloured backgrounds.

Resize Text

Visual text, including text-based controls can be scaled so that they can be read directly by users with visual impairments without using assistive technology such as a screen magnifier.

Text must be able to be resized up to 200 percent without loss of content or function.

Reflow

Reflow or ‘responsive web design’ helps users with low vision who may need to enlarge text on a webpage and read it in a single column without scrolling in more than one direction. It also helps users who are viewing the page on a mobile device.

If a page does not support reflow it can appear smaller and more difficult to use or content may be cut off.
Navigation menus often collapse into fewer items or into a single menu button to take up less space. All content and functionality must still be fully available.

Contrast (Minimum)

Poor colour contrast makes it difficult for someone with sight loss to see the content properly. If there is a big difference between the background and foreground colours it should be much easier to see the difference between them.