Accessibility

Accessibility statement for www.harlow.gov.uk

This website is run by Harlow 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

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

  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • some of our online services are hosted by third-party suppliers and you may find navigating these services difficult depending on their level of web accessibility. These include but not restricted to moderngov.harlow.gov.uk and planningonline.harlow.gov.uk

What to do if you cannot 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 Communications team at communications@harlow.gov.uk

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 that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, email the Communications team at communications@harlow.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.

Find out how to contact us

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Harlow 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.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

We have a small number of embedded, prerecorded videos on our site which do not have captions or audio description, so the information in them is not available to people who cannot see or hear the video content. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.2.2 captions (prerecorded) or 1.2.5 audio description (prerecorded).

Any prerecorded video content we publish after 23 September 2020 will meet accessibility standards.

Disproportionate burden

Some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag.

Some of our online forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships).

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and information, we believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will make another assessment when the individual supplier contracts are up for renewal, and we will work with our supplier to improve the product and fix the issues.

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

Many of our older PDF documents 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 4.1.2 (name, role value).

Some of our PDF documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have a PDF form to apply for discretionary housing payment. By September 2020, 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, we do not plan to fix the Harlow Sculpture trail map document.

However, if you need information in an alternative format, email the Communications Team at communications@harlow.gov.uk.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 11 November 2019. The test was carried out by Harlow Council’s Communications team using Siteimprove.

Siteimprove checks across the whole of our site on a regular basis and reports on:

  • pages that conform to WCAG A, AA or AAA standards
  • issues with CSS validation
  • issues with HTML validation
  • PDF accessibility including problems with tagging, language definition, headings and labels

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

This statement was prepared on 18 November 2019.

We are working to resolve all identified accessibility issues which are within our control by September 2020.

We are working with suppliers to resolve any identified accessibility issues where we do not have direct control over their product. The supplier of our online forms recently undertook an accessibility test and is currently investigating the issues raised in this test. We will have an update on this by February 2020.