Accessibility

Accessibility statement for www.harlow.gov.uk

This accessibility statement applies to www.harlow.gov.uk and selfserve.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 300% 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:

  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software

Feedback and contact information

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

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 and exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

WCAG 1.1.1 Non-Text Content

  • In some of our PDFs there is no text alternatives for non-text content.
  • In some of our forms, images of text are used, such as the council logo, with insufficient alt text.

We are currently working through our PDFs and plan to have text alternatives for non-text content in our top 25 most-used PDFs by September 2020. We plan to update our less frequently-used PDFs over the course of the next year, by June 2021.

We are reviewing the images of text on our forms and plan to fix this by September 2020.

WCAG 1.2.2 Captions (pre-recorded)

  • We have a small number of embedded, prerecorded videos on our site which do not have captions or audio description. 
  • Form <input> element labels are missing from our online forms, the ‘sign up to our mailing list’ field on the /news page and the date pickers on the /events page.

We will add captions or audio description to any videos that are not text-alternatives by September 2020. Any prerecorded video content we publish after 23 September 2020 will meet accessibility standards.

We are reviewing the <input> element labels and plan to fix this by September 2020.

WCAG 1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose

  • On our online forms, autocomplete for fields has been set to ‘off’.

We are meeting with our online form supplier and hope to have an update on when this can be fixed by in July 2020.

WCAG 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)

  • The cookie banner buttons ‘hide this message’ and ‘find out more about cookies’ do not have sufficient contrast (1.45:1).
  • On most of our online forms, the write writing on turquoise does not have sufficient contrast (2.74:1). Also the buttons ‘Login’ or ‘continue with an account’ do not have sufficient contrast (3.63:1). Personal information page ‘continue’ and ‘cancel’ buttons have a contrast ratio of 2.81:1 and 2.69:1 (when hovered to). Links on introduction pages of forms have a ratio of 2.83:1.

We plan to change the colours of the cookie banner buttons by September 2020.

We are meeting with our online form supplier and hope to have an update on when the colours of the writing and buttons can be fixed by in July 2020.

WCAG 1.4.4 Resize Text

  • On our online forms, zooming and scaling is disabled.

We are meeting with our online form supplier and hope to have an update on when this can be fixed by in July 2020.

WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard

  • Users will struggle to complete some of our other online forms, such as the Garage application form, without a mouse.
  • Users cannot to tab to radio buttons on our contact us and homelessness.
  • Users cannot tab to ‘more events’ on Events page.

We are meeting with our online form supplier and hope to have an update on when the forms are going to be fully keyboard operable by in July 2020.

We plan to fix the tab to radio button issue and tab to 'more events' by September 2020.

WCAG 2.4.2 Page Titled

  • Some of our PDF documents do not have descriptive titles.

We are currently working through our PDFs and plan to have updated the titles in our top 25 most-used PDFs by September 2020. We plan to update our less frequently-used PDFs over the next year, by June 2021.

WCAG 2.4.3 Focus Order

  • On the home page clicking ‘more services’ expands the options visually but focus moves to news stories. Users would expect focus to move to the new content that has been revealed.
  • When zoomed in at 400% the search bar collapses to a search icon. When users tab to the icon and press enter to bring up the search bar, the next tab goes to the collapsed ‘my account’ rather than the search bar as expected.

We plan to fix the focus order on the home page and search bar tab issue by September 2020.

WCAG 2.4.7 Focus Visible

  • There is focus missing on the council logo, search bar and footer elements such as ‘Accessibility’ and ‘Cookies’ on all our pages.
  • The colour scheme used on links and buttons throughout the website, such as the service option headings, can make it difficult to notice focus - this is because the change from blue to pink does not have enough contrast (contrast ratio is 1.6:1). 
  • On the home page, each event in the ‘Events’ section receives two focuses, one visible and one not visible. Each news story in the ‘News’ section also receives focus with no visible indication. This is also present on the Events and News page where tab focus is not clear on images and headings.
  • On some of our online forms, there is no focus on the ‘log in’ button and no link focus once you get through as a guest.

We plan to fix the missing focus, colour scheme contrast ratio and double focusses by September 2020.

With the lack of focus on our online forms, we are meeting with our online form supplier and hope to have an update on when this can be fixed by in July 2020.

WCAG 3.1.1 Language of Page

  • Some of our PDFs do not have a specified language.

We are currently working through our PDFs and plan to have specified the language in our top 25 most-used PDFs by September 2020. We plan to update our less frequently-used PDFs over the next year, by June 2021.

WCAG 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions

  • On some of our online forms, mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk but there is nothing to tell the user this.

We are meeting with our online form supplier and hope to have an update on when this can be fixed by in July 2020.

WCAG 4.1.1 Parsing

  • On the news page the ID of two elements are not unique (search boxes).

We plan to fix this by September 2020.

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.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

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.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 18 November 2019. It was last reviewed on 25 June 2020.

This website was last tested on 24 June 2020. 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