Accessibility statement for South Staffordshire Council

This accessibility statement applies to the South Staffordshire Council website including the South Staffordshire Council developed add-on’s such as MyAccount.

This website is run by South Staffordshire District 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. 

Our website also incorporates an accessibility option supporting people with disabilities, learning difficulties, visual impairments, or speak English as a second language to use our website. Accessibility functions incorporated into our site include: 

  • Screen Reader and Translation 

  • Styling and Customisation 

  • Reading Aids 

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 services are hosted by third-party suppliers and you may find navigating these services difficult depending on their level of web accessibility- you can contact us using the details below to ask for alternative formats. 

  • some of our forms are currently in PDF or Word format  

  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software 

  • many of our videos are embedded from YouTube and may feature labelling from YouTube itself, which may be incorrect or not sufficiently descriptive 

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:  communications@sstaffs.gov.uk  

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 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, contact: communications@sstaffs.gov.uk 

Third party content - Links to other websites and platforms

We link to other websites that may offer benefit to our users, as well as embedding content provided by some external websites into some of our pages. This may include: 

  • social media platforms 

  • official information sources, such as GOV.UK or NHS.UK. 

  • Payments 

  • Council tax and benefit forms 

  • Viewing and commenting on planning applications  

  • Viewing Councillor information 

  • Applying for housing  

We are not responsible for the accessibility of these or any other websites we do not manage; if you experience any accessibility issue with third-party content then please do inform us to make us aware of the problem, but please also raise it with the third-party content provider for resolution as we will be unable to act ourselves. 

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’). Contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) for further information. 

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

South Staffordshire 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 mostly compliant with the  Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, however we are mindful of areas of  non-compliances which are listed below. 

Non accessible content and non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

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

  • some of our images may not have an 'alt-tag' 

We are aware that some internal applications and externally hosted systems do not comply with accessibility and usability standards. Some are old software that we cannot easily change. We’ve assessed the cost of fixing all the issues listed below and believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations: 

  • geographical information mapping (GIS) 

  • web tendering portal 

  • pay links pages 

  • secure online payment sites 

  • application forms and online-forms  

  • document library for our planning department (volume of scanned PDFs) 

Some parts of this site link to or use content provided by other websites and these are not always as accessible as our site. Examples of these are:  

  • YouTube videos 

  • tweets and the Twitter panels from Twitter 

  • maps from Google 

  • Facebook widgets 

  • council meeting videos 

  • committee minutes and agendas search and display system 

  • Planning document system  

Navigation and accessing information

We are legally required to publish planning policy documents and most of these documents are PDFs and maps set to a certain required format and may not be fully accessible. 

Interactive tools and transactions

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

These forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1. 

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will make further assessments as and when relevant contracts are up for renewal.  

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Our new website launched in March 2023 where we undertook a full content restructure. Doing this has highlighted some areas of further improvement where information and processes can be made fully accessible. 

We will be doing a full audit of PDFs that remain on the website and aim to replace or fix these, where we are able to do so, by January 2024. We also have governance in place so that no further documents are added to our website that don't meet accessibility standards.  

Wherever possible, we plan to provide an accessible HTML version of any new information as the primary source rather than using a PDF. As a minimum we will ensure PDFs published on our website can be fully accessed using the accessibility tools on our website. 

We will continue to work with all newly commissioned third party software providers to ensure their solutions and the online services they provide comply with the latest accessibility regulations.  

Periodically we will assess the accessibility of our website using an independent online assessment, Siteimprove, and carryout remedial actions. 

We are working to ensure that all videos have the correct captions and have governance in place to ensure no further videos are added without correct captions.  

We are working to remove unnecessary images, and where they are necessary, that they have appropriate alt tags and descriptions.  

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 24th February 2023. This website was last tested on 6th March 2023. The test was carried out by Siteimprove (Opens in a new window).

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