Accessibility statement for South Lakeland District Council

Last Updated: 20 October 2021

This accessibility statement applies to www.southlakeland.gov.uk.

This statement was prepared on 18 May 2020. It was last reviewed on Wednesday, 20 October 2021.

This website is run by South Lakeland 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.

You can find out about how to make our website easier to use. Website accessibility

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website aren’t fully accessible:

  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • when using a keyboard it is not obvious where the focus is
  • the data tables plugin displays content inaccessibly

What to do if you can’t access parts of this website

If you need any information on this website in a different format, you can contact us:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 10 working days.

Call or email us for directions if you cannot view the map on our office contact details.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We are in the process of improving the accessibility on this website and appreciate that access to customers is a priority. If you find any issues that are not highlighted in the ‘How accessible this website is’ section of this statement or think we’re not meeting certain goals, contact us.

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).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

South Lakeland District Council is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Due to the areas listed below this website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard:

Non-accessible content

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

  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • when using a keyboard it is not obvious where the focus is
  • the data tables plugin displays content inaccessibly

Non-compliance with accessibility regulations

There are some known accessibility issues with our website identified in our most recent accessibility audit completed May 2020. Find out what we have done and what we're doing to improve accessibility.

Font size and line spacing

Some text blocks do not reflow content correctly without overlapping. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.12 (text spacing).

We plan to ensure the text content can be reflowed correctly by December 2021. When we publish new content, we’ll make sure our content blocks meets accessibility standards.

Tabbing order

Throughout the website, the tabbing order either does not operate or it operates in a way that does not follow logical relationships and sequences in the content. This fails Success Criterion 2.4.3 (Focus Order) and Success Criterion 2.1.1

We plan to ensure that our website is accessible for those who rely on an operable tabbing order by December 2021.

Link Purpose

Links on the left hand side of the data table cannot be accessed by a keyboard user or a screen reader. This fails Success Criterion 2.4 and 2.4.4.

We aim to fix this issue by December 2021. And all new content that is added will contain links that provide adequate context.

Many links on the website system do not provide context of where the user will navigate to, and whether this will occur in a new window or the current tab. Wherever possible, a link needs additional context. This fails Success Criterion 2.4.4.

We aim to fix this issue by December 2021. And all new content that is added will contain links that provide adequate context.

Readability

Content should be written as clearly and as simply as possible. In some areas, content is ‘fairly difficult to read’ based on the Flesch Reading Ease score. This fails Success Criterion 3.1.5.

We aim to review all website content by December 2021. All new content will conform to a ‘standard’ level of reading ease or higher.

Disproportionate burden

Navigation and accessing information

There’s no way to skip the repeated content in the page header (for example, a ‘skip to main content’ option).

It’s not always possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it more difficult to view the content.

It’s not possible for users to change text size without some of the content overlapping.

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.

Our forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website.

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 another assessment when the supplier contract is up for renewal.

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

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word 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 PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. By December 2025, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

The Public Sector Body Accessibility Regulations 2018 do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.

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

Live video

Live video streams do not have captions. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions, live).

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Our accessibility roadmap shows what we have done and what we plan to do, to tackle the issues set out in our accessibility statement and to improve the accessibility of our website.

Accessibility roadmap

We are working continuously to improve the accessibility of our site:

  • we monitor the accessibility issues weekly using SOCITM Silktide accessibility checking service and the Siteimprove accessibility checker
  • we benchmark accessibility against other government sites using Accessibility of UK Councils, Silktide index
  • we keep up to date with best practise by subscribing to blogs and news feeds from Government Digital Services, subscribing to LocalGov Digital Slack and networking with other council website teams
  • we refer to the accessibility issues report from our accessibility audit

Tab focus in the cookie control

We worked on ths issue with our developers in September and October 2021 to ensure controls change appearance when they are selected. We are now satisfied that all controls on the cookie control including links, buttons, and fields show when they have been selected by the keyboard and meet the WCAG AA 2.4.7 standard.

Font size and line spacing improvements

We worked on on this issue with our developers in May 2021. This included testing views using assistive technology.

We are satisfied that text blocks reflow content correctly without overlapping and meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.12 (text spacing).

When we publish new content, we’ll make sure our content blocks meets accessibility standards.

Tabbing order improvements

In August 2020 we improved the tabbing order of our site, including adding skip navigation, in line with the recommendations in our accessibility audit conducted in May 2020.

We will review tabbing order issues in the autumn of 2021.

Link purpose improvements

We worked with our developers in July 2021 and fixed the issue where links on the left hand side of the data table could not be accessed by a keyboard user or a screen reader.

Our web editors are trained tp write descriptive links in line with the W3 success criterion 2.4.4. We will monitor new content as part of our web content approval process and will check random pages.

Readability improvements

Throughout 2020 and 2021 we have worked to improve some of our procedures to tackle readability issues:

  • our web editors are trained to write content to meet the accessibility specification set out in the legislation
  • across the organisation we are working with our 'web page owners', and other key team members, encouraging people to use Plain English when they're writing content for our site
  • raise the profile of accessibility issues right across the organisation, including providing training and materials so our team members can produce accessible documents
  • we use Siteimprove to monitor readability of web pages and review of content regularly

Live video improvements

We fixed this issue and added live captions to video in April 2021.