Website Accessibility Statement

This accessibility statement applies to the Sefton Council website:

This website is run by Sefton 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.

 

What is an accessible website?

An accessible website can be used by everyone, regardless of their abilities or the method they choose to access it.

 

Is this website accessible?

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible, and we are currently working on a redesign of the Sefton Council website which should resolve many of the accessibility issues identified. You can see a full list of any issues we currently know about in the Non-accessible content section of this statement.

 

Feedback and contact information

Please contact us if you have an accessibility query including:

  • if you are experiencing issues with accessing information or using the website
  • if you find an accessibility problem not listed on this statement
  • if you have positive feedback on the accessibility considerations made.

When you contact us there is a process in place that will acknowledge your contact, tell you who is dealing with it and give you a timescale by which you can expect a reply.

Get in touch by emailing webteam@sefton.gov.uk and we shall try to find an alternative for you. 

 

Reporting an accessibility problem 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 are not meeting accessibility requirements, email Sefton Council’s Corporate Communications Team: communications@sefton.gov.uk If emailing, make your communication FAO Digital and Marketing Team Lead

 

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

You can contact Sefton Council on 0345 140 0845 or find us at Magdalen House, Trinity Road, Bootle, L20 3JA. When calling, ask a member of our Contact Centre team to direct you to Corporate Communications.

 

Technical information about accessibility on this website

Sefton 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 currently undergoing a redesign due to be complete around mid-June 2021. However, the existing site not currently compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. The non-compliances and exemptions are listed below.

 

Non-accessible Content

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

 

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • Across the website there is no skip to content function. This means that keyboard users must move through the main navigation menu at the start of each page. This fails WCAG 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks (A).

As part of redesign of our website, a user interface designer (UX designer) and members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue for ‘go live’ in June 2021, subject to successful User Acceptance Testing (UAT).

 

  • Focus indication is lost or otherwise very difficult to see when moving through the navigation menu, footer, ReciteMe and live chat buttons, and several links. This fails WCAG 2.4.7 Focus Visible (AA).

As part of redesign of our website, a UX designer and members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue for ‘go live’ in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • The keyboard journey is disrupted at certain levels of magnification because of a second hidden set of navigation elements. This fails 2.4.7 Focus Visible (AA) and 3.2.3 Consistent Navigation (AA).

As part of redesign of our website, a UX designer and members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue for ‘go live’ in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • At certain levels of navigation and for mobile users, the navigation menu is a collapsed burger menu which is not correctly identified to the user making the function hard to understand. This fails WCAG 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (A).

As part of redesign of our website, a UX designer and members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue for ‘go live’ in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • Some navigation elements such as links to the Sefton Directory disappear at higher magnifications and in mobile view while are present at standard magnifications. This fails WCAG 3.2.3 Consistent Navigation (AA).

As part of redesign of our website, a UX designer and members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue for ‘go live’ in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • Across the website there are several pieces of text that are visually meant to represent headings, however none of these are correctly tagged as html headings, making quickly navigating content difficult for screen reader users. In addition, headings which do exist in the navigation are not in a hierarchical structure. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (A) and 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (A).

Sefton Council’s Corporate Communications team is working with assigned web editors to fix instances where Headers are used incorrectly or not at all. Instances identified in a recent audit have been addressed, remaining instances to be addressed by ‘go live’ of new site in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • Across many of the pages on the website are collapsible content. None of these are correctly identified for screen reader users and are listed as links. This fails WCAG 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (A).

As part of redesign of this website, members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue by ‘go live’ of new site in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • Some users may experience adverts on the website. These add various issues depending on the advert but as a whole add further steps to tab order navigation and offer content that is not accessible to all users. This fails WCAG 1.1.1 Non-test Content (A), 1.4.5 Images of Text (AA), 1.4.10 Reflow (AA), 2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide (A), 2.4.4 Link Purpose (A), 4.1.1 Parsing (A), 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (A).

Adverts are supplied by a third-party supplier, CAN Digital. Adverts provide an additional revenue stream for Sefton Council. The Council Advertising Network (CAN) have comprehensive accessibility requirements for advertisements to limit the impact of adverts on users. Sefton Council will continue to work with CAN to ensure future ads create limited disruption for users.  

 

  • Some users may be confused by the focus order of main content and sidebar content. Across most pages, related or templated sidebar content will appear first in the tab order before the main content of the page. This can cause issues for some users in combination with the lack of easy way to skip to the main content of the page. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (A) and 2.4.3 Focus Order (A).

As part of redesign of our website, a UX designer and members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue by ‘go live’ of new site in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • Across many of the pages where collapsible content occurs. Screen reader users will be forced through all collapsed content, which adds additional navigation steps to their journey and invalidates the purpose of having the collapsed content. Throughout this, at times focus indication will also be lost. This fails WCAG 2.4.3 Focus Order (A) and 2.4.7 Focus visible (A).

As part of redesign of this website, members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue by ‘go live’ of new site in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • Across many pages are expand all buttons which are incorrectly identified as links. This fails WCAG 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (A).

As part of redesign of this website, members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue by ‘go live’ of new site in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • None of the pages have a language set. This can cause problems for translation and the pronunciation of content by screen readers. This fails WCAG 3.1.1 Language of Page (A).

As part of redesign of this website, members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue by ‘go live’ of new site in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • The search tips popover after the search bar cannot be accessed by keyboard users. This fails WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard (A).

As part of redesign of this website, UX designer and members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue by ‘go live’ of new site in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • Across the website there are a variety of contrast failures on the navigation menu and across content. This fails WCAG 1.4.3 Contrast Minimum (AA).

As part of redesign of this website, UX designer will fix this issue by ‘go live’ of new site in June, subject to UAT.

 

  • At higher levels of magnification some website elements are blocked by the enlarged ReciteMe button, meaning some content cannot be read or clicked. This fails WCAG 1.4.10 Reflow (AA).

As part of redesign of this website, UX designer and members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue by ‘go live’ of new site in June, subject to UAT.

 

  • Some of the page titles are not always as descriptive as they could be. All pages identify the name of the page but not necessarily that the user is still on Sefton.gov.uk. This fails WCAG 2.4.2 Page Titled (A).

From May 2021, as part of a content improvement plan, Sefton Council’s Corporate Communications team is delivering a training programme for web editors, incorporating accessibility training, this will mean future page titles will be more descriptive. Alongside this, the Corporate Communications Team will use Silktide software to trouble shoot existing page titles on incremental basis throughout 2021/22.

 

  • For some screen reader users, visual separators are included into tab navigation which adds undescribed and unnecessary steps to navigation journeys. This fails WCAG 1.1.1 Non-text Content (A).

As part of redesign of this website, members of our ICT Development team will fix this issue by ‘go live’ of new site in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • Across the website there are a wide variety of issues with links not being descriptive of where the link leads. This fails WCAG 2.4.4 Link Purpose (A).

From May 2021, as part of a content improvement plan, Sefton Council’s Corporate Communications team is delivering a training programme for web editors, incorporating accessibility training, this will mean future links will be more descriptive. Alongside this, the Corporate Communications Team will use Silktide software to trouble shoot existing links on incremental basis throughout 2021/22.

 

  • On the home page and other pages such as within the Bootle Leisure Centre pages there are carousels. These carousels cause a wide number of issues including controls that are not accessible by keyboard, images of text and without alternative content, content clipping, poor link descriptions and other issues. These carousels can fail WCAG 1.1.1 Non-text Content (A), 1.4.5 Images of Text (AA), 1.4.10 Reflow (AA), 1.4.11 Non-text Contrast (AA), 2.1.1 Keyboard (A), 2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide (A), 2.4.4 Link Purpose (A), 2.4.7 Focus Visible (AA), 4.1.1 Parsing (A), 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (A).

Carousels will be removed prior to ‘go live’ of new website in June 2021. 

 

  • Across many of the forms on the website, tables are used for visual structure rather than CSS. This can make forms a very difficult and confusing journey for screen reader users. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (A).

There is significant development work to be done on the Council’s Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) and this will include the redesign or decommissioning of many of the current online forms over the next year and beyond, bringing them in line with accessibility guidelines.  

 

  • When a user makes an error on forms, there is no audible indication for screen reader users. This fails WCAG 3.3.1 Error identification (A).

There is significant development work to be done on the CRM and this will include the redesign or decommissioning of many of the current online forms over the next year and beyond, bringing them in line with accessibility guidelines.  

 

  • On some forms there are issues with content being cut off at higher magnifications or introducing horizontal scrolling. This fails WCAG 1.4.10 Reflow (AA).

There is significant development work to be done on the CRM and this will include the redesign or decommissioning of many of the current online forms over the next year and beyond, bringing them in line with accessibility guidelines.  

 

  • On some forms such as the missed bin form, form fields do not have appropriate labels and can be a very difficult experience for screen reader user. This fails WCAG 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions (A).

There is significant development work to be done on the CRM and this will include the redesign or decommissioning of many of the current online forms over the next year and beyond, bringing them in line with accessibility guidelines.  

 

  • On some forms such as the missed bin form, there is information provided about how far through the form journey or which page you are on. These are only differentiated by colour and are also not read out clearly for screen reader users. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (A) and 1.4.1 Use of Colour (A).

There is significant development work to be done on the CRM and this will include the redesign or decommissioning of many of the current online forms over the next year and beyond, bringing them in line with accessibility guidelines. Missed bin forms are among those being redesigned.

 

  • On some forms such as the missed bin form, there are visually hidden fields which will appear for keyboard and screen reader users. These can be confusing and are not clearly labelled or have any actual function. This fails WCAG 4.1.1 Parsing (A).

There is significant development work to be done on the CRM and this will include the redesign or decommissioning of many of the current online forms over the next year and beyond, bringing them in line with accessibility guidelines.  

 

  • On the Social Care, Adults page, there are several icons which duplicate clickable links for keyboard users and are not presented in the most sensible sequence. This fails WCAG 1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence (A), 2.4.4 Link Purpose (A) and 4.1.1 Parsing (A).

This issue is unique to the Adult Social Care webpages due to use of icons and will be remedied by web editors in lieu of ‘go live’ of the new website in June 2021, subject to UAT.

 

  • On the Births, Marriages and Deaths, Coroner’s page, there is a table of inquest information which is not presented in an accessible format. This can be difficult to navigate for some users. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (A).

Web editors will replace this information with information in accessible format following ‘go live’ of the new Sefton Council website.

 

  • On the Citizen’s Advice page there is information for the debt advice WhatsApp number in the form of an image of text without the information being presented elsewhere on the page. The debt advice WhatsApp number is 07984 127134. This fails WCAG 1.1.1 Non-text Content (A) and 1.4.5 Images of Text (AA).

This image will be removed, and the information formatted as text on the page so that all users can view and act on the information presented, this will be completed before ‘go live’ of the new Sefton Council website.

 

  • During the planning application journey there is a link to the planning portal which is an image of text without appropriate alternative text. This fails WCAG 1.1.1 Non-text Content (A) and 1.4.5 Images of Text (AA).

Text will be created, and image replaced or suitable alt-text applied in lieu of ‘go live’ of new Sefton Council website.

 

  • Across the Gym booking journey there are various images which contain important information which is not presented in text elsewhere on the pages. This fails WCAG 1.1.1 Non-text Content (A) and 1.4.5 Images of Text (AA).

These images will be replaced, and information displayed on the page as text, with appropriate alt-text supplied for the replacement image, in lieu of ‘go live’ of Sefton Council website.

 

Disproportionate Burden

Sefton Council’s new website will go live from June 2021, subject to successful UAT, and will address the majority of ‘High’, ‘Medium’ and ‘Low’ priority issues identified in respective audits by the Government Digital Service (GDS) and 3rd party auditor, All Able.

 

To address issues in the current version of the Sefton Council website, would in effect mean duplication of effort by developers. With Council process of UAT for the test version of further delayed new site to take place, this could mean putting ‘go live’ back much further than is necessary.

Furthermore, the additional cost of development work could add a further £10,000 plus to expenditure already committed to the development of the CMS and website.

The new website and upgraded CMS from Umbraco V6.04 to V7.14 that has made it possible, have been a priority and a long time in planning, motivated principally by the need to improve customer journeys by residents, businesses and visitors to find the relevant services and support they need online.

While accessibility was a vital consideration to these projects, it was not the sole motivation – these projects were scheduled to take place without the context of WCAG 2.1 requirements, although the accessibility regulations heightened the importance of the projects and their delivery. It is inevitable that any fixes made in the current version of the Sefton Council website would incur additional costs to the new website and create further significant delays.

These projects have taken longer than anticipated, due to their scale. At their inception, neither the council’s CMS, and by proxy the website it underpins, had experienced any upgrade since being launched in 2014. Moreover, Sefton had been operating in a single environment, meaning significant delays as the Council had to introduce both a new live and development platform.

Running parallel to the development of the CMS and in turn the redesign of the Sefton Council website, has been the development of a CRM for some time, and solution procured from Grannicus.  The scale and timing of the project alongside that for the new CMS, the COVID 19 pandemic has again meant taking longer to complete than expected. The CRM will address issues with our main online forms, with those less frequently used, addressed throughout 2021.

 

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

Portable Document Format (PDF) and other documents

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. By June 2021, we plan to either fix these, remove them 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 historical Council meeting minute documents published before 23rd September 2018.

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

 

Video content

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. We also have some existing pre-recorded video content that was published before the 23rd September 2020. This content is also exempt from the regulations.

 

Online Maps

Our service includes the use of online maps to show certain geographical information. These are not used for navigational purposes and are exempt under the regulations. If you require the information presented in an online map in a different format, please contact us to discuss reasonable adjustments.

 

What we're doing to improve accessibility

  • Establishing a clearly marked route from home page of current version of website for users to contact the Council for support if they have difficulty accessing certain information on the website until all fixes are made.
  • Develop and deliver a ‘How to’ user guide for assigned web editors for the new website following its launch.
  • Deliver a training programme for assigned web editors, showing them how to use Umbraco 7.14 in way that means accessible website content for end users. Training procured from All Able to better equip members of Corporate Communications to train web editors. Training to be augmented by creation of User guide for Umbraco 7.14 in context of newly re-launched website, factoring key tips for ensuring guide is followed in a way that will mean accessible info for all visitors to the Sefton Council website.
  • UAT of new website. User testing will incorporate existing web editors, Sefton Council staff; Sefton Older People’s Forum; Ability Plus Network (people with disabilities); Sefton Young Advisors; Healthwatch Sefton; Sefton Visually Impaired Consultation Group; People First Merseyside (Advocacy for adults with learning disabilities) and the Health and Social Care Forum.
  • Gateway process installed by Corporate Communications team to ensure any new documents uploaded to website are tested for accessibility issues before being published on the website. Process in place since November 2020 when new CMS launched. 
  • Dissemination and promotion of accessible Word templates and guidelines to ensure documents are accessible before being converted to PDFs.
  • New website to be launched in June 2021, subject to successful UAT - this will address all ‘High’ priority accessibility issues and address the majority of remaining accessibility issues, which will be fixed incrementally in 2021/22.
  • Audit of new website to be carried out by 3rd party auditor All Able, augmented by further testing by key user groups used for UAT of new website.
  • All ‘High’ priority editor level issues to be addressed by go live’, ‘Medium’ and ‘Low’ priority issues address incrementally as part of content improvement plan to be undertaken throughout rest of 2021/22
  • Embedding WCAG 2.1 accessibility requirements into procurement process to ensure that third party content in public domain meets accessibility standards. To be rolled out following ‘go live’ of new website.
  • Corporate Communications team to liaise with Council officers to ensure content published via third party software is accessible. E.g. Changes to Report Writing Guidance for ModGov system.

 

Preparation for this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on August 25, 2020. It was last reviewed on 20 April 2021.

This website was last tested on 04/04/2021. The test was carried out by All Able Ltd.

All pages of the website were tested along with a sample of the documents from each area of the website.


Last Updated on Tuesday, April 27, 2021

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