Our website has been created and is maintained with accessibility in mind. We are committed to making our website accessible and as user-friendly as possible regardless of disability or impairment. Read our website accessibility policy.
Using our website
We want as many people as possible to successfully use our website. Where possible, we implement the following features to make the site easy to use for all visitors:
- Change colours and fonts using our site settings
- Responsive to work on any size of device, such as phone or tablets
- Zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen
- Skip to content keyboard link at the top of pages
- 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.
Use the browser to change font size
In Chrome, Internet Explorer or Firefox go to Tools/Settings and select the + sign to Zoom and increase font size. Or, hold down the Ctrl button and scroll up and down on your mouse to change font size.
- A-Z – Find pages quickly and easily using our A-Z index.
- Site Map – This lists all the pages in each category of the website.
- Search – The search appears on every page and allows you to search the whole site for specific information.
- Consistency – The navigation is consistent across the whole site to make finding information easier.
We aim to use plain language and try to avoid unnecessary jargon and acronyms. Text in some documents, such as committee reports, may contain more complex or technical language. The website is approved by the Plain English Campaign.
We provide a text alternative for all images on the website where possible.
Opening and downloading Adobe Acrobat documents
Downloadable documents on the site are in Portable Document Format (PDF). Where we have attached a PDF document, we provide a link to the Adobe Acrobat website so that you can download the free Adobe Reader needed to open a PDF. Acrobat Reader now has improved accessibility features and includes the facility to read the text out loud. You can also download other free PDF readers.
Our website has been tested in a variety of browsers. Supported versions are largely dictated by usage but all content should be readable, usable and functional in the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari. For browser types not included in this list, page content should still be readable; although in reality it is possible they will have the correct appearance and function. Decisions on supporting older versions of browsers will ultimately be decided by current usage and users may be encouraged to upgrade.
How accessible this website is
We know some parts of this website aren't fully accessible:
- Some of our documents are not fully readable by screen reader software.
- We are unable to save progress in partially completed online form.
- Form pages have a 20-minute timeout and progress is lost if this is reached. We have designed forms purposefully to have short pages to attempt to avoid this issue
- Online maps are not fully accessible
- Thirds party systems we integrate into the website do not fully meet the requirements
If you're unable to use our website
You can report issues, make requests for alternative versions of content, or use an alternative way to contact us.
Report an accessibility issue with this website
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our website. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page, you can let us know using the website feedback form.
Request alternative versions
If you need content that we’ve published in a different format, you can make an accessible content request.
Alternative contact details
You can use the detail listed on our contact us page to get in touch with us.
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
We are committed to making our 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.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
Elements of our website design
Our website was designed to meet accessibility guidelines WCAG 2.0 AA in 2016. There are some elements of the new 2.1 version of the guidelines that we don't yet meet. An updated design is currently in progress to meet the 2.1 requirements. Some issues include:
- Link colour contrast does not quite meet acceptable ratios
- Duplicate link text in navigation and breadcrumbs
- Form controls on our event navigation do not have matching labels
Third party systems
We have introduced a requirement for all new third party systems to ensure they are fully compliant with the accessibility guidelines. However, we have a number of existing third party systems which may not meet the requirements or be at the same level of accessibility as the rest of the website. These include:
- IDOX planning system, for viewing and commenting on planning applications
- CMIS councillor and committee system
- HomeChoice - housing allocation system
- Housing Assistance Referral Portal
We are working closely with our suppliers and accessibility updates to these systems are in progress.
We have many documents on our website. Efforts are being made to update all 'key' documents to fully meet the standards. There may be documents that do not meet the requirements due to the following reasons:
- Photocopies and are not marked up in a way that allows screen reader users to understand them
- Not tagged up properly - for example, they do not contain proper headings
- Provided by a third party
- Forms in PDF or Word format which can't be completed online
- Documents designed for printing, such as posters of flyers
Documents that are supplied to us by other organisations or members of the public, or automatically created by the planning system will not be edited to make them accessible. We believe that doing so would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.
Committee meeting documents
Our committee meetings have numerous agenda item and minutes documents linked to them and we believe updating all of these historical published documents would be a disproportionate burden. Efforts have been made to update the meeting templates to meet accessibility standards for future committees.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
This content is not part of the accessibility regulations:
PDFs and other documents
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.
We do not plan to add captions to live video streams, because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
Whilst every effort has been made, it is not currently possible to make Geographic Information System (GIS maps) completely accessible to all users. You can access a wide range of the information available in the GIS maps in text format within the my property pages. If you require help with the interactive maps call our GIS team on 01926 456663.
Individual pages may contain embedded third party maps in an iframe. The accessibility of these maps is beyond our control and there may be issues with keyboard access. We aim to provide relevant addresses in text format where these maps appear.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
We are doing a number of things to improve our website accessibility:
- Using user feedback received through the website feedback form
- Guidance and training for staff on how to create accessible website content
- Adopting the SCULPT accessibility guidance for documents, created by Worcester County Council
- Updating all in-house website applications to meet the requirements (for example, the missed bin reporting system)
- Procedures introduced to check for accessibility when procuring or developing new online systems
- Usability testing with the public to highlight issues with our site
- Accessibility audits which include user testing (every 2 years)
- Ongoing monitoring of accessibility issues using automated testing software provided by Silktide
- Using tools such as WAVE and the Web AIM colour contrast checker
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This statement was prepared on 22 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 23 September 2020.
This website was last tested on 25 January 2020. The test was carried out by The Shaw Trust and tested all pages of our website along with manual user testing of user journeys.
We use Silktide to continually monitor our accessibility and track our level of compliance. Figures at 23 September 2020 are:
- Level A compliance - 92.9%
- Level AA compliance - 92.1%