Toggle menu

Accessibility statement

Contents

  1. Summary
  2. How accessible this website is
  3. What to do if you can't access parts of this website
  4. Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person
  5. Technical information about this website's accessibility
  6. Non-accessible content
  7. Feedback and contact information
  8. Enforcement procedure
  9. Preparation of this accessibility statement

Summary

Gateshead Council runs this website. We want as many people as possible to be able to use it. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts using Recite Me Listen and Translate software (opens new window)
  • zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen using your browser
  • navigate most of the website using only a keyboard
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader
  • change the line height or spacing of text

We also try to make our 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 parts of this website aren't all accessible:

  • most PDF documents aren't accessible to screen reader software
  • text overlap on the homepage from increasing line and word space makes it difficult to read
  • there is a limit to how far you can magnify maps throughout the website
  • forms will time out after an hour by default
  • payment processes will time out after 20 minutes
  • some images lack tags that are readable to screen readers and assistive technology

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

If you cannot view vital information, or complete an action on the website, please contact us.

Our Digital team can offer supportive guidance and alternative formats including:

  • accessible PDF
  • large print
  • easy read
  • audio recording or braille

We'll consider your request and get back to you as soon as possible.

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Hearing loops (audio induction) are available in our meeting rooms and at the main reception desk.

If you need a Council service and English is not your first language, we can provide an interpreter. Our approved providers offer high-quality translation between Officers and users of Council services. These qualified interpreters follow a code of practice including the need for confidentiality. Council Officers can arrange this service on your behalf when organising an appointment.

We can also arrange for British Sign Language interpretation. Please let us know as early as possible if you need this service. Please note, it may take some time before the interpreter is available to help you.

If you can't attend your appointment for any reason, please contact the case Officer. This allows them to cancel the interpreter or communicator in good time.

Technical information about this website's accessibility

Gateshead Council commits to making its website accessible. This accords to the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the 'accessibility regulations').

This accessibility statement applies to www.gateshead.gov.uk only.

This website is part-compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 (opens new window) (WCAG 2.1). We have listed areas that are non-compliant below.

Non-accessible content

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

Noncompliance with accessibility regulations

  • a keyboard focus indicator is not visible on particular links on one of our page types, this includes:

www.gateshead.gov.uk/Libraries
www.gateshead.gov.uk/libraries-in-gateshead
www.gateshead.gov.uk/weddings

This does not meet WCAG 2.1 2.4.7 (Focus Visible). We are working to resolve this issue and aim to have solutions in place by January 2022.

  • our video controls do not have enough contrast - This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 1.4.11 (Non-text contrast). This is an issue with the YouTube video player and not within our control. We will continue to look for a more compliant player.
  • some video controls have a tooltip which does not stay open when moving the cursor to them - This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 1.4.13 (Content on hover or focus). This is an issue with the YouTube video player and not within our control. We will continue to look for a more compliant player.
  • forms timeout after one hour meaning users lose inputted information without warning - This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 2.2.1 (Timing Adjustable). The timeout is set by a third party so we are unable to extend it. We are raising the issue with the supplier but do not yet have a timescale for resolving this issue.
  • payment processes timeout after 20 minutes meaning users lose inputted information without warning - This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 2.2.1 (Timing Adjustable). Our payments process using third-party software (Capita). We redirect users to this service to make payments. The timeout is set by a third party so we are unable to extend it. We are raising the issue with the supplier but do not yet have a timescale for resolving this issue.

Assessing and replacing PDF documents on our website

Some PDF documents published after 23 September 2018 may not be accessible. This includes some documents submitted by third-parties, for example as evidence to committees. All our webpages include reporting and contact features. Users who need documents in alternative format should request available support.

PDF documents may not be accessible because:

  • their structure may not be accessible to a screen reader - This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 4.1.2 (Name, role value).
  • their language may not be recognisable by available software - This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 3.1.1 (Language of Page)
  • forms may not show errors or give instructions when users input information - This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 3.3.1 (Error Identification), 3.3.2 (Labels or Instructions), 3.3.3 (Error Suggestion)
  • preset document styles, colours and formatting may not be distinct - This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 1.4 (Distinguishable)

Read about our efforts to replace or improve the accessibility of PDFs on our website.

Content outside the scope of accessibility regulations

Some older PDFs and downloadable documents on our site don't meet accessibility standards. For example, their structures may not be accessible to screen readers. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2.

Under the regulations, documents published before 23 September 2018 don't need fixing. That is unless they're essential to service provision.

Feedback and contact information

Gateshead Council's digital team are responsible for reviewing all website feedback.

We're always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. Contact us about problems not listed here, or any missed accessibility requirements. Please use our online feedback form or Contact the digital team direct.

Enforcement procedure 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) enforces the 'accessibility regulations'.

The independent Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) offers support on accessibility issues. If you're not happy with our response to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) (opens new window). You can call them on 0808 800 0082.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was first prepared on 18 September 2019.

This website was last tested on 25 November 2021. We carried out the test.

We scanned the whole website using third party software. This highlighted were accessibility issues exist and on which pages. The software provides automated testing that adheres to WCAG standards. We reviewed the most visited pages with the Axe accessibility tool and a manual check for common issues.

We reviewed examples of each template or page type during our test. View the full list of pages we check.

This statement was was last reviewed and updated on 27 April 2023.