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Accessibility statement

Page overview

  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

This website is run by Gateshead 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 using Recite Me Listen and Translate software
  • zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen using your browser
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader
  • change the line height or spacing of text

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.
 

How accessible this website is

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

  • most PDF documents aren't accessible to screen reader software
  • increasing line spacing and the space between words on the homepage, causes text to overlap making 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 as default
  • payment processes will time out after 20 minutes
  • some images are not displaying their alt tag information making them inaccessible to screen readers and Assistive Technology

If you're not able to view vital information, or complete an action on the website, please contact us so we can provide additional support or guidance.
 

What to do if you can't 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, please contact us.

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 loops) are available in meeting rooms and at the main reception desk.

If someone requires a service from Gateshead Council and they do not speak English, an interpreter can be provided through the Council's approved provider who will provide high quality interpreting between Council officers and users of Council services. All interpreters are appropriately qualified, and all follow a code of practice that includes the need for confidentiality. The Council officer you are dealing with will arrange this service on your behalf when organising an appointment.

Communication Support is available for people who require a British Sign Language Interpreter, but this needs to be arranged in advance.

Please note it may take some time before the interpreter is available to help you. If you are unable to attend your appointment for whatever reason, please contact the Council officer you are dealing with and advise them in order that your interpreter / communicator can be cancelled.


Technical information about this website's accessibility

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

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non accessible content

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

Noncompliance with the accessibility regulations
 

  • The 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

Therefore, this does not meet success criterion 2.4.7 (Focus Visible). We are working to ensure this issue is resolved and aim to have solutions in place by January 2022.

  • The video controls do not have enough contrast. This fails WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 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 fails WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 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.
     
  • Visible focus is not clear on some elements of our website, making it difficult for keyboard only users to know which element has keyboard focus, sometimes making it difficult to know the scope of the element. This fails WCAG 2.4.7 (Focus Visible). There is ongoing work to fix this issue and we plan to resolve this issue by December 2021.
     
  • When zoomed in to 250% or above, the keyboard tabs through background content and does not tab through the menu when it is open in some internet browsers. This fails WCAG 2.4.3 (Focus order). There's ongoing work to fix this issue and we plan to resolve this by January 2022.
     
  • There is poor colour contrast on the Search button when highlighted with the keyboard within the news section of our website. This fails WCAG 2.4.3 Contrast (Minimimum). There's ongoing work to fix this issue and we plan to resolve this by January 2022.
     
  • Forms will time out after an hour causing users to lose the information they input without warning. This doesn't meet Success Criterion 2.2.1 (Timing Adjustable). This is set by a third party so we are unable to extend this time period. We are raising the issue with the supplier but do not yet have a timescale for resolving this issue.
     
  • Our payments are processed through Capita and when needed users will be automatically redirected to this service to make payments. The payment process will time out after 20 minutes causing users to lose the information they input without warning. This doesn't meet Success Criterion 2.2.1 (Timing Adjustable). We are unable to change this as we use a third-party payment provider. We are raising the issue with the supplier but do not yet have a timescale for resolving this issue.

Disproportionate burden

PDF documents

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 web pages include the option to report issues and contact us, and users who need documents in an alternative format are encouraged to use this option to request support.

PDF documents may not be accessible because:

  • 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).
     
  • The language of a document may not be able to be programmatically determined (3.1.1 Language of Page). Some pdf forms may not provide error identification or labels or instructions when content requires user input. (3.3.1 Error Identification, 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions, 3.3.3 Error Suggestion). As the document styles, colours and formatting are pre-set they also may not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4 (Distinguishable).

Due to the vast number of documents on the website, to amend every document would be a disproportionate burden so we are unable to rectify this problem completely. We are working to replace or improve the accessiblity of commonly used documents where possible.

 

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

PDFs and other documents
  • Many of our older PDFs and downloadable documents don't meet accessibility standards. For example, they may not be structured so they're accessible to a screen reader. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2. However, the accessibility regulations don't require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they're not essential to providing our services.

Feedback and contact information

We're always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren't listed on this page or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, please use our online feedback form.

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

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), or 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 29 September 2021. The test was carried out by us.

We used third party software to scan the whole website to highlight were accessibility issues exist and on which pages. The software provides automated testing that adheres to WCAG standards. We also reviewed a sample of most-commonly visited pages using the Axe accessibility tool combined with manually checking for common issues.

This statement was was last reviewed and updated on 18 October 2021.

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