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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. Reporting accessibility problems with this website
  5. Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person
  6. Technical information about this website's accessibility
  7. Non accessible content
  8. How we tested this website
  9. What we're doing to improve accessibility 
     

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.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

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.

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

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 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

  • Some images don't have a text alternative, so the information in them isn't available to people using a screen reader. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text content). We plan to ensure the text alternatives for all images are visible by the end of November 2019. When we publish new content, we'll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards and that all our page types present this information to the user.
     
  • There is no way to skip repeated content in the page header and navigation. This doesn't meet WCAG success criterion 2.4.1 (Bypass Blocks). We will have functionality to allow users to skip to the main content section with a 'skip to content' link by December 2019.
     
  • It is not possible to increase the letter spacing to 0.12 times the font and increase word spacing to 0.16 times the font without causing loss of content on the homepage. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4 12 (Text Spacing). We plan to resolve this issue by December 2019.
     
  • 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 December 2019.
 

Disproportionate burden

Pdf documents
  • PDF documents published after 23 September 2018 may not be accessible for several reasons. 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.
Enough time
  • 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. However, we will aim to make users aware of this time limit by adding information to all forms to allow users to understand accessibility issues.
     
  • 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. The form will also time out if when redirected to the payment provider users don't reach the site within 60 seconds. 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.
     
  • When forms time out, the information input is not saved resulting in failure of criterion 2.2.5 (Reauthenticating) due to having a session time limit without a mechanism for saving user's input and re-establishing that information upon re-authentication. Our digital platform provider which hosts our forms does not currently have this functionality.
  • 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.

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.
     

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 17 September 2019. 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.
 

What we're doing to improve accessibility

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. We use third party software which notifies us of any non-compliance allowing us to monitor, plan and resolve.

This statement was prepared on 18 September 2019. It was last updated on 6 November 2019.

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