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Accessibility statement

Dorset Council is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability.

This website should allow any user to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and size of text
  • modify the line height or spacing of text
  • zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the page
  • navigate most of website using 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 have also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

This website is designed to be compliant with the international standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG) – Level AA.

Using this website

Accessible features

This website uses a widget that contains several accessible features for users with specific requirements. The widget is available on the top right-hand side of the header menu.

These features include: 

Contrast and font size

Changing the contrast and font sizes of text can increase legibility for some users.

This website has two colour contrast settings:

  • 'default colour scheme' which provides a suitable level of contrast for most users and satisfies the accessibility standards
  • 'high contrast scheme' which satisfies all accessibility standards for colour contrast

You can change the contrast settings by clicking on the icons at the top right of screen. If you are using voice recognition please say “switch to default colour scheme” or “switch to high contrast scheme”.

To increase the font size, click on the icons at the top right of the screen. For a user using voice recognition please say “switch to normal font size”, “switch to big font size” or “switch to biggest font size”. You can also use the browser’s own zoom facility. This website will work up to 200%.

Keyboard navigation of search directory categories

The Search Directory allows users to filter results using category facets. There are 3 categories that you can search against:

  • I live in...
  • I am looking for...
  • Support for…

These will open a drop-down of a list of checkboxes. For keyboard-only users, these can be navigated by tabbing down the list of checkboxes and selecting options by pressing the SPACEBAR key.

The 'I am looking for' category is the only category to have multiple lists of checkboxes. The different filter groups are on the left-hand side of the screen, and the checkboxes are on the right-hand side of the screen. By default, the focus is applied to the right-hand screen checkboxes. The TAB key can navigate these options.

When navigating the different filter groups on the left-hand side, a keyboard user must use the UP and DOWN arrow keys. If you are using a screen-reader, switch your screen-reader to BROWSE mode from Forms Focus Mode to be able to read the different filter groups.

Further information on accessibility options

RNIB has a page on accessibility options with information on options that computers have which can make it easier for people with low or no vision to use them.

Accessible alternatives

Efforts have been made to create accessible alternatives for content that does not meet standards where possible.

Where appropriate we may be able to deliver content to users in accordance with their needs.

Make a request for accessible content

If you need information on this website in a different format, for example, an accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or Braille, please contact us.

Purpose of links

We use links to navigate to content on the website. External links will open in a new window.

Where possible, the action of an external link will be described by extra description within the link text, so all users can understand the link’s purpose. However, in certain areas of the website, adding this extra description will become a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.

We have provided the following definition for external links:

External links will be used for any content that has known limitations with assistive technologies or navigates a user away from secure platforms. In summary, this means the following items are considered external links:

  • non-HTML documentation (see “Issues with PDFs and other documents”)
  • redirection away from secure platforms
  • external websites that are not part of Dorset Council

How accessible is this website?

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • this website uses JavaScript to deliver certain features. Please make sure you have JavaScript turned on within your browser to deliver full features.
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams do not have captions
  • pages that contain the words “/s4s/” within the URL do not currently work with high contrast styles or bypass blocks. If you are using a screen-reader you can navigate those pages using heading levels.

Contact us and complaints procedure

We are always looking for ways to improve our website. If you find any problems that are not listed within this statement, or believe we are not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations please contact us.

Make a comment, compliment or complaint.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Services (EASS).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

We are 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 2.1 (WCAG) AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

During our last review of this website it has come to our attention that there are areas of the website that fail to meet WCAG 2.1:

Issues with text

Some link text doesn’t make sense when read on its own (for example, ‘click here’).

We plan to fix the existing links by September 2020. When we publish new content, we’ll make sure link text meets accessibility standards.

Issues with PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be marked up to be accessible for a screen reader.

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with Easy Read Information on how users can access our services. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

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.

Issues with images, video and audio

Live video streams have captions auto added by YouTube. Not all videos are currently checked for the accuracy of their captioning.

Disproportionate burden

There are no issues that are considered a disproportionate burden.

Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

Web content that is not subject to the standards referenced in this policy statement is as follows: 

  • content that is archived
  • content on intranets and extranets published before 23 September 2019
  • non-HTML documentation (PDFs, Microsoft Office files) that were published before 23 September 2018
  • non-HTML documentation (PDFs, Microsoft Office files) that are not essential to the services Dorset Council provides
  • live audio and video
  • pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020
  • online maps and mapping services
  • third party content that is not under direct control of Dorset Council or main website provider – Google Translate, social media links

Policy review

This statement was prepared on 26 June 2020. We will review this policy every year on or before the 22 September.