Accessibility Statement

We want everyone who uses our website to be able to find, read and understand our content.

We are committed to making our websites and mobile applications accessible in accordance with The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 No.952. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/952/contents/made

This accessibility statement applies to all website, mobile applications and relevant digital content that we own within the remit of the above mentioned legislation and the Equality Act 2010 as appropriate. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents

View the site your way

There is an accessibility icon available at the top of every page. By clicking this you can change the colours, contrast levels, font styles and magnification of the page. You can also highlight and/or underline all links on the site.

Navigation

Navigating by headings

Use browser plugins or assistive technology such as screen readers to list the headings and subheadings in the page and go straight to the heading you need.

Navigating by links

Users of assistive technology such as screen readers can get a list of all the links on a page and understand their purpose from the link text.

Navigating by keyboard

Users navigating by keyboard can see the currently focused on interactive element such as links and form fields through a highlighted outline.

Skip to content

Use a keyboard to find the skip links and jump directly to the main content on the page.

Listening to content

Use text to speech browser plugins or assistive technology to listen to content you select with the mouse or keyboard.

Screen reader users can listen to content, navigate the site and interact with menus.

Using different devices

My Computer My Way (MCMW) offer guides to using assistive technologies to use websites with a range of devices. https://mcmw.abilitynet.org.uk/

Alternative formats

We’ve designed our content to be as accessible as possible by providing maximum personalisation. If you still experience barriers, you can request alternative formats. For more information please contact us.

Web standards

Our website is developed using valid HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript to the standards laid out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) – Level AA. https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/

The website content works with assistive technologies for example, screen readers or text only browsers.

Auditing

We undertake accessibility audits of the website on a regular basis using WCAG 2.1 AA standards which guide our long-term audit and improvement plans. We also monitor accessibility standards in real-time.

We check each of the pages on this website using the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (https://wave.webaim.org/). At the time of updating this page all pages returned zero errors or contrast errors.

Third party content

Our site includes third party content and functionality.

Depending on our relationship with the third party, we cannot always guarantee its accessibility. We continually monitor the accessibility of the third-party software used within this website and try to correct any issues that exist. As software is updated new issues may arise which we will identify and work to correct.

Known Potential Issues

Font Awesome

This website uses Font Awesome to generate icons used throughout the site. Modern versions of assistive technology, like screen readers, will read CSS generated content (how Font Awesome icons are rendered), as well as specific Unicode characters. When reading the default markup for rendering icons, assisistive technology may have the following problems:

  • The assistive technology may not find any content to read out to a user
  • The assistive technology may read the unicode equivalent, which could not match up to what the icon means in context, or worse is just plain confusing
  • The assistive technology may identify the i (italic) element being used in content generated by Font Awesome, we have made Font Awesome aware of this and anticipate corrective measures to be integrated into the software updates in the near future.

WAH Accessibility Helper Pro

We have installed third-party software on this website specifically to offer additional tools to improve the experience of users, allowing them to adjust the presentation of the website. This software can cause the following problems which we have alerted the software developers to and expect to be resolved in the near future:

  • Redundant alternative text – the Accessibility Helper icon at the top of the website automatically generates ALT text which is duplicated in the utiltiy
  • Accesskey – Access keys are present in the code to help the software function
  • Redundant title text – the software contains duplicated title text for the key options

Skipped Heading Levels

We understand the importance of intuitive structure with regard to heading levels. On some pages of this website we may only have H1 and H2 elements (with no content requiring an H3 element) before the main content finishes and the footer content begins. The headings in the footer are H4 elements, therefore an H3 element may not be present on a page.

PDF Downloads

From 2020 all PDFs (for example meeting agendas and minutes) will be checked and optimised for accessibility before being uploaded to the website. PDF downloads prior to 2020 may have been created without all accessibility features being considered and therefore may not be fully accessible. We apologise if this makes some older documents harder to access and remain committed to ensuring accessibility standards are met for all current and future documents.

If there is a specific document (or documents) which you would like to access but find it difficult to do so, pease contact us and we will endeavour to provide the document in an accessible format.

Links to other websites

Where we link to other websites that may offer benefits to our users we are not responsible for the accessibility of these or any other websites we don’t manage.

Using third party content or functionality on our website

We sometimes feature third party content or functionality on our website. This may include:

  • survey tools to collect feedback from users
  • insight tools which tell us how people are using the website
  • applications for creating forms and storing data
  • library system to store meeting agendas and minutes for users to access
  • interactive maps showing locations of certain services

Where we choose to feature third party content or functionality on our website, we are responsible for ensuring it meets accessibility standards. Upon occasion the third party software may have accessibility issues but best serve the purpose for which it is included, in these circumstances we will highlight the accessibility issues to the software developers and work with them to solve any accessibility problems.

Where we are legally required to feature third party content or functionality, we cannot reasonably accept responsibility for ensuring it meets accessibility standards. However, where it is within our control, we will make every reasonable effort to work towards meeting accessibility requirements.

Third party platforms

We often create content which is hosted on third party platforms. This includes:

  • content we create for social media, such as Facebook or Twitter
  • video which we post on YouTube
  • maps with markers created within Google Maps

We are responsible for ensuring the content we supply meets accessibility requirements; however, we are not responsible for the accessibility of the platform itself.

For example, when we add video to one of our YouTube channels, we will ensure any subtitling, captions and audio-description are included as required. However, we are not responsible for the accessibility of the video player itself.

Video, audio and downloads

Where we use rich media we make sure the media control buttons can be used without a mouse and are labelled for screen readers.

We aim to ensure that all video content has one or more of the following: close-captioning, a transcript or a summary of the key information.

Our website has some downloadable resources including Word documents and Portable Document Formats (PDFs): read about the accessibility of downloadable content. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-publish-on-gov-uk/accessible-pdfs

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 No.952. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/952/contents/made

Non-accessible content

We work to achieve and maintain the AA standards of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/

It is not always possible for all our content to be accessible, however we will always strive to ensure that it is. If we have failed to ensure an element is accessible, please contact us by email: Becky.walsh@wsm-tc.gov.uk

Preparation of this accessibility statement

The declaration made in this statement regarding compliance with The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 No.952 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/952/contents/made) is based on an evaluation of the website’s compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG) to AA standard. https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/

For information on our self-assessment auditing process and to see how our checks align with the WCAG 2.1 AA please contact us by email: Becky.walsh@wsm-tc.gov.uk

Contacting us and what happens next

Please contact us at becky.walsh@wsm-tc.gov.uk if you have any problems; be as specific and detailed as you can. Please also tell us what you like and find useful.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has useful tips on contacting organisations about inaccessible websites. https://www.w3.org/WAI/teach-advocate/contact-inaccessible-websites/

When you contact us there is a process in place that will acknowledge your contact, tell you who is dealing with it and give you a timescale by which you can expect a reply.

Complaints process

If you have reported a problem with our website, or asked for an alternative format, but you are not happy with our response, you can contact us admin@wsm-tc.gov.uk to register your difficulty. This helps us improve our systems.

Enforcement procedure

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

Last update

This page was last updated on 12 May 2020.