Accessibility Statement

This website is run by Ashford Borough Council. We want as many people as possible to be able to use our website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just 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)

The design has been amended to address some of these issues. We’ve made the website text as simple as possible to understand, and have introduced tools such as Browsealoud, to improve how those with a disability can view and access information.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible is our website

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

  • you can’t modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software
  • videos don’t have captions
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate and fill out using just a keyboard or screen reader
  • you can’t skip to the main content when using a screen reader

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

If you need information on this website in a different format (e.g. accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille) please contact us using the following methods:

Email accessibility@ashford.gov.uk

Call 01233 331111 – then press option 9

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in five working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our website. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, contact the digital team.

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, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Information regarding a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment can be found on the Ofcom website.

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Get in touch with us

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Ashford Borough 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 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non Accessible Content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

URL: Ashford.gov.uk

HTML is used to format content – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 info and relationships

No option to skip repeated content – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks

Element ID is not unique 1.3.1 – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion info and relationships

Input field has no description – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value

Label is not connected to a form control – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

Form elements are not grouped – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

Element not highlighted on focus – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.7 Focus Visible

Language of page has not been set – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.1.1 language of page

Extra issues on our plugins are listed below:

URL: plugins.ashford.gov.uk/complainttracker (ABC Complaint Tracker):

Select box has no description – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value

Text area has no description – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

URL: Secure.ashford.gov.uk/GardenWaste/RegisterInterest.aspx (ABC Garden Waste Registration)

Image with no alt attribute – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 Non-text Content

URL: Secure.ashford.gov.uk/LandChargesPortal (ABC Land Charges)

Form control label is missing text – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

Missing button in form – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.2.2 On Input

Image button has no description – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 Non-text Content

“Bold” tag used to format text – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

URL: Planning.ashford.gov.uk (ABC Planning Portal)

No headings on page – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

URL: Secure.ashford.gov.uk/reportit (ABC Report It)

“i” tag used to format text – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

Provide a button for ‘select box’ – This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.2.2 On Input

Disproportionate burden

See PDFs section below.

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

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word 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 (name, role value).

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. 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. For example, we don’t plan to fix Ashford For You residents' magazine PDFs.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Live video

Live video streams don’t have captions.

We don’t plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

How we tested our website

Our website was last tested on 18 September 2019. The test was carried out by Ashford Borough Council’s web team.

We use Siteimprove to flag up accessibility issues, we also do manual checks using the Government Digital Service checklist.

We have tested:

  • Our main website – www.ashford.gov.uk
  • Our Plugins – ABC Complaint Tracker, ABC Garden Waste Registration, ABC Land Charges, ABC Planning Portal, ABC Report It – services based on a different technical platform but ‘skinned’ to look like our website

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are working to resolve all identified accessibility issues which are within our control.

We are working with suppliers to resolve any identified accessibility issues where we do not have direct control over their product.

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