Accessibility

Accessibility Statement for Lincoln.gov.uk

We want everyone who visits the Lincoln.gov.uk website to feel welcome and find the experience rewarding, going above and beyond the Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations 2018.
 

What are we doing?

To help us make the Lincoln.gov.uk website a positive place for everyone, we've been using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities, and user friendly for everyone.

  • The guidelines have three levels of accessibility (A, AA and AAA)
  • We’ve chosen Level AA as the target for Lincoln.gov.uk.

How are we doing?

We're working hard to achieve our goal of Level AA accessibility, but we realise there are some areas that still need improving.

The following information explains what we're doing to make that happen.

Success criteria 1.1.1: Non text content

We are aware that some 'image' elements do not contain alternate text. We are reviewing the use of images and descriptions across the website with a view to improving our compliance with this standard.

All content editors and staff have been provided with accessibility guidance via the staff intranet. Going forward we'll use our website auditing tools to help us review and improve compliance with these criteria.  

Success criteria 1.3.1: Info and Relationships

We are working to improve the use of semantic html page elements to convey the meaning of our content rather than relying on visual presentation alone.

We continue to review our content using website auditing tools and are working towards addressing and reducing any outstanding issues by changing or rewriting website content where applicable.

Success criteria 1.4.1: Use of Colour

This criteria are not always addressed in the page 'script' tags. These issues are linked to the master Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). This issue is being investigated by our website supplier with a view to implementing a longer term solution across the website.

Success criteria 1.4.5: Images of Text

We partially meet this criteria. At present we have Covid-19 image banners on our homepage which contain text within an image. Going forward we will be restricting the use of images containing text.

We will address this issue by scanning our website with auditing tools and discussing accessibility requirements with our service areas, content editors and communications department.

Success criteria 1.4.11: Non-Text Contrast

The colour of our websites visual user interface components do not offer a low contrast option for visually impaired users. We have approached this issue with our website supplier. They will investigate and provide a quote for a long term solution.

Success criteria 2.4.6: Heading and Labels

We are partially compliant. We intend to review the use of headings and descriptive labels on each document page or table. This will be reviewed using automated scanning software. Our content editors will receive further training and continue working towards updating headings and labels to ensure they describe page content, topic and purpose in Plain English.

Success criteria 3.3.2: Labels or Instructions

We partially meet this criteria. Not all page labels describe its associated input element. Some page content is lengthy and does not provide important cues and instructions that will benefit people with disabilities. We are working with our content editors and service areas to constantly review content and make any changes as required. There may also be a requirement to raise this issue with our website supplier to investigate any parent page template issues.

Success criteria 3.3.4: Error Prevention

We use an external provider called Firm Step for all of our online forms and services. Users with disabilities are more likely to make a mistake on a form e.g. hit a key by mistake. We will discuss the implementation of additional 'safe guarding' functions before submitting online forms with our Business Development team and external supplier.

This accessibility statement was last updated on 21st October 2020.


PDFs and other documents

PDFs and documents that you need to download to access any of our services should also be fully accessible. However, we know that some of our existing documents (published before 23 September 2018) aren’t. 

For example, some of them:

  • Are missing document structure
  • Are missing alternate text
  • Are not written in Plain English
  • Are not machine readable

This mostly applies to our PDFs and other documents published before 23 September 2018, audio and video content and archived parts of our site. These types of documents are exempt from the regulations, so we don’t currently have any plans to make them accessible.

Some PDF's published after 23rd September 2018 are currently inaccessible. We are auditing all documents (including PDF's, Word documents and Excel files). To achieve this task, we are using automated website scanning tools and working with council staff to improve document accessibility across lincoln.gov.uk. 

We have adapted SCULPT for Accessibility materials for use on our staff intranet to help raise awareness of accessibility guidelines.  

We are currently using an online auditing tool called Silktide to identify and review any inaccessible documents.

Following review, a joint decision with staff will be made to:

  • Reformat the content into accessible PDF's
  • Create new HTML website pages or online forms
  • Delete the inaccessible document from the website 

How to request information in a different format 

If you need to access information in one of these document types, you can contact us and ask for an alternative format.

If you need information in a different format please tell us:

  • the web address (URL) of the content
  • your name and email address
  • the format you need (for example, audio CD, braille, BSL or large print, accessible PDF)
     

Using third party content or functionality on our website

We often use third party content or functionality on our website. This allows us to offer a wide range of services that can be completed online. They are each built to look like our website but are based on a different technical platform. 

This includes:

  • Online forms for customers to fill in
  • Self-serve system to manage your Council tax account
  • Card payment systems
  • Our latest job listings

Where we choose to feature third party content or functionality on our website, we are responsible for ensuring it meets accessibility standards.

If we have paid for content to be created, or have a contractual relationship with the commissioner, we ensure accessibility guidelines are met as part of contractual obligations.

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.

We are currently working with third party suppliers to obtain accessibility statements and to ensure they are compliant by the deadlines outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), including:

  • Firmstep Forms (contact.lincoln.gov.uk)
  • My Accounts (myinfo.lincoln.gov.uk)
  • Job Listings (jobs.lincoln.gov.uk)
  • Northgate Benefit Applications (www.northgate-nes.co.uk/)
  • Housing (lincshomefinder.co.uk)
  • HMO Licensing (housinglicensing.lincoln.gov.uk)
  • Modern.gov committee portal (democratic.lincoln.gov.uk)
  • Planning Search (development.lincoln.gov.uk)
  • Parking Notices and Fines (parkingonline.lincoln.gov.uk)
  • Location maps (maps.lincoln.gov.uk)

 

Deaf or hard of hearing

If you are deaf or have profound hearing difficulties you can use the next generation text service to access our services
 

Site compatibility and screen readers

The site should be compatible with basic operating system screen magnifiers; speech recognition software, and operating system speech packages.

The site should be compatible with recent versions of the following screen readers:

  • Jaws
  • ZoomText
  • NVDA
  • VoiceOver
  • Window Eyes
  • Supernova screen readers
  • MAGic
     

Useful accessibility tips


Feedback

We will continue to review, iterate and improve our website to provide the best possible level of customer service.

If you would like to make a suggestion on improving the website, especially from an accessibility point of view, please complete our online form.

Website feedback > 

Thank you,
City of Lincoln Council Web Team