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This accessibility statement applies to

This website is run by Rochford District 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, font and text size using our Accessibility Tools plugin
  • 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)

Accessibility tools and advice

Browsealoud - digital inclusion software

This website includes free access to Browsealoud digital inclusion software which offers a host of website reading and translation support - helping visitors to access and understand our website better. Browsealoud includes the following features:

  • text-to-speech: click on or select any text to hear it read aloud
  • translation: written and spoken translations in multiple languages
  • text magnification: enlarges text and reads it out loud
  • mp3 generation: converts selected text into an MP3 audio file
  • screen mask: blocks distractions on screen with a tinted mask
  • web page simplifier: removes clutter from the screen, displaying only the main text
  • settings: customise options to suit individual needs or preferences

Try Browsealoud out - it's free! 

Click the Browsealoud icon at the top to launch the BrowseAloud toolbar.  When you see the BrowseAloud toolbar you can explore the various toolbar options and settings or simply click on any text to hear it read out loud.

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

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

Feedback and contact information

Please contact us if you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille.

Customer Services contact form (this link opens in a new tab).

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 5 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact our web team and we will look into your comments.

Enforcement procedure

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).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Rochford District Council is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances below.

Non-accessible content

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

Issues with Navigation and accessing information

  • On some web pages or online forms the keyboard tab order may be incorrect
  • On some pages or online forms the keyboard tab focus may not work in some tab positions
  • We have no keyboard activated 'skip to main content' feature on this website
  • We have no option to skip repeated text

Issues with Acrobat PDFs and Microsoft documents and spreadsheets

  • Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don't meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be marked up so they are accessible to a screen reader.
  • Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have reports and guidance documents published as PDFs and application forms available only as Word or Adobe Acrobat documents.
  • We plan to create a register of documents which are essential for service delivery and then work to convert these to HTML pages and forms. We are continuing to work through these.
  • We understand that the regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018, if they're not essential to providing our services.
  • We aim, to ensure that any new documents we publish from 23 September 2020 onwards will meet the accessibility standards
  • Some PDFs are uploaded with the intention of being downloaded, printed and displayed by businesses. Such as the SFBB PDF's on our Food Safety Management page. These have not yet been optimised for the web. 

Issues with images, video and audio

Issues with interactive tools and transactions

  • On some online forms the keyboard tab order may be incorrect
  • On some online forms the keyboard tab focus may not work in some tab positions

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Third Party Content

  • Some third party content such as planning documents, and payment plug-in systems may not comply fully with WCAG standards. We are working on finding solutions for this as a matter of urgency, and urge visitors to contact us via customer services should they require help with anything they are unable to access.

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

  • The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing a service.
  • Some PDFs contain the RDC logo which does not contain alternative/description text. As this logo adds no informative value to the content of the document, it's being used purely for decorative purposes and does not require alternate text.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We have been working tirelessly to work go through existing documents and pages to bring everything we can up to standard. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Re-writing pages to ensure they are written in plain-English
  • Removing non-essential PDFs and replacing the content as html/web pages where possible
  • Replacing images that contain text with decorative images, and adding the text separately, so that screen readers can pick the information up.
  • 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 council policies. We plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.
  • According to the 'Bureau of Internet Accessibility', spreadsheets are considered accessible, as long as they are uploaded in a .csv (comma separated value) file type, rather than .xls or .xlsx. We are working through our existing files to replaces any .xls/.xlsx files with .csv, .pdf, or .html where possible. 
    "If the purpose of the spreadsheet is to present a data set, the Excel file should be shared as a comma separated value (.csv) file, not as an .xls file. This will ensure that data can be read and navigated with assistive technology".

We are aware that there is still some work to do to complete the above points across the whole site, and this is something which we are currently working on.

The easiest way to keep track of our accessibility progress is to keep an eye on this statement. We will update it with changes as we make improvements.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on Monday 21 September 2020, and last reviewed/edited on Wednesday 22nd March 2023 by our web team.