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Accessibility statement


About this statement

This accessibility statement applies to the website tunbridgewells.gov.uk (our website), which is managed by the Digital Services team at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use our website and have designed it so that it lets you edit your preferred settings, with options to:

  • zoom in up to 500% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate it using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of it using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of it using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We have also made the website text in most areas as simple as possible to understand. There may still be older content on some pages where this is not the case.

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

Mobile apps

This statement also covers the accessibility of mobile apps that we offer to deliver our services, these are:

  • Modern.gov
  • RingGo Parking

Please see the mobile apps section below for further details.

How accessible our website is

We know some parts of our website are not fully accessible. We know that:

  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • some of our older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams do not have sub-titles
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard

Feedback and requests

If you would like to comment on the accessibility of our website, or request any of the information in a different format, such as accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording, or braille, please email digitalservices@tunbridgewells.gov.uk.

We will aim to get back to you within five working days.

Reporting accessibility problems

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of our website. If you encounter any problems that aren’t already mentioned in this statement, or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, email us at digitalservices@tunbridgewells.gov.uk.

We will aim to get back to you within five working days.

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 have made a formal complaint to us about our website's accessibility, and aren't happy with our response, please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service.

Contacting us

Phoning or visiting us in person

Unfortunately, we do not provide a text relay service for people who are deaf, hearing impaired, or have a speech impediment. We can, however, use a mediated text relay service if one is provided by the person calling.

If you use a hearing aid and would prefer to visit us in person, our Gateway in Tunbridge Wells town centre has hearing loops available in all its meeting rooms.

If you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter through Kent County Council Sensory Services, or you can call ahead and book them directly on 03000 418 100, or by email to sensoryandautism@kent.gov.uk.

Our find and contact us page includes details of how to email, telephone, or visit us in person.

Technical information

Technical information about our website’s accessibility

Tunbridge Wells 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.

Our 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.

PDFs and other documents

Some of our PDFs and Word documents may not be structured so they are accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value).

At the time of updating this statement there were 1,074 documents available to view and download from our website. The breakdown by document type is:

TypeNumber
Adobe PDF 849
Microsoft Word (.doc) 15
CSV and Microsoft Excel (.xls)210

Of the 849 Adobe PDF documents on our website, 208 are fully accessible to a screen reader. The remaining 641 documents can be broken down as follows:

ReasonNumber
Historical * 346
Third-party content ** 199
Disproportionate burden *** 0
To be made accessible ****96

* Historical documents that were published before 23 September 2018 and are not needed for active administrative processes relating to the tasks performed by the council.

** Third-party content that is neither funded nor developed by, nor under the control of the council.

*** Making these documents accessible would place a disproportionate burden on the organisation and there is no benefit given the resource and effort required.

**** Documents identified as to be made accessible will either be re-created as an accessible document, converted to an HTML webpage, or re-created as an online form. At the time of publication work on converting these documents had started, but completion will be after 23 September 2020. However, we expect this work to be completed by the end of 2021.

Any new PDF document we publish on our website will meet accessibility standards.

Same link text for different destinations

Many of the pages on our website contain the same link text more than once, but each goes to a different URL. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context).

This means that screen reader users will see links on a page listed without context. To fix this we need to ensure the same link text is not used to point to different web addresses.

Our response

We are aware of this issue and at the time of updating this statement, we were actively looking at how it can be resolved. The issue was identified in the results of a website scan using the Silktide accessibility checker.

Forms and pages hosted by third-party software suppliers

Some of our forms and pages are built and hosted by third-party software suppliers and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. Some of these do not fully meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion. Our ability to make them accessible is limited by, for example, the supplier’s development and release cycles for new versions. These issues are experienced by many local authorities who use the same software suppliers.

We will continue to provide feedback to our third-party suppliers about accessibility issues we identify with their software and ensure that accessibility is a requirement of our future software procurements.

Disproportionate burden

Having made an assessment of the non-accessible documents on our website,  we have not identified any that are considered a disproportionate burden (within the meaning of the No. 2 Regulations) to be made accessible.

Out of scope content

Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations.

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards, for example, they may not be structured so they are accessible to a screen reader. This does not 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 the end of 2021 we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they are not essential to providing our services.

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

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams, because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

All pre-recorded and edited film clips published on our website from 23 September 2020 will feature subtitles, captions, and a transcript.

Third-party content

Our site includes third-party content and documents.

We cannot guarantee that all third-party content is accessible. We are not responsible for any third-party content that is under someone else’s control, for example, social media ‘like’ buttons.

We often link to third-party websites or documents when there is useful information that relates to our services, for example, official information sources like GOV.UK and the Electoral Commission.

We often create content on third-party platforms. For example, we create video content on YouTube. We are responsible for making sure the content is accessible, but we are not responsible for YouTube's platform.

Mobile apps

Details about the accessibility of the mobile apps we offer are given below.

The deadline for mobile apps to be compliant with the accessibility regulations is 23 June 2021.

Modern.gov

The Modern.gov native application is available in iOS (Apple) and Android versions.

This app enables users to automatically download, view, and annotate papers for council meetings on their mobile device.

The application is supplied by a third-party, Civica, and the accessibility of the technical infrastructure and user interface is the responsibility of the third-party supplier.

The accessibility of the content on the app, all of which is PDF documents, is the responsibility of the council's Democratic Services team. The accessibility of PDF documents is further explained in this statement.

Alternatives to using the mobile app

All of the content offered in the mobile app is also available on our website under the meetings, minutes and agendas section.

RingGo Parking

The RingGo Parking native application is available in iOS (Apple) and Android versions.

This app enables users of some car parks in the borough to pay for parking on their mobile device.

The application is supplied by a third-party, RingGo (part of Park Now Ltd), and the accessibility of the technical infrastructure and user interface is the responsibility of the third-party supplier.

The accessibility of the content on the app is the responsibility of the council's Parking Services team. The content displayed is controlled by the user interface of the app, which is the responsibility of the third-party supplier.

Alternatives to using the mobile app

Users of our car parks are provided with alternatives to using the RingGo app for making payments, these include cash, card, and Check in Check out (CiCo). The alternatives offered are different for each car park, further details can be found on our website under the car parks section.

Preparation of this statement

This accessibility statement was prepared on 10 October 2019. It was last updated on 27 May 2021.

Our website was last tested in May 2021 and was carried out by staff from our Digital Services team.

We tested a large sample size of page types and varieties from our site, paying careful attention to make sure all types of user journey and the most popular tasks were represented, for example, the main homepage and the content listed under bins and recycling.

We complete our accessibility audits by testing how the site performs when accessed using accessibility tools, including Silktide and WAVE. Results of this testing are then cross referenced with general user feedback that is captured using our online website improvements form.

This statement will be reviewed again in September 2021.