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Accessibility statement

Website accessibility

Using this website

East Sussex County Council run this website. We aim to make it as easy to use as possible. 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 only a keyboard
  • listen to our website using a screen reader.

Go to AbilityNet to find out how to make these changes.


We use plain English to make the text easy to read. We aim to create content for a reading age of 11. We regularly run readability audits on our content and make continual improvements. As of 20 May 2022, our content meets AA accessibility standards and scores 95% on our automated testing software.

Sign language readers can visit our British Sign Language (BSL) introduction to the East Sussex County Council, website.

If you would like to read the website in another language use Google Translate.

This statement was prepared on 24 September 2019. It was last updated on 20 May 2022.

How accessible is this website?

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • some documents in PDF (Portable Document Format) and Word format may not be accessible

We are working to fix all documents and are prioritising those with the highest views. PDFs and Word documents will be converted to HTML format where possible at renewal time.

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

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or think we are not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations please contact us.

Email: Web team

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).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

As part of our commitment to accessibility we are required to publish where we know there are issues with our website.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the following issues.

Non-HTML documents

Some 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).

Special sections of the site

Digital assistant (chatbot)

This statement was prepared on 11 October 2021, It was last reviewed on 20 May 2022.

The digital assistant (chatbot) feature known as 'Esca' appears on our website pages about Blue Badges if you have cookies enabled.

The development of the digital assistant is being managed by ICS.AI. It is intended to be used by everyone, with design considerations for assistive technologies. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 200% without truncating text (tested on desktop screens from 1024 pixels by 768 pixels resolution and above)
  • navigate the digital assistant using just a keyboard
  • listen to the digital assistant using a screen reader (specifically the most recent versions of JAWS and NVDA)
  • the colour palette has been chosen to provide the highest contrast for the selected theme.

Instructions and replies from the digital assistant have been made as simple as possible to understand.

How accessible the digital assistant is

We know some parts of the digital assistant are not fully accessible. The following list describes the areas where the need for improvement has been noted.

  • There are no options to change line height or spacing of text, although some browsers may provide options to override this.
  • There are no options to change colours, contrast levels and fonts, although some browsers may provide options to override this.
  • The digital assistant supports keyboard navigation and text responses are read aloud. However, some text-only responses do not accept focus and therefore cannot be repeated by a screen reader after initial read-out.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on the digital assistant in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please contact us. We'll consider your request and get back to you.

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of the digital assistant. Please get in touch with us if you find any problems not listed on this page, or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements.

Email: Web team

Technical information about the digital assistant’s accessibility

ICS.AI is committed to making its digital assistant accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The digital assistant is fully compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard.

The digital assistant has been built on top of version 3 of the Microsoft Bot Framework Webchat. The following links provide further technical reading.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Due later in 2021, version 2.0 will be a significant update to the Esca digital assistant. The update will make use of new features provided by the Microsoft BotFramework.

The latest version of the Microsoft BotFramework WebChat includes an enhanced accessible user experience, documented on the Microsoft BotFramework WebChat Accessibility Guide.

The update will make it possible to change the colour palette of the digital assistant and use a variety of colour schemes for tone and contrast needs.

Content that’s not within the scope

PDFs and other documents

Some 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.

Non-HTML documents published before September 2018 do not need to be accessible - unless users need them to use a service.

We have replaced many PDFs and documents with accessible HTML pages. Where documents don't meet the requirements we offer users a contact to request an accessible version or help using it. Where possible, we will replace existing documents with HTML webpages when they are to be renewed.

Live video

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


Some pages and documents on our site use maps. These are exempt from the accessibility requirements, but where possible we provide the essential information in text as well.

How we tested this website

This site was most recently tested in May 2022. This website was and is currently being tested for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines V2.1 level A and level AA, and these tests have been carried out internally. We used automated testing software Silktide. For some sections we also used WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool.

We test the website regularly and provide access to Silktide to all departments. The most recent scan in May 2022 scored our website a 95% for accessibility.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

Non-HTML documents

We regularly monitor the accessibility of documents and PDFs and update when our software detects issues.

We are training our staff in accessibility and how to create accessible documents and run regular troubleshooting sessions.

We provide staff who update the website with access to our monitoring tools and send out reports to departments.

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