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Accessibility statement

Introduction

This accessibility statement applies to eastsussex.gov.uk

This website is run by East Sussex County 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 and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using only 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).

We've also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

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


How accessible is this website?

Most of our website should be accessible. It should work well when used with access devices such as screen readers, braille readers, as well as smart phones and other devices.

We know some content on this website is not fully accessible. This includes:

  • Some old PDF documents. These are not fully accessible to screen reader software.
  • Live video streams. These do not have captions.
  • Some third-party content.

A detailed list of known accessibility issues and how we plan to address them is available further down this statement. We regularly review the site and add further issues to this statement as they are identified.


Technical information about this website's accessibility

East Sussex County 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 listed below.


Non-accessible content

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

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

We’ve trained all our web authors in how to produce accessible PDF and Word documents, including how to use automated accessibility checkers. We conduct regular audits and manual checks of accessibility issues with documents and work with web authors to improve the accessibility of documents, especially popular ones. All new documents should be accessible.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Digital assistant (chatbot)

The digital assistant (chatbot) feature known as 'Esca' appears on our website pages about Blue Badges if you have cookies enabled. This chatbot is run by East Sussex County Council and the chatbot was developed by ICS.AI. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this chatbot. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the chatbot using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the chatbot using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the chatbot using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver).

We’ve also made the chatbot text as simple as possible to understand.

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

How accessible this chatbot is:

We know some parts of the chatbot are not fully accessible.

  • Keyboard and screen reader users may have difficulty navigating the chatbot. Accessing chatbot response messages and inputting user questions does not function with keyboard controls. Users are expected to press Enter to move into specific messages within the chat window. Keyboard and screen reader users may not receive these instructions and have difficulty navigating the chat window and responses. This fails WCAG 2.1.1 Keyboard (A). The issue has been raised with Microsoft’s Enterprise Disability Answer Desk who have confirmed it to be a problem with a Microsoft software component and have escalated it to the product engineering team for resolution.
  • When keyboard or screen reader users interact with carousel replies, they may experience focus visibility issues and navigational issues. Focus visibility may not move new messages completely into the field of view for keyboard only users, and using the left and right arrow keys for keyboard or screen reader users will disrupt the journey and move the user back to the top of the chatbot navigation and out of the chat window. The issue has been raised with Microsoft’s Enterprise Disability Answer Desk who are investigating the problem.
  • The chatbot profile picture is read out to mobile screen reader as they move through messages while the picture is visually hidden. This fails WCAG 2.4.3 Focus Order (A). This issue is still under investigation. This behaviour may manifest itself inconsistently depending on the hosting site. The developers are working towards a solution which will resolve the issue.

This chatbot was last tested on 31 January 2022. The test was carried out by All Able Ltd.

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of services we use such as this chatbot. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please email us.

Email: Web Team

Holiday food and fun booking system

We offer a range of activities at our holiday food and fun clubs for children on benefit-related free school meals. The events are advertised and booked using a third-party system provided by Eequ Ltd. We know that some images do not have alternative text which fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content). Read the Eequ Ltd accessibility statement.

The timeline to fix these issues is to be confirmed.

If you need help booking a place, please contact us.

Telephone: 07923 382464

Email: HAF team

Freedom of Information and complaints

Our FOI and complaints systems use a third party system called iCasework. We know this might not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Here is the iCasework accessibility statement from Civica.

iCasework web forms are fully compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1AA standard.

How Civica tested iCasework forms:

  • As part of our development process, we use WAVE testing tools, screen readers as well as a developer checklist to check compliance. In addition, accessibility to AA standards is regularly tested independently by our government customers and any issues raised are handled with the same priority as software bugs.
  • The web forms were last tested on 28 July 2020.
  • The accessibility statement was last updated on 1 October 2020.

Contact details:

If you find any problems with iCasework not listed on this page, please email support@icasework.com

If you have issues using this system to submit an FOI request or a complaint, please contact us:

Phone: 01273 482913

Email: Customer Services and Information Governance Officer

Bikeability booking request

There is insufficient contrast between the text and the background. This fails WCAG criteria 1.4.3 (contrast). The page structure is not a meaningful sequence. This fails WCAG criteria 1.3.2 (meaningful sequence).

These issues will be fixed by December 2022.

Apply for travel assistance form

The fields are not identified programmatically. This fails WCAG criteria 1.3.5 (identify input purpose). Form controls don’t change appearance when selected. This fails WCAG criteria 2.4.7 (Focus visible).

These issues will be fixed by January 2023.

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

Maps

Some forms may have an online map. Online maps and mapping services are exempt from the regulations if essential information is provided in an accessible digital manner for maps intended for navigational use.

PDFs and other documents

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 our services.

The accessibility regulations also do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents provided by third-parties that we have no control over.

Live video

Live video streams do not have captions. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions - live).

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

Disproportionate burden

Navigating date picker with keyboard

Date pickers are known to fail several basic criteria in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Although the date widget is not accessible by keyboard, GOV.UK Design System components recommends to use a date input field instead of calendar when asking users for dates they already know, such as date of birth.

Planning register

Our planning register automatically generates PDF and Word files with accessibility issues. Where Word files are manually created we will make them accessible. We commit to providing live applications in an accessible format by September 2022. In the meantime, if you have difficulties assessing the planning register please contact the Planning Policy and Development Management Team.

Telephone: 01273 481846

Email: Planning Policy and Development Management


Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 24 September 2019 and last updated on 29 September 2022.

Feedback and contact information

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 the Web Team.

How we test this website

We use an automated accessibility audit tool, Silktide to check the accessibility of our website and PDFs. We routinely carry out manual checks on a proportion of our pages and documents to identify issues that can't be detected automatically.

Language

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 29 September 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.

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).