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Working towards an accessible website

What we're doing to ensure this website is available for all.

What is website accessibility?

Website accessibility is about making websites accessible (easy to use) to all users - irrespective of ability, language, education or technology.

People with various disabilities such as blindness and visual impairments including colour blindness, hearing impairments, learning difficulties and mobility impairments may find using the internet a very frustrating experience, especially with all the browsing technology available to us such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Many disabled people may use assistive technologies – software and hardware designed to help them interact with websites. Examples of these include screen reader software, screen magnification tools and voice input tools. However, if the website hasn't been designed to work with these devices, then they won't work.

Creating an accessible website is about identifying the different requirements of our users and making information easily available to them, using whichever method is suitable for them. As an additional result of creating an accessible website, it becomes much easier to navigate and read by all customers, pages are faster to download and are easier to read on smartphones and other devices.

What are you doing to help improve website access for those with disabilities?

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is committed to providing accessible information via the website and realises that understanding the needs of various user groups is key to empowering all our users to find information in a way that suits them.

What we're trying to achieve

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides standards set out in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 to assist website designers and developers to create accessible websites. It is a series of checkpoints that a website should meet and is split into three levels of conformance:

Level A (high priority) – all web pages should meet the criteria on this checklist, otherwise many disabled groups may find it very difficult to access content

Level AA (medium priority) – web pages meeting this criteria will mean fewer groups will find it difficult to access content

Level AAA (low priority) – meeting this criteria will ensure the majority of users can easily access our content.

We are working hard to achieve full level AA compliance, with some level AAA content where possible. 

How we're doing it

We are using a website content management system (CMS) called EasySite which aims to produce level AA pages. 

We use online browser validation tools which check we have standards compliant HTML and CSS which help ensure our website works with all browsers and assistive technologies.

To test all our colours have a suitable contrast we use a colour contrast analyser which tests that all text can be viewed on various backgrounds.

We also use a program called SiteImprove which helps us find problems with missing alternate text, broken links, invalid code and CSS, spelling errors and much more.

Working with our customers

Although we're aiming to make sure each page on our site pass these criteria, we believe the best way to achieve accessibility is to work with our customers and find out what works for them.

We continue to seek feedback from user groups and individual volunteers, and would welcome any feedback from other users who have accessibility requirements. If you would like to give us your feedback about the accessibility of this website, or would like to offer suggestions or help us with testing - we would be happy to hear from you. Please get in touch if you'd like to volunteer as a user tester:

web@eastriding.gov.uk

Committed to learning and improving

We have a rolling program of training to ensure all staff are aware and engaged in improving accessibility across the council. Techniques are researched, tested, fed back and discussed at team meetings to ensure knowledge is shared across all East Riding websites and a standard maintained across all newly developed sites.

Accessibility Accreditation

Such is our commitment to digital inclusion for all, the Digital Accessibility Centre performs an annual accessibility audit of this site:

Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC) (external website) 

Are there any pages which aren't accessible?

Unfortunately not all pages are completely accessible:

External East Riding web pages

Some parts of our website link off to web pages which are managed by us, but created by an external company. Although we are working to ensure that all of these sites will in the future be accessible, we understand that in the meantime you may encounter some problems accessing all information. For your convenience, these sites are labelled as:

Website name (external East Riding website)

Forms

Some parts of our website link off to forms which are managed by us, but created by an external company. Although we are working to ensure that all of these forms will in the future be accessible, we understand that in the meantime you may encounter some problems accessing all information.

How can I get further help or report a problem?

If you encounter any problems accessing any parts of our site, please report a website problem  and will be happy to try to provide the information you require. We will also use your feedback to try to improve access for future users.