We're committed to making our online services as accessible as possible for all customers; find out about the accessibility support we offer. Alternatively, this accessibility statement provides information on:
- accessibility of our online services
- requesting services in an accessible format
- reporting accessibility problems
- online services which don't meet accessibility standards
- online services exempt from accessibility standards
- ongoing improvements for increased accessibility
This accessibility statement applies to 'online services' provided by City of York Council. Within this statement the term 'online services' relates to information held within, and functionality driven by, both our content management system (CMS) and other systems; where 'separately branded' websites the council is responsible for lie outside york.gov.uk domain we will link to the relevant accessibility statement (wherever possible).
Accessibility of our online services
Our online services are designed to be used by as many people as possible; the text should be clear and simple to understand and you should be able to:
- zoom in up to 300% without problems
- navigate most of our online services using just a keyboard
- use most of our online services with screen reader software
Most of our online services work when scripts, applets or other programmatic objects are turned off, or aren't supported by a device. However, your experience using online services without scripts running may degrade.
Our online services are partially compliant with the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, known as 'WCAG 2.1 AA'. Get details of online services which don't meet accessibility standards, and online services exempt from accessibility standards.
Requesting services in an accessible format
If you need information in a different format email: firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell us:
- the location of the information (copy and paste the URL/address from your browser address bar)
- your name and email address (so we can respond)
- the format you need (for example, audio CD, braille, British Sign Language (BSL), large print, accessible PDF)
Our Web Services Team will ensure the appropriate Service Area is aware of your needs, and respond within 5 working days.
Customers who use British Sign Language (BSL) can access our BSL interpreting service when visiting West Offices, and when contacting us remotely.
Reporting accessibility problems
If you find any accessibility problems that are not listed on this page, or you think we’re not meeting the accessibility requirements, email: email@example.com in the first instance so that we can work to resolve the issue. If you contact us with a complaint about the accessibility of our online services, and you’re not happy with our response the Equality Advisory and Support Service may be able to help you.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations.
Online services which don't meet accessibility standards
Some parts of our online services are non-compliant, meaning they don't meet accessibility standard 'WCAG 2.1 AA', in these cases:
- we're working with internal teams who administer the systems, and with external suppliers, to improve accessibility standards
- we've provided a means of requesting services in an accessible format
Due to the amount of issues and the complexity of fixes, we'll continue to update this statement as we identify and resolve areas of non-compliance.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
Currently in Portable Document Format (PDF) downloads and on some web pages:
- some information is not clearly written, which may hinder the format you need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or alternative language
- some tables don't have row headers, which may confuse or disorient you if assistive technology reads the information in the wrong order, or when alternate style sheets or other formatting changes are applied - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.3.1
- some instances of inappropriate colour contrast exist, meaning potential reduced readability if you have low vision (if not using contrast-enhancing assistive technology) - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.4.3
- some heading levels are not consistent, therefore content structure may be hard for screen-readers to interpret - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.3.1
- some images do not have appropriate alternative text, so information may not be available in a way that matches your needs - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.1.1
- some images of graphs, charts and maps contain information that isn't available in another, accessible format - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.1.1
- some form controls are not correctly identified, so assistive technologies may be unable to operate properly - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 4.1.2
- some error messages are not clearly associated with form controls, meaning people may find it hard to understand what is wrong - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 3.3.1
- some videos are missing text alternatives such as captions, audio descriptions and transcripts, meaning blind people or people with visual impairments can't access visual information - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.2.3
- some of our maps open in a new tab or window, without warning meaning you maybe disoriented if changes of context are made without user awareness - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 3.2.5
- embedded iframe for testing video appointment set up doesn't include a title attribute, which screen readers may rely on to describe the contents of the frame; this can mean navigating through frame and iframe elements is difficult or confusing - this relates to this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criteria 2.4.1 and 4.1.2
- where interactive maps are embedded into our web pages the embedded code does not include a 'title element' and headings are omitted from that part of the page meaning usability may be decreased if you're using assistive technology - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.3.1
- where interactive virtual tours are embedded into our web pages, within the embedded code, some images do not have appropriate alternative text, as such information/navigation may not be available in a way that matches your needs - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.1.1
- many downloads, in Portable Document Format (PDF), do not meet accessibility standards, meaning they are harder to use by some people:
- some PDF forms are not responsive, cannot be completed electronically, and are missing labels on form controls - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 3.3.2
- some downloads don't have alternate text for images or figures - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.1.1
- some downloads don't have titles or descriptions - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 2.4.2
- some downloads don't have an appropriate tabbing or reading order - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.3.2
- some downloads are missing clickable bookmarks, page numbers - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 2.4.5
- some downloads lack consistent headers/footers - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 3.2.3
- some downloads contain tabular information and lists which don't use the correct tags - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.3.1
Where downloads (in PDF, and other file formats) do not meet accessibility standards we plan to fix or replace them, either when they are next reviewed, or as part of our ongoing programme; of review work, whichever is sooner.
Be aware that parts of our online services, especially those held outside our CMS (including functionality driven by other systems and separately branded websites) may not be accessible and may be subject to separate accessibility statements. A programme of work is underway to address issues, involving internal developers and designers, and the companies who provide other functionality.
Functionality driven by 'other systems'
Many online services held outside our CMS aren't using the most recent version of our website 'templates', when necessary changes are implemented (as part of the aforementioned programme of work) a number of accessibility issues will be resolved.
We aim to resolve all accessibility issues (within our control or remit), or to have undertaken disproportionate burden assessments and published accessibility statements, relating to the following areas, by 31 December 2023*:
- Benefits eForms
- Birth, death and marriage appointments system
- Business licensing register
- Council and democracy meetings and papers
- Council tax eForms
- Crematorium booking system (used by funeral directors)
- Intranet, used by council staff
- Historic Environment Record
- Job vacancies
- Licencing for houses in multiple occupation (HMO)
- My Account
- Online payments
- Open Housing
- Parking Portal (Parking permits and fines/Penalty Charge Notices (PCN))
- Planning applications
- Symptom-free coronavirus testing appointment system
- Traffic enforcement PCN payments
- Waste collections calendar
- YFAS application process
- York Crematorium Book of Remembrance (also see Disproportionate burden)
- York Education Portal, used by council and school staff (also see Disproportionate burden)
- York Open Data
*unless otherwise stated in the relevant service accessibility statement.
Separately branded websites
We aim to resolve accessibility issues relating to the following 'separately branded' websites, or to have undertaken disproportionate burden assessments and published accessibility statements by 31 December 2023:
* The council is a member of the partnership.
Online services which are exempt from accessibility standards
Parts of our online services are exempt from accessibility standard 'WCAG 2.1 AA'.
The accessibility regulations do not require us to 'fix' downloads if they were published before 23 September 2018 (if they’re not essential to providing services).
When we work with third parties to produce downloads in Portable Document Format (PDF) we brief suppliers on our requirement to meet accessibility regulations; while some elements remain beyond our control, we aim to procure PDF publishing services with accessible outcomes in mind, and to highlight potential improvements suppliers need to consider in the files they provide.
The PDFs in our HER Archaeological Reports Folders are provided by third-parties and as such the contents of this 'heritage collection' are outside of our control; we're working with contributors to highlight potential accessibility improvements in the files they provide.
We do not plan to add captions to live video streams, because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations, as are pre-recorded audio and videos published before 23 September 2020.
Embedded YouTube videos don't allow compliant HTML5 code; we're monitoring any negative effects on overall 'user experience' and we'll review our online services when new technologies emerge.
Maps are exempt from accessibility regulations, but we're working to provide essential information in accessible ways; email us about requesting services in an accessible format. We don’t yet have a way of presenting geographical information (maps and site plans etc.) in a fully accessible format. However, as new technologies emerge we'll review our online services.
We're required to include downloads on our website in relation to consultations, some of these downloads come from other organisations and may not be accessible; we're advising those organisations to make their downloads accessible.
Downloads that are supplied to us by other organisations for inclusion in our council minutes and papers system, or in relation to agenda items for forums and boards, will not be edited to make them accessible.
Downloads that are supplied to us by other organisations or members of the public for inclusion in our planning applications will not be edited to make them accessible.
Software, such as that which enables video appointments, linked from our website, which is under the control of our suppliers, may not be accessible, if our contract with them does not cover accessible development of 'out of the box' functionality. However, we aim to work with suppliers whose products are as accessible as possible, when contracts are reviewed/renewed.
We often create content which is hosted by third parties, including social media and video-hosting platforms (for example, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo) or national databases (such as roadworks.org) - while we endeavour to ensure the content we supply meets accessibility requirements, and we upload and configure our content in an accessible way, we're not responsible for the accessibility of those third-party platforms.
When use Survey Monkey to undertake consultations we're committed to using the platform in an accessible way; we upload and configure our content to create surveys that are compliant with WCAG 2.1AA standards, but we're not responsible for the accessibility of the platform.
When we work with third parties to deliver consultations on our behalf, we brief suppliers on our requirement to meet accessibility regulations; while some elements remain beyond our control, we aim to procure services with accessible outcomes in mind, and to highlight potential improvements suppliers need to consider. We require suppliers to configure surveys in a way that's compliant with WCAG 2.1AA standards, but we're not responsible for the accessibility of their platform.
We’ve assessed accessibility issues within a number of our online systems and believe that fixing them now would be a disproportionate burden (within the meaning of the accessibility regulations). In some cases this is because a system will be retired or replaced soon. We'll retire or replace systems in a way that causes minimum disruption and also make further assessments when supplier contracts renewed or suppliers are changed. Any replacement systems will be as accessible as possible.
|Service||Issues||Reason assessed as disproportionate burden||Review date|
|Crematorium Book of Remembrance||Issues with the online Book of Remembrance arised from the resource being scanned pages from the physical book.||Resource intensive and cost preventative to change the approach or fix the issues at this time.||To be confirmed|
|York Education Portal||Issues with inaccessible downloads, and web code which could make the service harder use with assistive technology.||Review at end of supplier contract; not feasible to change suppliers at this time and budget constraints negate commissioning fixes with current supplier.||August 2023|
Where our assessments have determined it would be disproportionate burden to apply fixes to make a particular online services accessible, you can email us requesting services in an accessible format.
We'll finish detailing the systems which mean we're unable to comply with accessibility regulations, due to disproportionate burden, by 31 December 2023.
Ongoing improvements for increased accessibility
We’re committed to being a fair and inclusive council, and we're passionate about providing accessible services, ensuring they’re properly designed and coded, so more people can use them, more easily, regardless of their hardware, software, language, location, or ability.
Preparation of this accessibility statement
Our online services continue to be reviewed for compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA. We carry out manual checks, alongside weekly automated sample testing which (together with usage data) inform and prioritise our actions, as we work to improve accessibility across our online services.
We re-assess a website or system for accessibility whenever it undergoes a major modification; 'page content' is checked every time it is updated.
Our current estimate is that all accessibility fixes will be undertaken no later than 31 December 2023.
This accessibility statement was prepared in September 2020, it was last reviewed on 13 June 2023, by our Web Services Team.