Accessibility statement

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:

For the purpose of this accessibility statement the term 'online services' relates to information held within, and functionality driven by, both our content management system (CMS) and other systems; it also covers 'separately branded' websites the council is responsible for, outside of domain.

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.

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Requesting services in an accessible format

If you need information in a different format email:, 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.

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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: 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.

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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:

Due to the amount of issues and the complexity of fixes, we'll continue to update this statement as we identifiy and resolve areas of non-compliance.


  • some pages and document attachments are not clearly written, which may hinder provision in formats people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or alternative language
  • some tables do not have row headers which may confuse or disorient people when assistive technology reads the content 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 appropriate colour contrast exist meaning reduced readability for people with moderately low vision (if not using contrast-enhancing assistive technology - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 1.4.3
  • some headings 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, as such it information may not be available in a way that matches people's 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 of our videos are missing text alternatives such as captions, audio descriptions and transcripts, meaning people who are blind or visually impaired 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 people maybe disoriented if changes of context are made without user awareness - this relates to WCAG 2.1 AA success criterion 3.2.5
  • 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

Be aware that parts of our online services, especially those held outside of 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 program 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 of our CMS aren't using the most recent version of our website 'templates', when necessary changes are implemented (as part of the aforementioned program of work) a number of accessibility issues will be resolved. We aim to resolve all accessibility issues relating to the following areas by 31 December 2021:

  • 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)
  • Do It Online
  • Intranet and York Education Portal (used by council staff)
  • Job vacancies
  • Licencing for houses in multiple occupation (HMO)
  • My Account
  • Online payments
  • Parking Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) payments and appeals
  • Planning applications
  • Symptom-free coronavirus testing appointment system
  • Traffic enforcement PCN payments
  • Waste collections calendar
  • YFAS application process
  • York Crematorium Book of Remembrance
  • York Open Data

Separately branded websites

We aim to resolve accessibility issues relating to the following 'separately branded' websites by 31 December 2021:

* The council is a member of the partnership

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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).

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 documents on our website in relation to consultations, some of these documents come from other organisations and may not be accessible; we're advising those organisations to make their documents accessible.

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 detail the requirements that we're unable to comply with, due to disproportionate burden, by 31 May 2021.

Documents 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.

Documents that are supplied to us by other organisations or members of the public for incllusion in our planning applications will not be edited to make them accessible.

In some cases we believe that fixing accessibility issues is disproportionate burden because a system will be retired soon. We'll retire systems in a way that causes minimum disruption and any replacements will be as accessible as possible.

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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.

Our online services are currently being (and will continue to be) reviewed for compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA; these tests are carried out internally using manual checks alongside automated testing using SiteMorse. The findings of our ongoing SiteMorse reviews will continue to inform and prioritise our actions according to usage data, 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 2021.

This accessibility statement was last reviewed on 25 January 2021, by our Web Services Team.

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Also see