Accessibility

We are committed to making our online resources as accessible as possible in order to achieve the widest possible audience. 

Contents

Some helpful features of your web browser / device

Our websites are designed to work in all modern web browsers for desktop and laptop computers. A lot of these browsers have useful features to help with some accessibility issues. The most popular browsers include:

Using your browser to resize the text

If you find the text too small to read comfortably you can use your browser to resize it. To resize the text in your browser you may wish to try one of these techniques:

  • If you have a wheel mouse, try holding down the Control (Ctrl) key on your keyboard and moving the wheel on your mouse at the same time
  • you can use your keyboard by holding down the Control (Ctrl) key and pressing plus (+) or minus ( –) at the same time
  • if you need to reset the size of the text to normal, hold Control (Ctrl) key and press zero (0).

Most mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, use touch-screen ‘gestures’ such as ‘pinch and zoom’ to change the size of the page. Double-tapping the display may also have the same effect. The manual for your device will have details of all of the touch-screen ‘gestures’ that work on your device. If you do not have the manual you may be able find it online and download it. We recommend searching online using your device's make, model and the word ‘manual’.

Reasons to upgrade your browser

The common web browsers are free of charge. We recommend keeping your browser up to date for the following reasons

  • Newer versions are more secure
  • newer versions are faster
  • you will have a better browsing experience
  • some web pages do not work properly in older browsers

Screen readers

If you are using Windows or Apple computers, then your operating system may also include screen reader tools. Other screen reader software is available, some of which is free to use. More details can be found on the Action for blind people website.

You can find more accessibility help and guidance on the BBC Accessibility page

Standards we have used in our website design

Our website has been designed with reference to an accessibility checklist and our own Writing for the Web guidelines. This has enabled us to build a website that:

  • is easy to navigate using a variety of navigation methods and a comprehensive search
  • has a clean design that focuses on content, using plain backgrounds for all text
  • highlights sub-sections of pages using a consistent method of headings and sub-headings
  • has standard layouts for content pages and promotional pages
  • avoids council jargon - or explains jargon when it needs to be used
  • has concise paragraphs for ease of reading
  • uses 'Contents' sections for all longer pages
  • uses colour in a way that does not make it difficult for customers with colour-blindness, and other sight impairments, to read. We do use colour to easily identify which section of the site you are in
  • uses alternate text for all content images to allow screen readers to present this information. Alternate texts are not used where it is not necessary, for example, on decorative or layout images
  • ensures all links are presented using meaningful text that make sense when read on their own. We do not use link texts such as 'click here' and 'more'.

Finding information on our website

There are several ways of finding information on our site including:

  • comprehensive links to all first and second level topic areas appear at the top of all content pages
  • our search box utilises Google Mini technology which indexes the entire site
  • navigation on the left of content pages provides links to related pages
  • A to Z appears on every page
  • common activities -such as reporting issues or booking, paying and applying for services - are highlighted at the top of pages
  • a link to the homepage appears at the very top of every page
  • a breadcrumb trail shows where you are within the structure of our content pages
  • related content boxes are used where relevant
  • high profile events and news are highlighted on the homepage and on related pages.

Our site has been designed to work to a high standard in any of the most common screen resolutions and has been tested with different versions of the common web browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome (this is not a complete list).

We would welcome any feedback that you may have regarding this page and our website as a whole. Please use our website feedback form to send us any comments that you wish to make.

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