Accessibility statement

Our website accessibility policy, aims and achievements, and how to report problems or request information in another format.

This statement applies to

This website is run by West Sussex County Council (WSCC). We want as many people as possible to be able to use it. For example, this means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • modify the line height or spacing of text
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just 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 devices easier for people with a disability to use so that you can:

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website aren’t fully accessible as:

  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • many of our documents aren’t fully accessible to screen readers
  • we still need to replace the captions on most of our YouTube videos
  • our mapping system does not work well on mobile devices
  • the bottom of some images may be obscured by the title caption field.

What to do if you can’t access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format, like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please contact us.

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 10 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact us.

If you wish to make a formal complaint, please complete our complaints form.

Enforcement procedure

If you have made a complaint and you’re not happy with our response contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

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’).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

WSCC is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the accessibility regulations.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliance issues listed below.

Content that’s not within the scope of the regulations

The content listed below is non-accessible as we are not required to:

  • make documents published before 23 September 2018 accessible, unless they are essential to access a service
  • make reproductions of heritage documents accessible
  • make online maps accessible
  • add transcripts to audio files at Level A/AA.

Non-accessible content

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations includes the following:

1.   Issues with images

Some images don’t yet have a text alternative (alt text), so the information in them isn’t available to people using a screen reader. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content). We plan to add alt text to all images by September 2020. When we publish new content we’ll make sure any images we use meet accessibility standards.

Some images contain text, so people with dyslexia or those using a screen reader will not be able to read the information. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.4.5 (Images of Text). We plan to review where these images are used and reduce their use as much as possible. Where they remain we will ensure any text in the image is given in the alt text.

The bottom of a few of our larger images may be obscured by the title caption when viewed on a larger screen. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.4.4 (Resize Text). This is an issue we aim to fix by September 2020.

2.   Issues with documents

Many of our PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value).

  • Some of our resource documents, such as posters, are designed to be downloaded and printed, so these may not be fully accessible.
  • Some documents that are essential to providing our services, such as forms published as Word documents, may not yet be accessible. We are working through these to create HTML pages and accessible documents.
  • Some of the documents we link to are owned by third parties and may not be accessible.

Accessibility regulations don’t require us to fix PDFs or other documents that we own and published before 23 September 2018 unless they’re essential to providing our services. If you need information in another format, please contact us.

3.   Issues with video files

Videos we have created and sited on YouTube since 23 September 2018 may not have adequate captions. We are currently focusing our efforts on fixing the most widely used first and will fix the remaining ones by September 2020.

4. Issues with contrast

We are aware that some of the text on the site needs more colour contrast. Contrast issues with text, links, buttons and form elements. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (Contrast - Minimum). We are working to improve this.

5. Issues with forms

If an error shows where a mandatory field has not been completed correctly after a form is submitted, the ARIA reference for this error is not correct.

6. Issues with tables

Tables displaying on mobile devices (or small screens) display with the <b> (Bold) tag rather than <strong>. This is listed as WCAG Level A error because most screen readers will not announce words with this emphasis.

7. Issues on landing pages with images

The heading hierarchy is incorrect on landing pages containing images (skipping from <H1> to <H3>). This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1: Info and Relationships. We are trying to fix this issue without affecting other templates adversely. 

8. HTML issues

Some of the HTML code we use to embed features such as Google maps, social media feeds and videos includes deprecated (outdated) coding. WCAG recommends this is avoided.

9. Issue with links

On pages where we have used a 'subsite' template, such as Your Space, there are adjacent links that go to the same destination. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content). We are currently trying to fix this issue.

On news items and campaigns, links are only identified by colour. We are trying to fix this issue. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.1 (Use of Color). We are fixing this issue.

10. Issues with older embedded applications

We have a number of older applications (apps) embedded on our website including:

Due to the age of these apps they have not been created using the latest technologies that assist accessibility, such as HTML5 and ARIA, and some users may have issues using them. We are currently reviewing these apps to decide whether to replace or decommission them before September 2021.

We are aware of the following specific issues with these apps and the WCAG success criterion each fails:

We are also aware of the following issues with online maps:

Although we are not required to make online maps accessible, we will address issues such as these when we upgrade our mapping system.

11. Third party systems

Three of our systems are supplied by third parties:

Although these sites may use our footer template, they are covered by their suppliers' accessibility statement rather than WSCC's.

We have also created several interactive West Sussex Life reports, using Microsoft Power BI. We are working to make these more accessible as we link to them from this website

How we tested this website

This website, and a broad selection of its files, was tested by Shaw Trust Accessibility Services. Shaw Trust also tested seven WSCC sites, two of which are on a different technical platform but ‘skinned’ to look like our website and embedded in this site.

They reported their findings to us on 11 April 2019 and rechecked the site for improvements in February 2020.

We also used automated software (Siteimprove) ourselves to test the accessibility of

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are working to resolve all identified accessibility issues which are within our control by 23 September 2020.

Our services are also working with suppliers to resolve any identified accessibility issues where we do not have direct control over their product.

When this statement was prepared

This statement was prepared on 22 January 2020 following technical and editorial improvements based on Shaw Trust’s observations. It was last updated on 29 September 2020.

Share this
Share this

Do you have any feedback about this page?

Help us improve this website

Let us know if this page was helpful so we can make improvements. Add a star rating and leave your feedback below to show how useful you found this page.

Rate this page:
Clear star rating...
  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.