Modern.Gov accessibility statement

Accessibility statement for the Modern.Gov sections of the website.

This statement applies to the Civica Modern.Gov software, which supplies the County Council with its meetings, agendas and minutes information and other details about the council’s democratic processes.

This website is run by West Sussex Democratic Services and Civica. 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 per cent 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.

You can find advice on making devices easier for people with a disability to use on AbilityNet. This will enable you to:

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website aren’t fully accessible. Some of the issues are outside our direct control, but we are working hard with our supplier to resolve the following issues:

  • There are unlabelled form fields
  • Some pages have empty links
  • There is non-descriptive link text
  • Some tables are incorrectly coded
  • There are non-descriptive page titles
  • There are some duplicate page IDs
  • There are some HTML markup errors
  • Some elements have contrast issues
  • Visible labels and accessible names are inconsistent
  • Many PDF documents on this website are not structured correctly and are therefore not read logically by screen reader software
  • Some images to not have a text alternative
  • Some of our videos don’t have captions or audio descriptions.

What to do if you cannot access parts of the website

If you need information on the 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 the website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of the website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact us by email using the link above.

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

West Sussex Democratic Services is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

Due to the non-compliance issues listed below, this website does not conform to the minimum level of accessibility (level A).
Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following:

1. Unlabelled form fields

Not all form fields are labelled clearly. This fails WCAG 1.1.1: Non-text content, 1.3.1: Info and relationships, 1.3.5: Identify input purpose, 2.5.3: Label in name, 3.3.2: Labels or instructions, 4.1.2: Name, role, value)

This has been raised with Civica.

2. Empty links

Some pages empty links. This fails WCAG 2.4.4: Link purpose (in context).

This is being addressed by our website team.

3. Non-descriptive link text

Throughout the site there are links which do not have a description or adequately describe the destination of the link and the link’s purpose. This fails WCAG 1.3.1: Info and relationships, 2.4.4: Link purpose (in context).

We will correct these where we can or raise with Civica where this is not possible.

4. Incorrect table coding

Some data tables on the website are incorrectly marked up. Column and row header mark-up is missing in some tables. No all cells contain content. This fails WCAG 1.3.1: Info and relationships.

This has been raised with Civica and is also being addressed as part of document preparation. However, due to the automatic production of agenda and minute documents by the Modern.Gov software some of the issues are outside of our control.

5. Non-descriptive page titles

There are pages on the website that do not have unique page titles or a title descriptive of the page’s content. This can be confusing for some users, especially screen reader users. This fails WCAG 2.4.2: Interruptions.

6. Duplicate IDs

There are a number of web pages with duplicate IDs. This can cause problems for assistive technologies when they are trying to interact with content. This fails WCAG 4.1.1: Parsing.

This has been raised with Civica.

7. HTML Markup errors

Some pages throughout the site have markup errors and parsing errors that may impact on assistive technologies and may cause screen readers to miss content. Markup errors like missing end tags mean screen readers may skip important content. This fails WCAG 4.1.1: Parsing, 4.1.2: Name, role, value.

This has been raised with Civica.

8. Inaccessible non-HTML documents

When we produce a document, we try to make sure we:

  • convert to an HTML page where possible
  • tag headings and other parts of the document properly, so screen readers can understand the page structure
  • make sure we include alternative text alongside non-decorative images, so people who cannot see them understand what they are for
  • avoid using tables, except when presenting data
  • write in plain English.

Some of our documents are not accessible, including ones that:

  • are photocopies or scans that are not marked up in a way that allows screen reader users to understand them
  • are not tagged up properly - for example, they do not contain proper headings
  • are not written in plain English
  • are provided by a third party. We are working with our third-party document authors to ensure documents they submit to us comply with the regulations
  • were created and published before 2018 and are not essential to providing our services. The accessibility regulations do not require the Council to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they are not essential to providing our services
  • are known accessibility issues in older documents such as PDFs which may not be fully accessible to screen reader software. Some may not be structured to be accessible; mages may not have a text alternative and some tables may not be structured to be accessible and links may not be properly embedded
  • are archived video streams do not have captions
  • contain maps that may not be accessible.

ModernGov software is not able to create fully accessible PDF documents. This means they may not be read by a screen reader and have other issues such as:

  • insufficient PDF tagging making them difficult to navigate and be read by a screen reader easily
  • having missing document titles
  • not having a default declared language.

This fails WCAG 1.1.1: Non-text content, 1.3.1: Info and relationships, 2.4.2: Page titled, 3.1.1: Language of page.

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of our documents. If you find any problems that are not included in this statement, or if you need a document that we have published in a different format, you can request an accessible version by emailing:

9. Issues with responsive design

Some context does not allow viewing content at 320px wide or at 400% zoom without requiring scrolling in two dimensions. This fails WCAG 1.4.10: Reflow.

This is being addressed by our website team.

10. Visible labels

Throughout the site there are documents with labels that differ to their alternative text equivalent purpose. This fails WCAG 1.1.1: Non-text content.

11. Insufficient colour contrast

Throughout the site there are combinations of colours that fall below the minimum contrast levels that make the text difficult to read. This fails WCAG 1.4.3: Contrast (minimum), 1.4.11: Non-text contrast.

This has been raised with Civica.

How we tested this website

The website was tested by Shaw Accessibility Services using a combination of automated evaluation tools and in-house pan-disability user testing, with assistive technologies to conduct a comprehensive accessibility audit. The audit was conducted against WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion to level AA conformance.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are working to resolve all identified accessibility issues which are within our control. We are also working with our supplier to resolve the identified accessibility issues where we do not have direct control over their product.

When this statement was prepared

This statement was prepared on 14 September 2020 and last updated on 9 October 2023.

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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.