Website accessibility statement

Accessibility statement

This statement applies to content published on the www.oxford.gov.uk domain. It also applies to the Oxford City Council App version 3.0.19 (29 May 2021). It does not apply to content on Oxford City Council subdomains (for example, consultation.oxford.gov.uk) which generally have their own accessibility statements.

The team behind this website hope that whoever needs to use it, can do so easily. We have tried to make it as accessible as possible. We want everyone who visits our website to feel welcome and find the experience rewarding. 

To create this website we used a company that ensure it meets the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), and have designed the site to meet the AA standard. 

Using this website

This website is run by Oxford City Council. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. The text should be clear and simple to understand. You should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 400% without problems
  • navigate the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate the website using speech recognition software
  • use most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

You can change the text size, colours and fonts to suit your needs. Changes can be saved for your future visits.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

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

  • some text does not have sufficient contrast
  • the same link text is used for different destinations in some places
  • most links are only distinguishable by colour
  • many documents are in PDF format and are not accessible and have multiple accessibility issues
  • the page elements on one webpage don't change appearance when they are selected 
  • on the third party cookie control settings banner, the dialog box doesn't have a label and one of the links can't be used by screen readers.

We will update the statement when issues are fixed or when we expect them to be fixed.

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

If you need information on this website in a different format please email webmaster@oxford.gov.uk.

We'll consider your request and get back to you in 5 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 the requirements of the accessibility regulations, please email us at webmaster@oxford.gov.uk.

Enforcement procedure

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'). If you're not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about this website's accessibility

Oxford City Council is committed to making its website accessible, in line with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • some text does not have sufficient contrast (WCAG AA 1.4.3) 
  • the same link text is used for different destinations in some places (WCAG A 2.4.4)
  • most links are only distinguishable by colour (WCAG A 1.4.1)
  • many documents are in PDF format and are not accessible and have multiple accessibility issues (WCAG A 1.1.1, WCAG A 1.3.1, WCAG A 3.1.1, WCAG A 2.4.2, WCAG A 2.4.5)
  • the page elements on one webpage don't change appearance when they are selected (WCAG AA 2.4.7)
  • on the third party cookie control settings banner, the dialog box doesn't have a label (WCAG A 1.3.1) and one of the links can't be used by screen readers (WCAG A 4.1.2).

Problems with linked web applications

We use some third party online services and websites to allow customers to interact and transact with us. These include (but are not limited to) using online forms, viewing benefits and Council Tax account information, taking part in a consultation, booking an event, viewing planning / building control / licensing applications, viewing online maps, paying for something, and viewing committee information. 

Not all these sites and online services meet the necessary standards for accessibility, and where they do not we are engaging with our suppliers to rectify this.

When procuring new online systems, meeting accessibility standards is included in the specification, and we work with suppliers to ensure sites meet these standards.

We know that some parts of these web applications aren’t fully accessible. For example:

  • Our main online forms have examples of non-descriptive alt text and incorrect headings structure. Some forms have mouse-dependent areas where maps are embedded. We will be replacing our main forms during 2022
  • Our council meetings and agendas system links to many inaccessible PDFs. We plan to only upload fully accessible non-HTML documents to the system in future
  • Our online maps use non-descriptive alt text and have areas with poor colour contrast. We are redeveloping this system

Disproportionate burden

Issues with PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be marked up so they’re accessible to a screen reader.

The accessibility regulations don’t require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. 

Due to the high volume and complexity, it is not practical to make all existing non-HTML documents on our website fully accessible.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards unless we determine that they represent a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. Ultimately we prefer to provide an accessible HTML version of the information as the primary source and replace non-HTML documents with HTML content where applicable.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

Non-HTML documents published before September 2018 do not need to be accessible - unless users need them to use a service.

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 18 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 11 January 2022.

This website was last manually tested on 20 December 2021. The test was carried out by Oxford City Council. We carryout an automated test of the website every 5 days using Silktide software.

How we test this website

We use Silktide software to monitor accessibility issues on our website on an ongoing basis. A new report is produced every 5 days and any new accessibility issues are acted on. We also use the WAVE Evaluation Tool browser extension to test for issues on an ad-hoc basis.

In addition, we also carryout manual tests on a sample of pages on a quarterly basis to check for accessibility issues that can't be picked up by automated software such as how the website reflows when zoomed in and keyboard navigation. We use an Accessibility Audit checklist for this process. To decide which pages to test, we choose a random sample of 5 pages from the top 250 most visited pages on the site from the previous quarter.

A sample of pages on our website, and the web applications presented by it, were also tested by Shaw Trust Accessibility Services on 2 July 2019 using a combination of automated evaluation tools and in-house pan-disability user testing with assistive technologies as part of a comprehensive accessibility audit.

What we're doing to improve accessibility

We are working to fix the accessibility issues listed in this statement.

We have put monitoring in place to review the accessibility of the site on an ongoing basis. We use this monitoring to identify and fix any new issues that arise.

We are training our web editors to ensure they are aware of accessibility requirements, and have published internal guidance on how to achieve compliance.

We are also engaging with third-party suppliers to fix accessibility issues found in the web applications that we use to provide our services.

Your feedback

If you had trouble with any part of our website, please get in touch. We'd like to hear from you in any of the following ways:

This statement was prepared on 18 September 2020. It was last updated on 11 January 2022.