Website accessibility statement

Accessibility statement

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 its meet 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. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • zoom 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
  • use most of the website using a screen reader (including 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 document attachments are not clearly written
  • some tables do not have row headers
  • some heading elements are not consistent
  • some images do not have good alternative text
  • some text does not have sufficient contrast
  • some untitled frames
  • non-descriptive link text on some links
  • links aren't distinguishable by more than just colour
  • many documents are in PDF format and are not accessible
  • some videos don’t have captions
  • pinch-to-zoom is not enabled
  • web applications that this website provides access to aren't fully accessible

Other non-accessible content

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. However, our policy is to only upload fully accessible non-HTML documents to our website in future and replace non-HTML documents with HTML content where applicable.

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 planning application system uses some unlabelled form fields in its tabular presentation of planning application documents. Some links have non-descriptive text, and links to non-HTML documents do not give information about their size and format. The heading structure on search results pages is incorrect. We are awaiting a system update in 2020 that will address these shortfalls
  • Our Benefits and Council Tax system does not display mandatory fields in an accessible way. The forms used may refresh without warning and they use a time limit. We are awaiting information from our supplier about their intended actions to address these shortfalls 
  • 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 2020
  • Our consultations system uses incorrect headings structure, non-descriptive link text, data tables with incorrect markup. We are looking at replacing the system in 2021
  • 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 payments system has non-functioning ‘skip’ navigation. We are replacing this system
  • Our online maps use non-descriptive alt text and have areas with poor colour contrast. We are redeveloping this system

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

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

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing 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.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard.

How we tested this website

This website, and the web applications presented by it, were last tested a sample of our documents on 2 July 2019.

The test was carried out by Shaw Trust Accessibility Services using a combination of automated evaluation tools and in-house pan-disability user testing with assistive technologies as part of a comprehensive accessibility audit.

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.

What we're doing to improve accessibility

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

We are putting monitoring in place to review the accessibility of the site on an ongoing basis. We will 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 18 September 2020.