Accessibility statement

This accessibility statement applies to https://www.stockport.gov.uk/, https://myaccount.stockport.gov.uk, Healthy Stockport and internally built forms from January 2020.

You can find our tool, Recite ME, to help you to personalise this site in the header at the top of the page using the 'Accessibility' link.

This website is run by Stockport Council. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • 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 your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

We know that some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some of our online services are hosted by third-party suppliers and you may find navigating these services difficult depending on their level of web accessibility. These include but not restricted to planning.stockport.gov.uk, democracy.stockport.gov.uk
  • live video streams do not have captions - https://stockport.public-i.tv/core/portal/home
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • there’s a limit to how far you can magnify any maps used on our website

What to do if you cannot 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 contact the service directly or:

Make sure you provide:

  • the service area, document name and/or the web address (URL) of the page the content is on
  • a description of the format you need. For example; audio CD, braille, BSL or large print

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements contact the web content team:

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).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Find out where you can go to get information and advice by visiting our advice pages or ring 0161 474 4949.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council 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

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

We are aware of 4 outstanding accessibility issues identified by our accessibility tool, Siteimprove, and we are currently working on fixing them:

  • text is clipped when resized on all pages when the cookie notice is visible, this does not meet WCAG 2.1: 1.4.4: Resize text
  • visible label and accessible name do not match on zoom control on some pages containing maps, this does not meet WCAG 2.1: 2.5.3: Label in Name
  • container element is empty on Add a group and News and Media pages, this does not meet WAI-ARIA 1.1: 5.2.5 Required Owned Elements
  • role not inside the required context on Add a group, this does not meet ARIA 1.1: 5.2.6 Required Context Role

PDFs

Many of our PDFs and other document types may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. This fails WCAG success criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role Value. We aim to provide an alternative way to access the information in the documents.

Some images in PDFs do not have a text alternative, so the information in them is not available to people using a screen reader; this does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

See our Disproportionate Burden section below.

Pre-recorded videos

Some pre-recorded videos do not have an audio captioning or description, so the information in them is not available to people who cannot see or the hear the video content. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.5.

Disproportionate burden

PDFs

Due to the number of council documents held in PDF format, where these are rarely or never visited, the time and resources required to convert or replace them all to meet accessibility standards would represent a disproportionate burden. We have therefore sought to establish a set of criteria for what represents a disproportionate burden, by examining the frequency and duration of use, and the resources required to make them fully accessible.

  • Resources: Initial sampling suggests 7.09hrs of Officer time is required, on average per PDF to make these fully accessible. Making the circa 5500 PDF’s accessible is therefore beyond current resources, given the need to ensure smooth running of council services.
  • Frequency and duration of use: Analysis indicates making PDFs fully accessible beyond those accounting for the top 50% of PDF visits, brings diminishing returns in terms of user benefits. Going beyond this would therefore represent a disproportionate burden. There is no way to fully estimate duration of use in relation to PDFs, as these are downloadable documents which can be viewed offline.
  • Priority documents: We recognise there may be certain PDF documents which must be made accessible to the public as a priority, and in these circumstances, we may seek to prioritise these irrespective of frequency and duration of use, using the resources we have available.

We have made the top 100 most popular PDFs accessible and as other documents are updated; they are/will be made into HTML or accessible, whichever is most appropriate. Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

We have created a page which we add PDF documents to and will always give the user a way to contact the service to request content in the way that is most appropriate to their needs if they cannot access the document in its current PDF format.

Third-party external suppliers

Third-party public facing systems that use forms ‘skinned’ to look like Stockport.gov were reviewed in terms of the cost required to meet accessibility standards and the benefits of this to users. The need for full accessibility will be included in procurement requirements for all systems and the design of internally developed systems. Where making existing systems fully accessible represents a disproportionate burden, the rationale for this will be established on a case-by-case basis.

Licensing forms and planning portal: Idox/Uniform

WCAG2.1 (AA level) failures:

  • some input fields have invalid autocomplete attribute values which may interfere with how screen readers identify and announce these fields. This fails WCAG2.1 Success Criterion 1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose
  • some input fields (in particular, Address lines 2 and 3) do not have a label which affects how screen readers identify and announce these fields. Although they are included in a fieldset group, which will mitigate this, this fails WCAG2.1 Success Criterion 1.3.4 Orientation and WCAG2.1 Success Criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value
  • some ARIA labels may be used incorrectly (for example: aria-describedBy references dynamic content which isn’t always on the page) which affects how screen readers announce the content. This fails WCAG2.1 Success Criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value
  • some content may not meet the minimum colour contrast ratio which can impact the readability of text, where there is not enough contrast between it and the background. This fails WCAG2.1 Success Criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum)
  • the PDF previews presented at the end of forms are not accessible, because they are automatically generated. This affects how they are announced by screen readers. In particular they fail WCAG2.1 Success Criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value

The contract is due for re-negotiation within the next 2 years and meeting the accessibility legislation will be a mandatory requirement as part of the procurement. Idox have said they will work to address any issues, as well as review the compliance as part of any future updates to the Idox Forms.

Civica Pay: Open portal

The main issues include:

  • element IDs are not unique; this fails WCAG success criterion 4.1.1 Parsing
  • colour contrast is not sufficient; this fails WCAG success criterion 1.4.3 Contrast (minimum)
  • container element is empty; this fails WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

We're working with the supplier to ensure compliance with the legislation.

LiquidLogic: Adult Social Care Portal

We provide multiple forms for Adult Social Care through the Stockport Adult Social Care Portal.

These portal forms allow professionals to:

  • report a concern of abuse of an adult
  • request equipment, adaptations and sensory loss rehabilitation to the Equipment and Adaptations Team

The accessibility issues affecting transactions through these forms are typically consistent across all portals provided by the same external supplier. The main issues include:

  • text does not always have a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 against its background colour. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.4.3 Contrast Minimum
  • User Interface components and graphical objects do not always have contrast ratio of at least 3:1. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.4.11 Non-Text Contrast
  • it is not always possible for someone using a keyboard or touch device to complete all tasks in a service. This fails WCAG success criterion 2.1.1 Keyboard
  • it is not always possible for someone to navigate through content in a way that makes sense. This fails WCAG success criterion 2.4.3 Focus Order
  • it is not possible for keyboard users to move focus directly to the start of the main content area of the page when there's repeated content at the top of the page. This fails WCAG success criterion 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks

We're working with our supplier to resolve the remaining issues by December 2022.

Interactive tools and transactions

Some of our old interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag.

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.

Rather than fix the old forms, any old, inaccessible transactional forms developed in-house by the council, have been identified and are listed and prioritised based on user need, business need and risk, in a rolling upgrade plan. We expect this to be completed within the next 12 months.

Where disproportionate burden is applied

We’ll:

  • record the rationale behind the exception in terms of cost burden and user benefits, and record this in our Accessibility Statement
  • provide content in an alternative format when this is requested
  • remove or archive documents which are not useful to site visitors 
  • continually reduce the number of excepted documents through archiving, upgrading or removing them
  • work through council used systems with systems providers to maximise accessibility, and commission accessible systems wherever practical going forwards
  • review our disproportionate burden criteria annually (September), and seek to reduce reliance upon this exception

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

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and other documents may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. This fails WCAG success criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role Value.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. For example, we do not plan to fix old PDF newsletters that might still be published and accessed through our website.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Live video

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

Maps

Online maps and mapping services are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. From 23 September 2020 we'll make sure that where maps are intended for navigational use essential information is provided in an accessible digital manner.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We’ll continue to work towards meeting WCAG level AA for the current version of Stockport.gov.uk.

We use Site Improve, our accessibility tool, to audit our website on a daily basis. Issues and potential issues are then investigated and prioritised.

In 2020/2021 we've:

  • written an accessibility policy to be agreed by our council Leadership Team
  • delivered accessibility awareness sessions across the organisation
  • developed 3 different accessibility training courses across the organisation to reflect people’s roles and responsibilities
  • a rolling programme to make old forms accessible
  • fixed accessibility issues across Stockport.gov.uk and Healthy Stockport
  • created an accessibility toolkit for internal staff to use
  • upgraded our accessibility checking tools
  • added RECITE ME, an accessibility tool to Stockport.gov.uk to improve our customers experience
  • had staff pass the EdX Introduction to Web Accessibility course supported by the W3C

In 2021/2022 we'll:

  • review all our external Wordpress sites
  • commission an external accessibility report
  • maintain our content guidelines which explain how to create accessible content
  • work with developers and content designers to continue to fix code and content issues with our website
  • continue to monitor our accessibility score using our analytics tool

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 26 July 2019. It was last reviewed on 10 November 2021.

This website was last tested on 10 November 2021. The test was carried out by our Software Development Team. Although the accessibility score and fixes are checked and made on a weekly basis.

We carried out our testing based on a sample of our most used pages, forms, documents and other media.

We use a combination of methods to check this website, including: