Accessibility Statement

Sandgate Parish Council is a parish council in Kent in the UK. Our primary website address is https://sandgatepc.org.uk/.

We want this website, and the information on it, to be as accessible to all as possible. We’re not perfect, and there are still things to do, but we outline the key points below.

Site Accessibility

Sandgate Parish Council are committed to meeting the reasonable requirements of the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Local Government websites should meet at least the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA accessibility standard.

There is no straightforward test that can prove accessibility or otherwise, and across a website some pages may contain elements that are inadvertently inaccessible, or become inaccessible over time.

We keep our website’s accessibility under review and check the site using both automated and manual tests and update this page as required. This statement was last updated on 22nd September 2020 following a full check of the website’s accessibility in September 2020.

This site has been tested by Microsoft’s Accessibility Insights for Web plugin. That asserts “Assessment allows anyone with HTML skills to verify that a web app or web site is compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA.”

On 8th September, an example of their fast scan on the sandgatepc.org.uk home page was as below:

Accessibility-Insights-for-Web-automated-checks-result

All key pages of the site were tested using the same tool and gave a similar “clean” result at that time.

Although we try to ensure any change to the site does not impact site accessibility, we will conduct a site wide test of key areas every six months to look for any areas that can be improved. Our next scheduled test will therefore be in March 2021.

Readability and User Controls

The colour scheme of the site has been designed to offer good colour contrast with dark text on a white background throughout.

The site has been designed to be easily useable on devices from desktop computers to tablets to mobiles.

We have tested content zooming on a variety of pages to 500% and text flows without flowing outside the width of the screen.

The site can be navigated using a keyboard, with a logical order through menus. It has been tested on both touchscreen and cursor driven devices.

All images should have an “alt” tag describing the visual content.

We have removed and replaced where possible “read more” style links through the site, with links giving textual context to the page they are linking to. HTML should be well structured throughout, and render similarly in different browsers.

Where documents are included in the site, we use PDF as a standard. We discuss their use in the site below. Otherwise we post textual content as standard html rendered pages.

Content is written as much as possible in clear English!

PDF Accessibility

This website makes a great deal of use of PDFs, for example for all agendas and minutes which are published on the site.

PDFs are included in most pages as an “embedded” PDF allowing viewing without opening the document. However you can download a copy of the PDF itself by using the “Download PDF” option at the foot of any embedded PDF.

PDF is a document format that can be opened using a free reader, and if used correctly can be accessible. Adobe who created the PDF format define PDF accessibility under a number of headings, listed and discussed in more detail at https://www.adobe.com/accessibility/pdf/pdf-accessibility-overview.html

We discuss how we deal with each of those areas on this website below:

Searchable text – newer documents with some very limited exceptions are all searchable rather than scanned images of text. Although we do not plan to revisit older minutes and agendas where that is the case (we have produced searchable PDFs for Agendas and Minutes for some years already) we are aiming to deal with the limited exceptions (such as the Council Annual Return which is a scanned document from a hand-completed original) in future.

Fonts that allow Characters to be Extracted to Text – we seek to use mainstream well known fonts in all documents where all characters can be extracted.

Interactive Labeled Form Fields with Accessible Error Messages and No Timing – we currently have no PDF interactive forms.

Other Interactive Features: Hyperlinks and Navigational Aids – we use hyperlinks within documents where they assist in locating other resources, and clear headings. We rarely use tables of contents but as minutes and agendas rarely exceed three or four “A4” pages in length do not believe that it would make those documents easier to read.

Document Language and Title Indication – We use a consistent document and post naming policy for both agendas and minutes. We have not to now set the language on creating a PDF, but will seek to do so in future.

Security that will not Interfere with Assistive Technology – we do not restrict users from printing, copying, extracting, editing or adding comments to PDFs on our website.

Document Structure Tags and Proper Reading Order – we keep document structure simple, in order, and number items.

Alternative Text Descriptions for Non-Text Elements – we use no images on PDF agendas or minutes except the Parish Council logo. We will ensure that in future this has a suitable alt description, but it does not affect the readability of the documents.

Hosting and Regular Accessibility Checks

This website is built on WordPress, with a number of off-the-shelf plug-ins to offer a range of features, such as calendars, in-line display of PDFs, email bulletin sign-up and more.

Our website provider (Prater Raines Ltd) hosts and keeps the WordPress installation and the installed plug-ins up to date to ensure they have applied any security updates and patches that are available. However as plug-ins are updated, sometimes that will affect the functionality and accessibility of a plug-in.

Plug-ins have been selected with accessibility in mind, and although we would expect them to continue to be accessible, we will test the broad range of functionality across the site every six months (see “Changes to our Accessibility Statement” for the next scheduled check below).

How to Contact Us and Report Accessibility Problems

If you have any questions regarding the accessibility of our website, or to request a copy of any historic documents on it that are not currently in an accessible format, please contact us:

  • by phone on 01303 248563
  • by email to clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk
  • by post to Sandgate Parish Council, James Morris Court, Sandgate High Street, Sandgate, Folkestone CT20 3RR

We hope that given the above all key information is accessible, but if you need information on this website in a different format (such as accessible PDF for those that are not, large print or audio recording for example) we’ll seek to provide it, and at the minimum respond to your request within 10 working days.