This accessibility statement applies to the Medway Council website: www.medway.gov.uk. It is run by Medway Council.

How you can use this website

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 simple to understand.

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 are not fully accessible:

  • some text with large tables will not reflow in a single column when you change the size of the browser window
  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text on the Council Strategy and Council Plan pages, and some home pages
  • most older PDFs and Word documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams do not have captions
  • some form field labels are not accessible
  • some design elements need to be better described using aria markup
  • some navigation is not marked as a list.

Readability and legibility

Text can be made larger on medway.gov.uk by:

Holding down <CTRL> and pressing '+' to increase the font size. To decrease the font size, hold down <CTRL> and press '-'. To return the browser back to the default font size hold down <CTRL> and press '0'.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2

We will be testing our site against the new success criteria to become compliant with this standard.

We'll be using a combination of tools and manual testing to ensure we become compliant. 

Feedback and contact information

How to request information in an accessible format

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille you can fill in our online form:

Request information in an accessible format

Or you can phone 01634 333 333.

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 20 working days.

Translating our website

There are lots of options available for you to translate pages on our website into other languages including:

Our Community Interpreting Service will translate documents into other languages.

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, then please let us know by filling in our online form:

Report accessibility problems with this website

Or you can phone 01634 333 333.

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 20 working days.

Complaints

Our complaints procedure is for anyone who wants to complain about a service they’ve received from Medway Council.

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 are not happy with how we respond to your complaint, you can 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 deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment. The number is 18001 01634 333 333.

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 how to contact us and visit us in person.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

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

Most of our website works correctly on any web technology.

For security reasons, we only support TLS 1.2 and higher security protocols, and this means that some older browsers will not show the site.

How our site looks and works is based on HTML5, and we test for and support the following browsers:

You may experience unexpected behaviour in other browsers, although we use fully validated code which should work on any modern (HTML5) browser.

Internet Explorer is no longer supported as this browser is at the end of its life cycle. 

Find out about Microsoft withdrawing support for Internet Explorer.

Compliance status

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

We're beginning to test for WCAG.2.2. We will update our non-accessible content once we have completed testing. 

Non-accessible content

Content listed below is non-accessible:

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

The content that is not accessible is outlined below with details of:

  • where it fails the success criteria
  • planned dates for when issues will be fixed or investigated.

Some navigation is not marked up as a list

Our cookie consent navigation is not marked up as a list. We expect to be able to fix this by the end of March 2024.

Power BI interactive reports tool

We have several interactive reports using Microsoft Power BI. These include ward profiles PowerBI reports.

These reports cannot be made fully accessible due to software restrictions. If you need data from these reports, then you can request information in an accessible format.

PDFs are not tagged

64 PDFs are not tagged. These fail to meet WCAG A 1.3.1 (info and relationships).

We are converting many of these into accessible PDFs, accessible Word documents or web pages.

We're making navigable versions of all recent documents that are important for user tasks. We expect to finish this work by the end of March 2024.

PDFs are missing headings

231 PDFs are missing headings. These fail to meet WCAG A 1.3.1 (info and relationships).

We are converting many of these into accessible PDFs, accessible Word documents or web pages.

We're making navigable versions of all recent documents that are important for user tasks. We expect to finish this work by the end of March 2024.

PDF headings do not follow a logical order

42 PDFs have headings that do not follow a logical order. These fail to meet WCAG A 1.3.1 (info and relationships).

We are converting many of these into accessible PDFs, accessible Word documents or web pages.

We're making navigable versions of all recent documents that are important for user tasks. We expect to finish this work by the end of March 2024.

PDFs do not have an H1 as the first heading

15 PDFs do not have an H1 as the first heading. These fail to meet WCAG A 1.3.1 (info and relationships).

We are converting many of these into accessible PDFs, accessible Word documents or web pages.

We're making navigable versions of all recent documents that are important for user tasks. We expect to finish this work by the end of March 2024.

Skills and Employability Plan 2035

The Skills and Employability Plan 2035 is not accessible. We are investigating how to make the current version accessible. The plan is being refreshed. The new version will be fully accessible and available by the end of March 2024.

Statement of accounts 2019 to 2020

The Statement of accounts 2019 to 2020 document is not accessible. We'll publish an accessible version by the end of March 2024.

Draft statement of accounts 2021 to 2022

The Statement of accounts 2021 to 2022 document is not accessible. We'll publish an accessible version by the end of March 2024.

Some council constitution documents

The following constitution documents are not accessible:

We expect to be able to publish accessible versions by the end of March 2024

Hoo Development Framework public consultation summary

The Hoo Development Framework public consultation summary is not accessible. We'll publish an accessible version by the end of March 2024.

Annual Public Health Report 2021 to 2022

The Annual Public Health Report 2021 to 2022 is not accessible. We'll publish an accessible version by the end of March 2024.

Hotjar surveys

We use Hotjar for some surveys. Hotjar has the following accessibility issues:

  • there should be one main landmark on the page
  • pages should contain a level one heading.

We'll work with Hotjar to fix these issues.

Draft School Block Funding 2023 to 2024

The Draft School Block Funding 2023 to 2024 is not accessible. We'll publish the confirmed funding formula in an accessible format. 

Deangate community parklands proposals

The Deangate community parklands proposals is not accessible. We'll publish an accessible version by the end of March 2024. 

Star Hill to Sun Pier Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan

The Star Hill to Sun Pier Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan is not accessible. We'll publish an accessible version by the end of March 2024. 

Star Hill to Sun Pier Supplementary Planning document

The Star Hill to Sun Pier Supplementary Planning document is not accessible. We'll publish an accessible version by the end of March 2024.  

Allotments

Our allotment sample invoice and allotment rules and conditions documents are currently inaccessible. We'll publish accessible versions of these documents by the end of March 2024. 

Local Flood Risk Management Strategy 2023 to 2028

The Local Flood Risk Management Strategy 2023 to 2028 is not accessible. We'll publish an accessible version by the end of March 2024. 

Reduced timetable policy

The Reduced timetable policy is not accessible. We'll publish an accessible version by the end of March 2024. 

Adult social care finance review report December 2023

The adult social care finance review report is not accessible. We'll publish an accessible version by the end of February 2024.

CIPFA resilience review report January 2024

Some tables in the CIPFA resilience review report are not accessible. We'll publish an accessible version by the end of March 2024.

Third-party Cookiebot issues

At 400% zoom on first visit to the website, the cookies banner appears and covers the whole page and it is not appear to be accessible via keyboard. 

This fails WCAG AA 2.4.7 (focus visible). This is an issue with our implementation of the third-party solution, Cookiebot.

We're looking into this with our supplier Cookiebot. 

Exemptions: content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG AA 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.

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

Maps

Maps that are not used for navigational purposes are exempt from meeting accessibility regulations.

If you need the information presented in a map in a different format, you can request the documents in an accessible format.

Online maps and mapping services

Online maps are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations, if essential information is provided in an accessible digital manner for maps intended for navigational use.

Medway Maps

We use Medway Maps to allow users to find out about:

  • Medway Parish and Council ward boundaries
  • primary and secondary schools in Medway
  • car parks in Medway (including ownership)
  • public rights of way
  • bus stops
  • cycle racks and routes
  • resident parking permit zones
  • primary and secondary salting routes
  • salt bin locations
  • natural and greenspace country parks
  • polling districts and stations
  • conversation areas
  • listed buildings
  • scheduled ancient monuments
  • brownfield register
  • finding a play area, parks and gardens
  • finding household waste and recycling (HWRC) sites
  • libraries in Medway
  • hospitals in Medway
  • licensed civil marriage premises
  • tree preservation orders.

Embedded Google Maps

539 embedded Google Maps do not define explicit text labels for each form control. Form controls without labels do not meet WCAG A success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships).

Our content management and forms system provider, Jadu, have advised us that Google Maps will need to address this. However, whenever we show an address on a map, we also show the address as text on the web page.

Live video

Live video streams do not have captions. This fails WCAG AA 1.2.4 (captions – live).

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

Documents for printing

There are documents on the website that are specifically for printing and are therefore exempt from accessibility regulations.

Third party documents not under our direct control

In some circumstances, we have published documents that do not fully meet the accessibility requirements. You can request these in an accessible format.

Planning public inquiry and consultation documents

Planning inquiry and consultation documents are often submitted by third parties such as residents and private companies who are not required by law to submit accessible documents. We publish these on www.medway.gov.uk as it is the most efficient way of publishing documents in the public interest to the widest possible audience. They may not be accessible.

We have a legal obligation to publish these documents, unedited, under article 30 of the regulations. There is no legal planning reason we can reject them, even if they are not accessible.

Disproportionate burden

We've published a disproportionate burden assessment that explains which documents would be a disproportionate burden for Medway Council to fix. 

What we're doing to improve accessibility

What we're doing right now

We're beginning to test for WCAG 2.2 to ensure we're compliant with the new criteria.

We’re also auditing every document on medway.gov.uk to see whether it is accessible. This is important to us, even if some documents are not in scope of the accessibility regulations.

In doing this, we're:

  • fixing issues that we find
  • considering whether a document could instead be a web page
  • checking whether a document needs to be on our site at all.

We have formed an accessibility working group of officers from around the council. This group is helping us:

  • give colleagues the tools to make accessible websites and documents
  • create training courses, to raise the profile of the issue within the organisation
  • communicate the importance of the issue, through newsletters, our Intranet and communication campaigns
  • share developments and news through Microsoft Teams groups.

Our Digital team engage with colleagues to highlight the council's obligations. This includes:

  • presenting at service manager meetings
  • attending Equalities Board meetings and reporting on compliance
  • briefing our corporate management team on progress
  • writing and sharing the accessibility compliance policy.

What we're doing next

We will be:

  • ensuring navigation lists are marked as a list
  • making form field labels more accessible
  • improving design elements needing to be better described using aria markup
  • continuing to use axe DevTools - Web Accessibility testing for new content and designs
  • continuing to view Silktide accessibility reports so we can react quickly to address new and recurring issues.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 21 September 2020.

This website was last tested on 7 December 2023. The test was carried out by Silktide.

View Silktide report of current accessibility issues.

Silktide monitors accessibility issues and tracks the progress we make fixing them.

We’ll update this statement as we fix accessibility issues.

This statement was last reviewed 13 February 2024.