Last reviewed: 20 April 2022.

This accessibility statement applies to the Medway Council website at 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'.

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, 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.

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 November 2022.

PDFs do not specify a natural language

In November 2021, 1,140 PDFs on medway.gov.uk did not specify a default natural language. There are now 940. We are adding the natural language to PDFs that help people use a service. We expect to finish this work by the end of November 2022.

PDFs are missing titles

In November 2021, 932 PDFs were missing titles. There are now 608. We expect to finish this work by the end of August 2022.

PDFs are not machine readable

188 PDFs are not machine readable. This fails to meet WCAG A 1.1.1 (non-text content).

Most of the PDFs were either published before 23 September 2018 (and are therefore exempt) or are not necessary for users’ important tasks.

We are making web page or machine-readable versions of recent documents that are important for user tasks. We expect to finish this work by the end of November 2022.

PDFs are not navigable

1,356 PDFs are missing headings or 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 November 2022.

Power BI interactive reports tool

The ward profiles PowerBI reports are available as a link from this website.

These reports cannot be made fully accessible and in some cases the information is not easily available to users in an accessible format. We expect to be able to fix this by the end of November 2022.

If you need data from these reports, then you can request information in an accessible format.

Medway bus and rail guide

Most of the information in the inaccessible Medway bus and rail guide PDF is available in the bus timetables web page. We expect to be able to fix this by the end of November 2022.

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 in May 2022.

Allotments sample invoice

The allotments sample invoice is not fully accessible. We cannot make it accessible as it must look exactly like the printed version that has already been sent to those who need to pay their invoice. An accessible 2023 sample invoice will be published in January 2023.

Medway City Status Bid 2022

The Medway City Status Bid 2022 document is not accessible. We will publish an accessible version by May 2022.

Statement of accounts 2019 to 2020

The Statement of accounts 2019 to 2020 document is not accessible. We will publish an accessible version by the end of May 2022. The Statement of accounts 2020 to 2021, due to be published later in 2022, will be accessible.

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.

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.

Examples of recent inquiries include:

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 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.

The Digital team recently asked our Internal Audit team to assess the strength of our controls. As a result, the Digital team is developing a compliance policy for the council to adopt. We expect the draft policy to be ready by the end of July 2022.

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 20 February 2022. The test was carried out by Silktide. A sample of 8,700 pages were randomly tested out of a total of about 11,000 pages.

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 14 April 2022.