Accessibility statement for www.bexley.gov.uk

This accessibility statement applies to the London Borough of Bexley's website at www.bexley.gov.uk.

This website is run by the London Borough of Bexley. 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 some parts of this website are not fully accessible, for example:

  • many older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software

Feedback and contact information

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

We’ll consider your request and get back to you as soon as possible.

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, please contact the Digital 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

If you are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment and need assistance when contacting us by phone or visiting us in person, then please contact the Bexley Deaf Centre:

For more information, visit the Bexley Deaf Centre website.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The London Borough of Bexley 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 and exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Chat Window

The newly launched automated Chat Window is partially compliant to WCAG 2.1 Level AA accessibility guidelines.

The Chat Window typically fails the following WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria:

  • 1.1.1 (Non-Text content understanding), there are three elements where the text label required for screen readers is missing
  • 1.3.1 (Info and Relationships):
    • on some Android devices when using Talkback, a small number of elements are announced twice
    • on some iOS devices when using voiceover and choosing an option from a list, the option selected is not confirmed
    • on mobile devices, when Chat is minimised, focus remains on the Chat icon unless action is taken to return to the main web page
    In limited cases, screen readers do not announce the action taken.
  • 1.4.3 (Contrast minimum), there is one instance where white text on a sky blue background has been used.
  • 2.4.3 (Focus Order), when using the Tab key, some subheadings get focus and the Tab key has to be pressed again to progress.
  • 2.4.4 (Link Purpose (in context) and 3.2.1 (On Focus), when clicking on embedded links in chat messages, screen readers do not announce that the link will open in a new browser tab
  • 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value), the main chat window does not have a descriptive text label required for screen readers

We are working on making the Chat Window more accessible within the scope of the public sector website accessibility regulations and will provide an update on progress within 3 months (from 26/10/2021).

General PDF files

There are approximately 30 PDFs on this website that are not exempt from the regulations but which do not currently comply with them. These PDFs generally contain readable text content but have not been tagged or formatted to raise their accessibility up to the required standards. These PDFs therefore typically fail the following WCAG 2.1 success criteria:

  • 1.1.1 (non-text content), where the PDFs contain images that do not have an alternative text specified
  • 1.3.1 (info and relationships) and 2.4.6 (headings and labels), where the PDFs do not have tagged heading structures
  • 1.3.2 (meaningful sequence), where the text in PDFs has been created in floating text boxes (e.g. using desktop publishing software) and no reading order has been specified
  • 1.4.3 (contrast (minimum)), where text may have been created in a colour that does not contrast enough with its background colour
  • 3.1.1 (the language of page), where PDFs have not had a language specified in them – please read all such PDFs as UK English

There may also be a very small number of PDFs that currently fail success criterion 1.4.5 (images of text), where they contain scanned text which may not have been converted to computer-readable text.

All PDFs which have not been tagged for accessibility are flagged up in a short footnote (usually indicated by * or † symbols) immediately after all links to these PDFs. This footnote includes a link which you can use to request any PDFs' content in an accessible format.

Many of these PDFs are due to be replaced and will be made accessible in their new versions.

We are also working to replace all the other inaccessible PDFs which fall within the scope of the public sector website accessibility regulations with accessible formats and expect to have completed this work by the end of September 2022.

PDF forms

The financial assessment for community services form is currently published as a PDF form, designed to be printed out and filled in by hand. These forms fail a number of WCAG 2.1 success criteria – but are also fundamentally inaccessible to anyone unable to print, see and write onto paper forms. The form is marked with a short footnote (indicated by *  symbol). This footnote includes a link that you can use to request the PDF form in an accessible format.

The democracy portal

The London Borough of Bexley website provides a convenient and transparent access point to a paperless solution for the governance and meeting management used by the elected representative members of the Council. All the PDF documents found via the democracy.bexley.gov.uk link is a service provided by Civica using a third-party platform called Modern.Gov.

Elected members of the Council upload and manage documentation using the Modern. Gov application. These documents are then published automatically into a PDF format and made available to the public via the democracy.bexley.gov.uk link.

The status and volume of the documentation is constantly changing and being updated daily. The cost of converting these documents into accessible formats in such a fluid manner would be a disproportionate burden for the council at the present time

Local Plan Examination Library

There are approximately 200 plus PDFs within the Local Plan Examination Library; about 150 are of historical reference or supplied by third parties, to which not all are fully accessible. Around 50 of these have now been made accessible and will continue to replace to make accessible where possible.

The Local Plan Examination process demands the constant updating of documents. The cost of converting these documents into accessible formats in such a fluid manner would be a disproportionate burden for the council at present.

All PDFs that have not been tagged for accessibility are flagged up in a short footnote (indicated by * symbol), which includes a link you can use to request any PDFs' content in an accessible format.

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

PDFs and other documents

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 around 80 planning strategy documents which were published before this date. However, almost all of these are due to be replaced by 2022.

The same exemption applies to a range of around history publications published as PDFs in the Local Studies and Archives part of the website.

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

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We have recently relaunched our main website to bring it up to a higher standard of accessibility and have trained staff around the council to produce their content accessibly in future. We have also been auditing our other websites, and the parts of this site which run on other systems, and are addressing shortcomings on these as quickly as possible.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 24 July 2020. It was last reviewed on 15 December 2021.

This website was last tested from October to November 2021. Testing was carried out by our website's developers, Axis12, and by the London Borough of Bexley's Digital Team.

The site is built from reusable templates and features, so each of these was tested so that all pages were then made of parts that had been tested. Testing was carried out as the site was developed with each feature being tested as it was developed. Further overall testing of the site's features was undertaken as we prepared to put the initial build of the site live in July 2020.