This statement currently applies to the content applied to www.hounslow.gov.uk and any subdomains of hounslow.gov.uk (haveyoursay.hounslow.gov.uk/).
Using this website
The Council website is run by London Borough of Hounslow. The team behind this website hope that whoever needs to use it, can do so easily. We have tried to make it as accessible as possible. We want everyone who visits our website to feel welcome and have our user needs met.
You should be able to:
- change colours, contrast levels and fonts
- zoom in up to 400% 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 have also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.
We have developed a page allowing you to adapt our website to suit your needs. You can change the text size, letter spacing, colours and fonts to suit your needs. Changes can be saved for your future visits.
AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.
You can find out how to:
- make your mouse easier to use
- use your keyboard instead of a mouse
- talk to your device
- make your device talk to you
- make text larger
- change your colours; and
- magnify the screen.
How we monitor this website
We use SiteImprove as an automated testing tool to help us monitor and fix usability and accessibility issues as they occur.
We also use a range of other tools to test for accessibility issues including:
- Accessibility insights for the web
- Browser developer tools
- Siteimprove accessibility checker
- Web Aim contrast checkers
Manual reviews are carried to assess any content and functionality automated testing cannot cover.
The website was last audited by Government Digital Services in January 2022.
How accessible is this website?
Whilst we have made every effort to make most of our website accessible to all, we know some parts of the website are not fully accessible yet, such as:
- Many of our documents are in PDF format and are not accessible and have multiple accessibility issues. We are conducting a full review of our PDF estate in order to fix as many documents.
- Some of our content pages looks like headings but is not. This makes it difficult for screen reader users to navigate the page, and we are addressing these issues with web authors.
- Links to our own internal files may not be labelled properly and may not always appear within a paragraph.
- Our online forms provided by third parties do not comply with WCAG 2.1 criteria 2.4.7 in terms of visible focus. We will be working with our third-party suppliers to correct this issue.
- Some of our tables in content do not have table row headers. This means assistive technologies will not read the tables correctly, but we are working to fix this.
- Our news and events pages do not always contain a filter function.
- Some images do not always have suitable image descriptions.
- Our vacancies search page does not have adequate colour contrast and individual vacancies are not labelled correctly.
- The search facility within our search results page may be difficult to use on some devices
Each service department in the council is responsible for making sure it meets the accessibility regulations. We are working with service departments to ensure these issues will be fixed.
We will update the statement when issues are fixed over the next 12 months, and will highlight what has been resolved.
Feedback and contact information
We are always looking to improve the accessibility of our website.
If you had trouble with any part of our website, please get in touch.
We'd like to hear from you in any of the following ways:
If you do find any problems that we have not listed on this web page or think we are not meeting certain accessibility requirements, please contact us via our feedback form.
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 Digital Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For online application issues, please complete our online feedback form
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).
Technical information about this website's accessibility
Hounslow Council is committed to making its website accessible, in line with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
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.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured in the format required to ensure they are accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1, 2.4.2, 3.11 (headings, titles, language). See Disproportionate Burden section below for more information.
Online tools and transactions
Our website includes a number of platforms and applications to allow our customers to interact and transact with us. These include (but are not limited to) using online forms, Council Tax account information, taking part in a consultation, viewing planning / licensing applications, viewing online maps, paying for something, and viewing committee information.
Some of our third-party applications do not meet WCAG 2.1 accessibility guidelines.
- Public Access applications search (planning portal and parking, jobs, members site, council tax.)
Not all these sites and online services meet the necessary standards for accessibility, and where they do not we will be engaging with our suppliers to rectify this.
We know that some parts of these web applications aren’t fully accessible.
- Some of our online forms have examples of non-descriptive alt text for content such as the council logo. This fails WCAG 1.1.1 Non-text Content (A). We hope to have this fixed by October 2022.
- Our council meetings and agendas system links to many inaccessible PDFs. Which have similar problems as listed above. We hope to have many of these files fixed by December 2023.
We hope to review these issues and have this corrected towards the end of 2025.
Many of our PDFs and Word documents don't meet accessibility standards. These include documents produced between 2018 and 2022 which are in scope of these regulations. The council has conducted a disproportionate burden assessment to remediate all of these documents and has deemed it a disproportionate burden under the regulations. This is down to a variety of factors including document usage, staff resources to deliver remediation of these documents at scale and staff upskilling to reduce the creation of inaccessible documents in future.
If you require a document in an alternative format or need reasonable adjustments to any of this content, please contact us using the methods listed above in the Feedback and Contact Information section of this statement.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
The legislation does not require PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 to be amended if, they are deemed not essential in providing a Council service, and needed by users. However, when we have met all of our current the accessibility regulation requirements, we will tackle this issue as well.
We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
Please contact us via our feedback form - if you request the document in a different format.
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:
- Cabinet meetings and agenda reports before 2018
- Consultations letters
- Press notices dating before 2018
- Brentford towers construction
- Brentford West CPZ layouts
- Housing - allocations policy
- Street trading fees and charges
- Local Plan
- Draft statement of accounts
Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.
Third party content
Some of our services include third party content which we have no control over such as documents which are sent to us and uploaded as part of a planning service. The accessibility regulations do not require us to manage these kinds of content, but if you have a problem with any of the content hosted on this website, please contact us using the methods above and we will try to help.
We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. We also have some existing pre-recorded video content that was published before the 23rd September 2020. This content is also exempt from the regulations. All new video content we produce will have appropriate captions, audio descriptions and transcripts as necessary.
Our service includes the use of online maps to show certain geographical information. These are not used for navigational purposes and are exempt under the regulations. If you require the information presented in an online map in a different format, please contact us to discuss reasonable adjustments.
Some of the content in Planning and Building Control, Licensing, Transport is part of the website is classified as an archive. This kind of historically recorded content is exempt from meeting the digital accessibility regulations. If you require a specific piece of archive content and it is not accessible, please contact us using the methods above and we will provide an accessible version of the content on request.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
We plan to make sure that any new PDFs which we publish from 23 September 2020 will meet accessibility standards. We have a register of all the documents on our website and are reviewing them to see which ones we can convert to HTML content now.
To support this, we have put in place in-house guidelines for producing accessible PDFs and offered training where appropriate. This will be widely and regularly communicated to all content authors.
If we must publish a PDF document, it should meet the accessibility standards. If we cannot provide this, we aim to provide a plain text version that covers all the information, but this will be in rare cases.
All PDFs will be checked for accessibility before they are added to the website and reports on PDF accessibility will be reviewed at least monthly to make sure the PDFs are meeting accessibility standards.
Accessibility monitoring and reviews
From September 2020:
- We will review our Site Improve reports monthly to check for any new accessibility issues.
- We will carry out manual accessibility checking exercises once each year, where key user journeys will be checked for accessibility.
We have also been working with the Government Digital Services (GDS) to resolve all identified accessibility issues within our control and will publish updates on our website as soon as possible, following completion of the assessments currently in progress. We will implement the recommendations as quickly as possible.
Our priority over the coming year will be fixing all our documents online.
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This statement was prepared on 23 September 2020 and was last reviewed on Monday 19 December 2022.
This website was last tested on Thursday 1 December 2022. We tested this website using the SiteImprove Accessibility Checker which tests all pages on our site.