Accessibility Statement


Accessibility statement for Maidstone Borough council

This website is run by Maidstone Borough Council. 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
  • navigate just a keyboard
  • navigate using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader

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.

Testing the website

We have audited our site using automated software provided by Silktide, as well as manually testing individual pages using the aXe Google Chrome add on to identify any issues.

We were also audited by the Governments Digital Service (GDS) on 9 December 2020. On that date GDS found that maidstone.gov.uk was only partially compliant with WCAG 2.1 AA. This is a copy of the report they provided. The issues found during the audit have either been fixed or added to this accessibility statement as areas where we are not compliant.

    Our website accessibility

    We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

    • older PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software
    • live video streams don’t have captions
    • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
    • you cannot skip to the main content when using a screen reader

    What to do if you cannot access parts of this website

    If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF or large print:

    We’ll acknowledge your request within 1 day and we will tell you how long it will take to complete.

    Reporting accessibility problems with this website

    We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements contact us.

    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

    Find out more ways of contacting us from our Find and Contact Us page.

    Technical information

    Maidstone Borough Council is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance 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 listed below.

    Non accessible content

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

    Non Compliance with Regulations

    Missing form labels

    Some of the form inputs (such as text entry fields or select boxes) in our online forms do not have the correct label or the label is visually hidden. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 and 4.1.2. We are working through all 109 online forms to correct these issues, and plan for them to be fixed by August 2021. We will make sure we meet these criteria when we publish new form content.

    Illogical heading structure

    Some of the heading in our online forms do not follow a logical order. Each page will start with an <h1> but sometimes the following heading is not an <h2>. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 and 2.4.6. We are working through all 109 online forms to correct these issues, and plan for them to be fixed by August 2021. We will make sure we meet this criteria when we publish new form content.

    Zooming and Scaling

    Although you can resize all pages on our site to at least 200%, our forms package has the viewport meta tag set as <user-scalable=no>, which indicates that users on mobile devices can not zoom. Although users can still zoom on these pages, this issue fails automated testing so has been reported to our forms provider who has scheduled this to be changed.

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

      3rd party content

      Our site includes 3rd party content and documents.

      We cannot guarantee that all 3rd party content is accessible. We are not responsible for any 3rd party content.

      Using 3rd party content or functionality

      We often link to 3rd party websites or documents when there is useful information that relates to our services.

      For example, we link to 3rd party websites such as official information sources like www.gov.uk or www.electoralcommission.org.uk.

      We often create content on 3rd party platforms. For example, we create video content on YouTube. We're responsible for making sure the content is accessible but we're not responsible for YouTube's platform.

      Live video

      We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting 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 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2.

      Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have forms saved as PDFs. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages or online forms.

      The accessibility regulations don’t require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.

      Preparation of this accessibility statement

      This statement was prepared on 12th September 2019 and was last updated on 6th April 2021.

      The website is tested every 5 days using automated software. This automated testing tests every page.

      The last manual check was carried out by a member of Maidstone Borough Council staff on 8th March 2021. Pages were tested using aXe v4.6.1. Any errors were checked and tested manually. A keyboard, tab through and zoom check was also completed.

      On the last check the following pages were tested using a Google Chrome browser on Windows 2010 OS with a 17-inch screen :