Accessibility statement for Knowsley Council

This accessibility statement applies to the Knowsley Council website and microsites including:

  • https://www.knowsley.gov.uk/
  • https://onlineregistrar.knowsley.gov.uk/eregistrar.knowsley
  • https://planapp.knowsley.gov.uk/online-applications/
  • https://knowsleyclaims.teamnetsol.com/
  • https://parentportal.knowsley.gov.uk/web/portal/pages/home
  • https://secured.knowsley.gov.uk/
  • https://www.knowsley.gov.uk/onlinechat.html
  • https://ip.e-paycapita.com/AIP/itemSelectionPage.do?link=showItemSelectionPage&siteId=63&languageCode=EN&source=AIP
  • https://secured.knowsley.gov.uk/myneighbourhood
  • https://my.knowsley.gov.uk/CustomerPortal/(S(ffzicjbfqnyngk5dkeejk4p4))/Content/BusinessPortal/BusinessPortal.aspx
  • https://my.knowsley.gov.uk/CustomerPortal/(S(33dmck0i3so02pe11p5hv5tb))/Content/Home/Login.aspx
  • All Mendix pages, including:
  • https://knowsleytransaction.mendixcloud.com/index.html
  • https://kmbcsgo.mendixcloud.com/
  • https://lcrbusinessgrants.mendixcloud.com
  • https://backofficereports.mendixcloud.com
  • https://kmbc.mendixcloud.com
 

These websites are run by, or on behalf of, Knowsley Council. We want as many people as possible to be able to use our websites. 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)

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

This website has been independently audited for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines V2.1 level A and level AA by Web Usability Partnership Ltd.

They found that overall, this website is "quite accessible" and "customers should be able to use the site without too much difficulty".

Our site was first audited for accessibility in September, 2020. From that report, we identified a list of accessibility improvements to be made. Working with third party suppliers, we have addressed many of the issues, and the site was re-audited in December 2021.

This re-audit has identified 14 instances where the website failed at WCAG 2.1 Level A & AA.

The majority of outstanding issues are found on the microsites: Registrar Office, My Neighbourhood, Parent Portal and within the account registration pages.

The key issues are:

  • Some forms do not provide descriptive error messaging
  • Most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • Some pages do not reflow when you change the size of the browser window or magnification level
  • Some buttons and form fields are not announced in a useful way by the screen reader
  • The colour contrast of text is insufficient in places
  • Some pages do not have sufficient HTML heading mark-ups
  • The skip to content bypass link is not always visible when it receives focus.

 

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 in 3 working days.

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 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 by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.
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

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Knowsley Council 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 (graded as Low, Medium and High priority by our third-party auditors):
They are:

1.3.1 Info and relationships. (Priority: Medium)

On the primary Knowsley Council website, headings are used correctly. However, on some of the portal pages, the section headings use the wrong HTML heading elements, not following the hierarchical heading structure. This is confusing for blind screen and Braille reader users.

Some items of text were announced by the screen reader using unnecessary announcements about a “list of 1 item”, with “end of list” announced after it.

1.4.1 Use of Colour (Priority: Low)

Overall text links are well identified, with a clear underline. However, there are a few examples where colour is the only indication that text is a link. Some people with colour blindness or with impaired eyesight will find it difficult to distinguish them.

1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) (Priority: Medium)

Across the site there a few instances where colours do not meet the minimum level of contrast against their background required for all text by the WCAG.

1.4.10 Reflow (Priority: Low)

Some of the portal pages do not reflow when viewed at 400% + zoom on desktop, meaning users have to scroll both horizontally and vertically to read the content.

2.1.1 Keyboard (Priority: Low)

Overall, the keyboard accessibility of the website is very good. However, the cookie banner is currently not keyboard operable.

2.2.1 Timing Adjustable (Priority: High)

The payment form (to pay Council Tax) times out without warning or giving the user an opportunity to extend their session.

2.4.1 Bypass Blocks (Priority: Medium)

On the planning simple search, My Neighbourhood and Parent Portal pages, there is a skip to content link but it is not visible when it receives focus meaning it is of no use to sighted keyboard users.

2.4.4 Link purpose (in context) (Priority: Low)

Some links have common generic link text that does not say what the link is for (e.g. ‘click here’). Sighted people can see from other nearby content what the link does, but blind people need something more to tell them where each link goes because they cannot see the surrounding context.

3.2.3 Consistent Navigation (Priority: Medium)

There are at least 3 different main navigations used across different pages/ portals on the Knowsley Council website. Although these sit on different URLs, to the user the pages will appear to be part of the same website and the change in navigation structure and style is likely to be confusing.

3.3.2 Labels or Instructions (Priority: Medium)

Contact preference radio buttons in the registration form are not enclosed in fieldsets and are not associated with the labels.

3.3.3 Error suggestion (Priority: Medium)

Error messaging does not explain what the error is or how to correct it. This means it will be harder for users to identify what they need to do to rectify the error and move on.

4.1.1 Parsing (Priority: Low)

After running the homepage through the W3C HTML Validator, 16 errors and 19 warnings were detected, including missing tags, extraneous tags, undefined elements and missing attributes.

4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Priority: Critical)

Some buttons or links do not have suitable labels, so they are announced in an unhelpful way by the screen reader.

The form fields on the live chat are missing programmatic labels (using aria-label or aria-labelledby attribute) so are announced as blank by the screen reader. This means blind users will not know what information is required of them.

4.1.3 Status Messages (Priority: High)

The error messaging on the collection booking form is not announced by screen readers when it appears. It is also not contextual to the form fields so will be missed by screen magnifier users as well. NB: error messaging on the main site is typically announced, e.g. in the registration form.
 

PDFs

Some of our PDFs do not comply with WCAG 2.1 to Level A and AA which may make them difficult for some of our users to access. For example:

  • They currently do use the correct heading structure, which makes it difficult for screen reader users to navigate the document. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 (Info & Relationships)
  • There are no bookmarks in the PDFs, which makes it difficult for screen reader users to discern the structure of the document. This fails WCAG success criterion 2.4.5 (Multiple Ways)
  • Some PDFs are missing document titles, which can make it difficult for screen reader users to quickly discern the contents of the document. This fails WCAG success criterion 2.4.2 (Headings and labels)

What we are doing about this:

Since our first accessibility audit in September 2020, we have been working both in-house and with our third-party suppliers to make accessibility fixes to the site. The site was re-audited in December 2021 to assess progress and identify which issues were still outstanding.

On the basis of the findings of the re-audit, which are set out in this accessibility statement, we now plan to work through all the issues identified, with the aim of making the site fully compliant as soon as possible.
This will include:

1.3.1 Info and relationships. (Priority: Medium)

We have already added the correct HTML heading elements to some of the pages which did not have them in September 2020. We will continue to work through the pages identified in the most recent audit to ensure they also use the correct HTML heading elements, in the hierarchical heading structure.

We have already removed some of the occurrences of unnecessary announcements about ‘a list of 1 item’ since September 2020, but we will now remove those additional instances identified in the re-audit. For example, on our ‘Chat to Advisor’ option.

1.4.1 Use of Colour (Priority: Low)

We will ensure that elements on our portal pages are distinguished by more than just colour – adding additional formatting such as a permanent underline for in-text links.

1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) (Priority: Medium)

Where instances of poor colour contrast have been identified, we will adjust the text colour and/or background colour to give them a higher contrast value.

1.4.10 Reflow (Priority: Low)

We will review how some of our portal pages are presented so that they can reflow when viewed at 400% zoom. We will be working with third party suppliers to implement these changes.

2.1.1 Keyboard (Priority: Low)

The cookie banner is currently not keyboard operable. However, we are in the process of implementing a new cookie banner on the site, and this will be configured in a way which is fully compliant with the WCAG standards. We have also asked our web agency about the feasibility of making this change prior to the implementation of the new cookie banner.

2.2.1 Timing Adjustable (Priority: High)

We will investigate options to allow users to stop, extend or adjust the time limit. In some cases, we may be reliant on a third party supplier to implement these changes.

2.4.1 Bypass Blocks (Priority: Medium)

In order to allow users of screen readers to skip through repeated content, we will ensure the ‘skip to content’ link is visible when it has focus.

2.4.4 Link purpose (in context) (Priority: Low).

We have already removed all the generic link text that was highlighted in the most recent audit. We will continue to check the site for any other examples and ensure that more meaningful link text is used.

3.2.3 Consistent Navigation (Priority: Medium)

We use several different third party suppliers to host the portal areas of our website, such as the Parent Portal, Planning Portal and Register Office. These sites are ‘skinned’ to give a similar appearance to the main council website. However, there are a number of different navigational styles and structures used. We may not have the ability to make this third party software mirror exactly the styles and structures used on the main website. However, we will ensure that a message appears to let the user know when they are leaving the main website for a microsite.

3.3.2 Labels or Instructions (Priority: Medium)

Where there are instances of contact preference radio buttons not being enclosed in fieldsets or associated with the labels, we will provide a description for groups of form controls using fieldset and legend elements.

3.3.3 Error suggestion (Priority: Medium)

We have already amended the error messaging in the instances identified in the re-audit (Apply for a Skip Permit and Apply for Free School Meals) to ensure it explains what the error is and helps the user understand how to correct it. We will ensure all forms on the website also have meaningful error messaging.

4.1.1 Parsing (Priority: Low)

We have asked our third party web agency to use the W3C HTML Validator to identify the errors and warnings flagged in the re-audit, and to add missing tags, remove extraneous tags, amend undefined elements and add missing attributes.

4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Priority: Critical)

We will ensure all buttons and links have appropriate programmatic labels.  

4.1.3 Status Messages (Priority: High)

We will ensure the error messaging on the collection booking form can be announced by screen readers, and that it is contextual to the form fields.

PDFs

All PDFs are now checked for accessibility compliance before being uploaded to this site.

PDF documents that were uploaded prior to 23 September 2018, and therefore fall outside of the scope of the accessibility regulations, are made available in accessible formats upon request.

Where possible, information is presented as an HTML web page or accessible Word document instead of a PDF.
 

In addition:

We are due to be developing and launching a new website in 2023/2024. Any new site would be built to comply with WCAG 2.1AA guidelines.

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.

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

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 10 January 2022. It replaces an earlier version of our Accessibility Statement, which was published on 6 October 2020.

This website was first tested for accessibility compliance on 25 September 2020. Following improvements made as a result of that report, it was re-audited on 16 December, 2021.

This website was tested for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines V2.1 level A and level AA, and the test was carried out by Web Usability Partnership Ltd.

We used the Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) approach to decide on a sample of pages to test.