Accessibility

Accessibility Statement for West Lothian Council's website

We are committed to making our website as accessible as possible and hope you find it easy to use. 

The website is designed to comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1

Website Readability and Usability

This website is run by West Lothian 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
  • 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

Most of the above functions can be achieved using our in-built software provided by ReciteMe and described below, or using your own software.

We have made every effort to ensure this web site is easily readable using plain English. Our web team regularly review content and provide training and recommendations to all our content publishers to ensure all web content is written in a format which is as easy to understand where possible.

Recite Me Accessibility Tool Bar

Recite Me helps people to access our website to do the things they need to do, like find information about how to access our service by making complaints, access publications and read news.

The Recite Me toolbar has a unique range of functions. You can use it to:

  • Have the text on our website read aloud (including PDFs)
  • Download the text as an MP3 file to play it where and when it suits you
  • Change font sizes and colours
  • Customise background colour
  • Translate text into more than 100 different languages

The Recite Me Accessibility Tool Bar can be launched by clicking on the Accessibility icon at the top right of the website, or if accessing via a mobile device it can be found in the mobile menu at the top right of the screen. 

How do I access the Recite Me toolbar?

You can open the Recite Me language and accessibility toolbar by clicking on the ReciteMe (Recite Me Accessibility Button).

This ReciteMe (Recite Me Accessibility Button) now appears in the site header on every page of our website and using the mobile menu button top right when using smartphone or tablet.

After you click on the button the Recite Me toolbar opens and displays a range of different options for customising how the website looks and how you can access the content.

Recite Me Toolbar

ReciteMe ToolBar

Text size

The text size for this site can also be changed using your browser.

  • Internet Explorer: Select the "View" menu, then "Text size"
  • FireFox: Select the "View" menu, then "Zoom" or "Zoom text only"
  • Safari: Select the "View" menu, then "Make text bigger" or "Make text smaller"
  • Opera: Select the "View" menu, then "Zoom"
  • Chrome: Select the "More settings" menu, then under "Appearance" use the arrows next to "Page zoom"

How accessible this website is

We are aware that some of the areas of the website are not fully accessible

  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams will not have captions
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard or screen reader due to form labelling (which is in the process of being amended

Contact us  

If you have any comments regarding website, please complete our Online Feedback Form.

Reporting accessibility problems

If you have any concerns or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact webadmin1@westlothian.gov.uk

Accessibility Enforcement

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

West Lothian 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 (WCAG) 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below

Non-accessible content

Images

Some images do not have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

We plan to add text alternatives for all applicable images. When we publish new content we'll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Carousels

Our image carousels do not currently meet accessibility standard WCAG 1.3.1 Info and Relationships. This has been reviewed and will be resolved within the next release of our Goss ICM content management software.

Online Forms

Some of our online forms do not currently meet standard WCAG 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions as they do not include accessible form labels. Forms are currently being audited and amended as appropriate.

Disproportionate burden

Navigation and accessing information

There's no way to skip the repeated content in the page header (for example, a 'skip to main content' option).

It's not always possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it more difficult to view the content.

It's not possible for users to change text size without some of the content overlapping.

Interactive tools and transactions

Some of our interactive content is difficult to navigate using a keyboard. 

We have content which is built and hosted through third party software and 'skinned' to look like our website.

We've assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a Disproportionate Burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. Any new third party software will be assessed for accessibility criteria.

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

PDFs and other documents

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. We plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages and are in the process of auditing these.

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.

We will attempt to ensure any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 26 June 2019. It was last reviewed on 1 September 2020.

This website last was tested on 27 August 2020. The test was carried out by Goss Interactive and West Lothian Council following previous testing by the Government Digital Service on 19 June 2020. Testing and fixing of highlighted accessibility issues have been carried out between June and August 2020

A sample set of high traffic and interactive pages were chosen as part of the testing.