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Accessibility statement

This accessibility statement applies to The Lewisham Council website: https://lewisham.gov.uk/

This website is run by Lewisham 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 200%
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to the website using the ReadSpeaker tool
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver).
  • discern the structure and order of web pages and content

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

Most of our site is accessible and it conforms with WCAG2.1 AA standard. We know some parts of our website aren’t fully accessible:

  • online forms are missing some programmatic labels so are not announced correctly by a screen reader
  • some elements in our online forms are not keyboard operable
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • older videos are missing audio description 

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 14 days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

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

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).

Contact us by phone or visit us in person

Find out how to contact us.

British Sign Language (BSL) users

We provide a 24-hour online interpreting service for British Sign Language (BSL) users. Our offices have audio induction loops. If you visit one of our offices we can arrange a BSL interpreter.

Find out more about our services for British Sign Language users.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Lewisham 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.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Maps

Some of the maps within ‘Our Neighbourhood’ section do not have suitable, descriptive alt text. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.1.1.

We plan to add descriptive text that will be accessible to screen reader users by December 2020. Any new maps will be added with descriptive alternative text as standard.

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 not have the correct heading tags so screen reader users will be unable to navigate using heading levels. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 (Info & Relationships)
  • They do not have document landmarks so screen reader users will find it difficult to understand the structure of the PDFs. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 (Info & Relationships)
  • Images are missing alternative text so blind people will be unable to discern them. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text Content)
  • Colour contrast is insufficient in places which can impact users with visual impairments or colour blindness. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.4.3 (Contrast)

Where possible we plan to convert PDFs to HTML, which will be built to comply with accessibility guidelines. For any new PDFs, we will ensure they are created in an accessible way.

Disproportionate burden

Interactive maps and forms

Some of the interactive functionality on our website has accessibility issues, which will make them difficult for some people to use. This includes our service forms, newsletter registration process, and interactive maps. The issues are:

  • Some of the form fields do not have descriptive programmatic labels, which means they are not announced correctly by screen readers. This can make it hard for visually impaired people to determine what information the form contains. This fails WCAG success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role Value)
  • When selecting radio buttons within the forms, a change of context is initiated automatically, without prior warning.This may be confusing for some people and fails WCAG success criterion 3.2.2 (On input)
  • The focus order through the forms is not always logical, meaning some people may become disorientated when using the forms. This fails WCAG success criterion 2.4.3 (Focus order).
  • The error messaging does not describe how to fix any issue, which may make it hard for some people to correct mistakes. This fails WCAG success criterion 3.3.3 (Error Suggestion)
  • When an error occurs, the message is not announced by the screen reader, which means people with visual impairments may not be aware an error has occurred. This fails WCAG success criterion 4.1.3 (Status Message)
  • Some elements of our forms are not keyboard operable, which means people who do not use a mouse may struggle to interact with some elements. This fails WCAG success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard)
  • Some forms timeout without warning and without giving people the opportunity to extend their session. This fails WCAG success criterion 2.2.1 (Timing Adjustable)
  • Heading elements are not used hierarchically on the forms, which might cause issues for users navigating with a screen reader. This fails WCAG success criterion 1.3.1 (Info & Relationships)

Our forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website.

We’ve assessed the feasibility of fixing the issues detailed above and believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. This is because, as a third party application, we do not have direct access to the underlying code and cannot make the necessary changes to fix the above issues. We have flagged the issues to the third party provider to expedite a fix.

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.

Pre-recorded video and audio

The accessibility regulations do not require us to add audio description or text transcripts to pre-recorded videos and audio published before 23rd September 2020.

Any new videos or audio added to the site will meet accessibility standards.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 20 September 2019. It was last reviewed on 22 September 2020.

This website was last tested on 15th September 2020. 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 deciding on a sample of pages to test.