Website Accessibility Statement

This accessibility statement applies to www.thesill.org.uk, run by the Northumberland National Park Authority.

We want the content on this website designed for everyone to find, read, and understand. We want this website to be compatible with assistive technologies and developed to meet the accessibility standards outlined in this statement.

There are a number of customisation options for your browser and device that could help you use this website and other websites more effectively. AbilityNet provide advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

What to do if you can’t access parts of this website

Please contact us if you have an accessibility query including:

  • if you are experiencing issues with accessing information or using the website.
  • if you find an accessibility problem not listed on this statement.
  • if you have positive feedback on the accessibility considerations made.

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please email [email protected] alternatively you can call us from 8.30am – 5pm, Monday to Friday on 01434 605555.

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in ten working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact us by telephone: 01434 605555, email; [email protected] or you can submit your comments by online form.

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).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Northumberland National Park Authority is committed to making its websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version  2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

We regularly carry out automated tests against the WCAG 2.1 AA standards. The last  test was carried out 10th August 2021.

Some parts of the website may not work for everyone. Below are known issues that we either need to fix, cannot fix, or do not need to fix right now.

If you find something that does not work that we have missed, please contact us.

Website compliancy issues

Resizing Test

Visual text, including text-based controls can be scaled so that they can be read directly by users with visual impairments without using assistive technology such as a screen magnifier. Text must be able to be resized up to 200 percent without loss of content or function.

We have improved our website to include a visible focus on the hamburger menu when resized to 200% in July 2021.

Images with text

Images of text cause problems for users who need to adjust how visual content like font size, spacing or colours are displayed. The image quality can reduce and become blurry when users increase page magnification. As of June 2021 we have worked to remove images of text with significant content with no real text alternative.

Pause, Stop, Hide

Content that moves, flashes or updates automatically can be a severe distraction for certain users, making it difficult to use the page. It can also cause problems for assistive technologies like screen readers.

As of 26th July 2021 we have added a method to allow users to control the frequency for content that automatically begins ‘auto-updating’ in our banner carousels.

Reflow

Reflow or ‘responsive web design’ helps users with low vision who may need to enlarge text on a webpage and read it in a single column without scrolling in more than one direction. It also helps users who are viewing the page on a mobile device.

If a page does not support reflow it can appear smaller and more difficult to use or content may be cut off.

We have improved visible focus throughout our pages to make it easier for user to tell what functionality is actionable via keyboard at both 200% and 400%.

Contrast

Poor colour contrast makes it difficult for someone with sight loss to see the content properly. If there is a big difference between the background and foreground colours it should be much easier to see the difference between them.

As of July 2021, we have improved the colour contrast of our header menu on our homepage, the date on our news highlights and improved our Covid Information page.

Focus order

Users should be able to navigate a web page in an order that makes sense. Keyboard navigation should reflect a navigation sequence that is consistent with the meaning of content. Logical navigation reduces confusion and shows logical relationships between content and components.

We have, as of July 2021, corrected an error on our contact page to prevent focus skipping straight to the ‘any further enquiries’ input.

Info and Relationships

Form labels help assistive technologies to understand what input is expected in a form field. Adding a label reduces confusion and enlarges the clickable area which helps users with limited motor control.

We have identified that the four date inputs on our Planning Application Search Form require labels. We are working with our planning software supplier, DEF, to improve the accessibility of the page. We have tested the replacement Planning Register template and found it solve the issues with date labels. However, to implement the change we must update our Planning software database. The update is currently in testing with our Planning Team and we hope to update our software and launch the revised Planning Register before October 2021.

Language of Page

Assistive technologies are more accurate when a web page has a specified language. For example, knowing the language means screen readers can accurately convert text to speech with the correct pronunciation, visual browsers can display the correct characters and media players can show the correct captions.

As above, we have tested our revised template to ensure this will correct the <html> element to include a lang attribute for our Planning Application Search Form. This will come into effect before October 2021 with the install of our new Planning software following testing from our Planning Team.

Focus visible

A visible focus helps users know which element has keyboard focus and where they are on the page.  When an element gets focus there should be a visible border around it. Highlighting the element that has keyboard focus or is hovered over can provide information like whether the element is interactive or the scope of that element.

We have made improvements to this issue week commencing 26 July 2021 ensuring a visible keyboard focus on our website search bar when activated via keyboard and improving the contrast on our logo.

At present there there is no visible keyboard focus on the various logos in the footer of our , or a clearly visible focus indicator on the user interface components on the form which makes it hard for the user to tell where they are on the page. As with the two previous issues, these will also be corrected with our revised Register which will be installed before October 2021 following testing from our Planning Team.

Issues with navigation

Some information is provided as content within a map. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 Non-text Content. We aim to publish all content that is only available in a map as HTML. We aim to have replaced existing information maps by the end of October 2021.

A small number of pages contain tables that are used for layout purposes. As of August 2021 we have revised all tables to include a header scope element.

As of August 2020, we have fixed the ability to zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen.

There is not currently more than one way to locate a web page within a set of web pages. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.5. We aim to add a dynamic sitemap by the end of October 2021.

We have added a current keyboard operable user interface that has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is visible. Since Jan 2020 we have worked to ensure that control change appearance when they are selected (WCAG AA 2.4.7). Through internal testing we have identified approximately 50 pages where this does not occur. We are working with our web developers to rectify these remaining pages by October 2021.

Link Purpose

All link names should be accessible by a screen reader and be descriptive enough to inform a user of where that link will take them. We have been going through links and improving them. Since August 2020 we have improved descriptive links to over 700 pages. We are continuing with this work and aim to complete this by the end of October 2021.

We have worked to ensure all button have names that are accessible to screen readers and descriptive enough to tell a user where that button will take them.

Issues with PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and other documents don’t meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be marked up so they’re accessible to a screen reader.

Some of our documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our planning service, and forms published as Word documents. We have a programme of work currently in progress to either recreate these documents as an accessible PDF or an HTML webpage.

At the end of February 2021, we issued PDF guidance to staff producing such documentation, we are currently working with a third-party contractor to produce new in-house brand guidelines that will include structure PDF templates to ensure all new documents have consistent and accessible heading structures and reading orders.

We are reviewing the scale and scope of the work to remediate PDFs published since September 2018 and will update this accessibility statement when this review is complete.

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

We aim to ensure that any new documents we publish meet accessibility standards. If there are any documents that you are unable to access, please contact us for an accessible version. See ‘Alternative formats’ above, in this statement.

Timeline for fixing issues

We aim to fix all complinace issues relating to our Online Register Register by October 2021 following further testing by our Planning Team and an update of of Planning database and software.

We aim to add a dynamic sitemap by the end of October 2021.

Many of our PDFs and other documents don’t meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be marked up so they’re accessible to a screen reader.We aim to ensure that any new documents we publish meet accessibility standards, however some new documents do not.

We are reviewing the scale and scope of the work to remediate PDFs published since September 2018 and will update this accessibility statement when this review is complete.

Accessibility of our other websites and online services

We use some third-party online services and websites to allow customers to interact and transact with us. These include, but are not limited to, searching for planning applications applying for planning permission and booking systems for cycle hire.

Not all these sites and online services meet the necessary standards for accessibility, and where they do not, we are engaging with our suppliers to rectify this. We aim to rectify as much as possible by October 2021, but some work may be ongoing past this date.

When procuring new online systems, meeting accessibility standards are included in the specification, and we continue to work with suppliers to ensure sites continue to meet these standards.

Disproportionate burden

We have not identified anything that qualifies as a disproportionate burden as of yet, but we are still evaluating our sites and may update this when we identify issues.

Content not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

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. For example, we don’t plan to fix PDFs associated with historic planning applications.

Videos

Some of our older videos lack captions and do not meet accessibility standards. The accessibility regulations do not require us to add captions to videos produced before 23 September 2020 if they’re not essential to providing our services. Any new videos we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Live Video

We do not plan to add captions to our live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Maps

Our website uses online maps. Where there is a map, we are working on ensuring that an alternative format is available. If you have any issues with accessible mapping data and which to request an alternative format, please contact us.  Please see ‘alternative formats’ above.

External links

This website links to third-party, external websites or services that may not be fully accessible.

Third party content

Our website contains third-party content. We do not have control over and are not responsible for the accessibility of this content, but we endeavour to work with the third party to improve its accessibility. This may include:

  • links to non-Northumberland National Park National Park websites.
  • content/functionality on our website.
  • content hosted on other websites, such as social media sites.
  • We are continually reviewing our third-party applications and websites.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 17 September 2019. It was last reviewed on 10th August 2021.

This website was last tested on 6th August 2021. The test was carried out by Northumberland National Park Authority staff.

We tested this website in the following ways:

  • regular testing using a suite of browser-based accessibility reporting tools

What we're doing to improve accessibility

We are undertaking a comprehensive review of all our websites and services to test, identify and fix accessibility issues. This statement will be updated as improvements are made to the website.