Accessibility policy/statement

Using this website

This website is run by Darlington 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
  • zoom in up to 200% 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

Most of this website is compliant with the W3C WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard. However, there are some parts of this website that are not fully accessible:

  • pages with Google Maps
  • most of our older pdf documents
  • some of our older online forms are hard to navigate with just a keyboard

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

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 10 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 the Web team by emailing the issue to [email protected]

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

Darlington 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 the accessibility regulations

Some link text is used to link to different destinations

This means people using a screen reader will hear the same link phrase but the links will take them to different pages or websites. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context).

We plan to make all existing unique URLs on our pages have unique and descriptive link phrase by September 2020. When we publish new content, we will make sure our hyperlinks meet this accessibility standard.

Council Tax and Benefits Forms

There are several issues with our Council Tax and Benefits eforms. These issues are listed below.

  • There are some keyboard navigation issues where certain elements can not be reached via just a keyboard. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard).
  • There are some visual focus issues where the focus state is not always clear on which element has focus. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.7 (Focus visible).
  • The are issues where giving an element focus activates the element without needing to press enter. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.2.1 (On focus).
  • There are some issues where hints can only be displayed by hovering a mouse cursor over them. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.13 (Content on hover or focus).
  • The page does not reflow how you would expect when zoomed in so it is not easy to read from one line to the next. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10 (Reflow).
  • Some of the iFrames on the forms do not have a title attribute. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (Bypass blocks) and WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value - Frames must have a title attribute).
  • The forms do not state which dialect of English they are using. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.1.1 (Language of page).
  • The colour contrast of the date and the show errors button do not meet the required 4.5:1 ratio. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (Contrast).

Our Council Tax and Benefits forms run on software supplied by a third party. We are now liaising with them to fix the above issues.

PDFs and Other Documents

Some of the PDF's on our website are not in an accessible format due to not being machine readable or missing certain landmarks such as headers. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

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

Older 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). 

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. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages. 

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 old issues of the One Darlington magazine. 

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

How we tested this website

This website is tested every 10 days. The tests are carried out by the Darlington Borough Council web team using Siteimprove’s accessibility reports.  Tests are scheduled automatically and are monitored by the web team.

What we are doing to improve accessibility

Our accessibility road map below shows how we aim to improve accessibility across this website.

Accessibility issues and targets for fixes
Issue Target Fix Date
2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) September 2020
4.1.2 (Name, Role Value) September 2020
2.1.1 (Keyboard) September 2020
2.4.7 Focus Visible) September 2020
3.2.1 (On Focus) September 2020
1.4.13 (Content on hover or focus) September 2020
1.4.10 (Reflow) September 2020
3.1.1 (Language of page) September 2020
1.4.3 (Contrast) September 2020


This statement was prepared on 02/08/2019.  It was last update on 11/06/2020.