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Accessibility statement for Bedford Borough Council

This website is run by Bedford 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) 

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand. We have done this using clear and concise writing (including easy to understand instructions).

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

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • most PDFs are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • if you zoom our text by 300% the right hand navigation changes to a menu on the left which you need to click on to open
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • you cannot use skip navigation to skip to the main content when using a screen reader 

We plan to make accessibility enhancements, these are detailed in the 'Non-accessible content' section below.

What to do if you cannot access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print or audio file please contact

We’ll consider your request within in 5 working days. If we are able to help with your request we will let you know as quickly as possible.

If you cannot view the maps on our website phone or email us for directions.

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:

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 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. 

Access Bedford has an online drop-in service to support the local deaf community.

Find out how to contact us.

Technical information about this website's accessibility

Bedford 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.

Compliance status

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 images do not have alternative text. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.1.1 (non-text content).

Not all interactive elements (eg links, buttons and text fields) can be navigated in a logical and intuitive order. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.3 (focus order).

Some menus are not easily distinguished from the main page content, some pages are missing ARIA Landmarks, some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard (for example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag) and the search box's purpose cannot be easily identified. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 success criteria (info and relationships).

The scrolling news carousel cannot be easily paused. This fails WCAG 2.1 success 2.2.1 criteria (timing adjustable).

The purpose of forward and back buttons on the scrolling news carousel is not easily identifiable. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.4 (link purpose) (in context).

The contrast ratio on buttons and links on the homepage and in the news section are not easily distinguishable and links in the news section do not stand out from other text. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (contrast minimum) and 1.4.1 (use of colour).

There’s no way to skip the repeated content in the page header (for example, a ‘skip to main content’ option). This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks).

It’s not always possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it more difficult to view the content. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.4 (orientation).

It’s not possible for users to change text size without some of the content overlapping. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.4 (resize text).

We are working with our third party suppliers to further improve the accessibility of our microsites.

We plan to fix the issues above by the end of 2021.

We plan to replace PDFs that are ‘in scope’ (those published after September 2018) with web pages or, where that is not possible, make the PDF accessible, starting with the most frequently downloaded and most important PDFs by the end of 2021.

Disproportionate burden

It may not be possible to make some of our more complex PDFs accessible, but you can request these in a different format – see ‘What to do if you cannot access parts of this website’ section below.

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

Using third party content or functionality

We often link to third party websites or documents when there is useful information for our residents, for example GOV.UK.

We often create content on third party platforms, such as YouTube. We're responsible for making sure our content is accessible but we're not responsible for YouTube's platform.

Older PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and other documents may not be structured to be accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

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. 

Where such documents are essential to providing our services, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML by the end of 2021. 

Live video

Live video streams do not have captions. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions - live).

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

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This website is tested on a monthly basis by Silktide who test a different sample of pages every month. We also use Siteimprove to regularly check accessibility and quality assurance. 

We tested:

  • our main website platform, available at
  • our microsites and websites specific to our services (The Higgins Bedford and Bedfordshire Pension Fund)

This statement was prepared in September 2020. It will next be updated in December 2021.

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