Accessibility statement for Bedford Borough Council

This accessibility statement applies to Bedford Borough Council's website: www.bedford.gov.uk.

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:

  • some PDFs are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard

We will continue 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 webaccessibilityhelp@bedford.gov.uk

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: webaccessibilityhelp@bedford.gov.uk

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  

Online forms:

  • Some forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard (for example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag). This fails WCAG 1.3.1 success criteria (info and relationships).
  • The contrast ratio on buttons and links are not easily distinguishable. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (contrast minimum) and 1.4.1 (use of colour).
  • Some elements are missing Alt text. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.1.1 (non-text content).
  • Some elements have ID attributes that are not unique. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 4.1.1 (parsing)
  • There’s no way to skip the repeated content (for example, a ‘skip to main content’ option). This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks).

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

PDFs:

  • Some of our PDFs are missing titles. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.2 (Page Titled)
  • We plan to replace PDFs that are ‘in scope’  with web pages or, where that is not possible, make the PDF accessible wherever possible.

We plan to fix most of the issues above in 2023.

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. 

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 www.bedford.gov.uk
  • our microsites and websites specific to our services (The Higgins Bedford and Bedfordshire Pension Fund)

This statement was prepared in September 2020 and updated in October 2021, March 2022 and September 2022.