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Accessibility statement

Accessibility statement for stoke.gov.uk

(including fostering.stoke.gov.uk, commercial.stoke.gov.uk and safeguardingchildren.stoke.gov.uk)

This website is run by Stoke-on-Trent City 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 300% 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.

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 tables will not reflow in a single column when you change the size of the browser window
  • many of our older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams do not have captions
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • the map on our ‘report road problems’ pages may not fully accessible using screen reader software
  • At 400% the focus is not clear within the hamburger menu. This makes it difficult for the user to access these options.

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 aim to get back to you in 5 days.

If you cannot view the map on our ‘report road problems’ pages, call or email us to tell us about the problem.

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 us by emailing webteam@stoke.gov.uk or calling 01782 234234.

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

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Find out how to contact us https://www.stoke.gov.uk/directory/52/customer_service_centres.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Stoke-on-Trent City 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 and Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

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

Online payments including: housing rent, mortgages, council invoices, council tax, overpaid housing benefit invoices, business rates and BID payments.

  • Forms with integrated payment including: request a bin, pay for an archive request, book a bulky waste collection, pay a penalty notice, pay city music service fees, application for a remembrance vase tablet or cross and kerb vase, pay an invoice, landlord accreditation, apply for a smart bus pass, tell us about a taxi change of base and pay a truancy notice.

The payment sections of the above forms are not accessible to visitors using a screen reader because form fields are missing a ‘label’ tag. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.3.2 (labels or instructions).

The payment sections of the above forms are not accessible to visitors using a screen reader because you cannot skip to the main content. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks).

The text will not reflow in a single column when you change the size of the browser window. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10 (reflow).

The pdf document of the Bus Service Improvement Plan is not accessible to visitors using a screen reader because some of the images do not have text alternative. This document is required by the Department for Transport and will be updated shortly.

Pdf documents with regards to statements and accounts are not accessible to visitors using a screen reader because some of the images and tables do not have text alternative.

Information included on our Cobridge Compulsory Purchase Order is not accessible to visitors using a screen reader. Some information has been provided by a third party that is neither funded not developed by, nor under the control of the city council. This fails Part 4, Section 2 (e) of the Public Sector Bodies (website and mobile applications) (no.2) Accessibility Regulation 2018.

We are working with the provider of these payment services to make all online payments accessible to all users. This is currently under review and we will update the statement as soon as we have all the relevant information.

The time limit available to complete online forms cannot be turned off, adjusted or extended. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.2.1 (timing adjustable).

Stoke-on-Trent City Council are working with the provider of our online form builder to make online forms accessible to all users. This is currently under review and we will update the statement as soon as we have all the relevant information.

Navigation and accessing information

Online payments including: housing rent, mortgages, council invoices, council tax, overpaid housing benefit invoices, business rates and BID payments.

Forms with integrated payment including: request a bin, pay for an archive request, book a bulky waste collection, pay a penalty notice, pay city music service fees, application for a remembrance vase tablet or cross and kerb vase, pay an invoice, landlord accreditation, apply for a smart bus pass, tell us about a taxi change of base and pay a truancy notice. 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).

Interactive tools and transactions

Some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag.

Our forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships).

This is currently under review as we are waiting for costs from our third party supplier and will update the statement as soon as we have all relevant information.

Please contact webteam@stoke.gov.uk if you need assistance using this part of our website. 

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

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not 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. 

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. For example, we do not plan to fix.

Click here to view a list of all old pdf's, archives, meeting minutes and budgets.

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

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.

How we tested this website

This website was last tested in November 2019 by Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

We tested a random set of pages using Sitemorse in August 2019, we followed up by searching the whole website for frequently occurring instances of the same issues. We also chose a number of popular pages to test with assistive technology (NVDA and ZoomText) by analysing our website traffic. Further to this we continue to actively test for accessibility as new pages are published on stoke.gov.uk and its subdomains using WAVE.

We tested and continue to test:

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are working with all services areas across Stoke-on-Trent City Council to ensure that all future documents and software adheres to accessibility regulations.

We are in the process of removing or renewing PDF documents and creating accessible online forms where application forms may be needed.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared in December 2021. It was last reviewed on 30 January 2024.