Accessible Documents

Accessible documents on Ulgham Village website

This policy explains how accessible the documents are on the Ulgham Village website particularly those which are published by the Parish Council on their documents page here.  It covers PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations and other types of document.

Using our documents

Ulgham Parish Council publishes documents in a range of formats, including Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PDF documents.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use those documents. For example, when we produce a document, we make sure to:

  • provide an HTML option where possible
  • tag headings and other parts of the document properly, so screen readers can understand the page structure
  • make sure we include alt text alongside non-decorative images, so people who cannot see them understand what they’re there for
  • avoid using tables, except when we’re presenting data
  • write in plain English

How accessible are our documents

New documents we publish should be fully accessible.

However, we know that some of our older documents (published before 23 September 2018) are not accessible.  For example, some of them:

  • are just photocopies and are not marked in a way that allows screen reader users to understand them
  • are not tagged properly – for example, they do not contain proper headings
  • are not written in plain English

This mostly applies to financial reports, meeting agendas, reports and minutes, annual reports, policies and publications.  These types of documents are exempt from the regulations, so we do not currently have any plans to make them accessible.

But if you need to access information in one of these document types, you can contact us and ask for an alternative format.

What to do if you cannot use one of our documents

If you need a document we’ve published in a different format:

We’ll consider the request and get back to you.

Reporting accessibility problems with one of our documents

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our documents.  If you find any problems not listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact the Parish Clerk:

Mrs K Mavin
5 Muirfield,
Whitley Bay,
Tyne And Wear,
NE25 9HY

Tel: 07926 367495


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 unhappy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about the accessibility of our documents

Ulgham Parish Council is committed to making our documents accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The documents Ulgham Parish Council publishes are 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

A few of our documents are scanned photocopies.  These images do not have a text alternative, so the information in them is not available to people using a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

We plan to add text alternatives for all images included in new documents published after September 2018.  When we publish new documents, we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

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

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).

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. We do not plan to fix documents which were published prior to 23 September 2018.

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on meeting agendas and minutes.  By 23 September 2020, where possible, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

Any new PDFs or Word documents created by us will meet accessibility standards.

How we tested our documents

We last tested a sample of our documents in August 2020.  The test was carried out by the Ulgham Village web site developer.

They tested:

  • a meeting agenda
  • meeting minutes
  • a financial report
  • a summary of expenditure

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are currently reviewing procedures to ensure that new documents we produce and publish meet accessibility guidelines.

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