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Why web accessibility?
"The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect." Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web
Our website is for everyone and we strive to make it easy to:
- Find with a search engine
- Find your way around
- Read and understand (see text accessibility for further information)
We try to:
- Use friendly language
- Make it easy to contact the correct person directly if you need to
- Use links with meaning i.e. 'transport pages' rather than 'click here'
- Tell you when we are going to make a link open a new browser window
- Let you know when we are linking to a PDF (see PDF accessibility for further information)
We try to avoid using:
- Complicated wordy sentences and paragraphs
- Images that make pages load slowly
Over recent years there has been much done to improve the accessibility of PDF files. For our part we have started to structure all new PDF files on our site so they can be read by assistive technologies such as screen readers. Next to each link we also provide:
- file size information (which will indicate how long the file will take to open)
- a link to information about accessing PDF files
See the example below (please note this is a visual guide only and cannot be clicked):
Example Portable Document Format link [PDF] (127k)
However there is a large volume of PDF files on our website that have been published historically that do not meet accessibility guidelines. In some cases we can convert these documents into html for you to read in a browser. If you do come across a document on the website that you are unable to view please use the contact details on that page to get in touch with us.
We make sure all the contributors to our site are trained in writing for the web and follow
The size of the text on our site can be resized using your browser controls, see the W3C text resizing instructions. You can also find out how to change text and background colour from the W3C instructions.
Accessibility issues with our current website:
- We have a lot of PDF documents on our site and only a fraction are accessible to assistive technology such as screen readers.
What we are doing about it:
We have reviewed the use of PDF files on our website. Due to resources available we have decided that we cannot go back and make all the PDFs published historically on our site accessible. We will however do our best to ensure that new PDF files published on the website will at the least pass the Adobe Acrobat basic accessibility test.
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Note: To use these keys
For the Windows-based platform: if the browser is Netscape/Mozilla etc, hold down the 'Alt' key and press the assigned key on the keyboard; if the browser is Internet Explorer, do the same as for Netscape, but also press the 'enter' key to navigate to a page.
For the Macintosh platform, hold down the left-hand 'Control' and press the assigned key on the keyboard. (eg. Control-1 navigates to the home page.
Due to certain constraints, we have had to include other technologies and features that may cause accessibility issues. These include:
- Adobe PDF downloadable documents (as mentioned above),
- Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint downloadable documents,
- Google Maps (third party map application),
- reCAPTCHA (third party CAPTCHA application),
- You Tube Videos (third party video application),
- AchieveForms (online forms software),
- Bitly (third party link shortener).
We are making every effort to overcome these limitations by improving their accessibility and failing that, provide accessible alternatives.
Guildford Borough Council does not assume responsibility for third party applications.
We try to avoid using iframes, but from time to time we might use a third party product that uses iframes and which we have no control over. An example of this can be some of our embedded maps. Where we can we will add titles to iframes.
The vast majority of our tables have been designed to meet accessibility standards, and are only used where necessary. However, we do have some archived pages that contain tables that may not be accessible. Over time these will be removed from the website. If you have difficulty using a table please let us know and we will help you access the information, and improve the table.
Need help or information in a different format?
If you have any questions about anything covered on this page, or need any information sent to you in another format, contact us, the Web Team, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.