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Accessibility statement

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This accessibility statement applies to www.belfastcity.gov.uk This website is run by Belfast 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 per cent 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 and it is approved by Plain English Campaign on an annual basis. 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:

  • live video streams do not have captions
  • our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard or screen reader
  • a number of older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different accessible format, for example large print, easy read, audio recording or Braille:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in ten working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We want to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, email us at webmaster@belfastcity.gov.uk

Please tell us what part of the website you are visiting, what you are trying to do and what is preventing you from doing what you need to do. If possible, please tell us what device and which browser you’re using. We will get back to you within three working days.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’) in Northern Ireland. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your request or complaint, please call ECNI on 028 9050 0600 and ask to speak with one of their Discrimination Advice Officers in their Legal Division, or email information@equalityni.org

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a video relay service for people who are deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment. You can access this online or at Belfast Zoo and Olympia Leisure Centre. For SignVideo information, go to Main council offices,

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

Find out how to contact us.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Belfast 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. 

Compliance status 

This website is partially compliant with the WCAG 2.1 AA standard due to some non-compliances, meaning there’s an accessibility problem with some areas. These include PDF documents, forms and third party tools which are not accessible:

Online forms

Our online forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard or a screenreader because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag. We are rebuilding our forms to address this and they will be accessible by 30 October 2020. Should you need any help with carrying out a task on our website, please contact the service or email equality@belfastcity.gov.uk

Local Development Plan library 

The documentation that forms part of the Local Development Plan (LDP) process is displayed within a document library on the website. There are over 300 PDFs, varying in page length, in this section. 

In accordance with the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 and The Planning (Local Development Plan) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015, the council is required to make, publish and provide access to the documents that form part of the Local Development Plan and supporting Evidence Base.  

 The Local Development Plan library will remain as inaccessible PDFs on the new website.  

Road closures  

We have an obligation to publish a Road Closure Notice and make available, for inspection, a copy of the application. The Traffic Management Plan (TMP) is part of the application - (Paragraph 3 (4) (e) –  The Notice must specify alternative routes for traffic and pedestrians, these can only be obtained from TMPs.   

There are some parts of this webpage that are not fully accessible including Road Closure Traffic Management Plans which may contain images or PDF files of the traffic management plan to be used during the road closure, without an alternative from third party companies.  

 Should a web user need these plans in an alternative format, they should contact the service.

Job application forms

While we are developing an online job application system, we are preparing an interim accessible solution for applicants. This will be in place by 23 September 2020.

If you have a disability, or your first language is not English, and you need help with any aspect of our recruitment and selection process, please call 028 9027 0640.  

Some of our PDFs are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs which are necessary for organising cremations and require signatures. 

The forms are:

  • Burial and Cremation information form
  • Form A - Application for Cremation
  • Form B, C and F - Certificate of Medical Attendant, Confirmatory Medical Certificate and Authority to Cremate 
  • Pacemaker/Fixion form
  • Form H, I and F - Still born child

We do not intend to replace these with accessible HTML pages. Two pieces of legislation which govern how these forms are to be completed are:

  • The Cremation ( Belfast) Regulations ( NI) 1961; and 
  • The Statutory Declaration Act 1835

These forms are required to be completed in hard copy. Forms A and H are required to be sworn and signed in the presence of a commissioner for oaths. 

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

Third party tools

We use third party suppliers to deliver parts of the website. We have informed our suppliers that they need to meet the standards and we will review their compliance on a monthly basis for the next six months, until we are satisfied that they are compliant.

1. Civica – provides ModernGov, where you can search for minutes of council and committee meetings. We are working with Civica on an upgrade and aim to be fully compliant by 23 September 2020. 

2. Public-I offers the webcasts of the council meetings. We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. 

3. Delib provides the product called CitizenSpace, which encourages public consultation. This tool is fully compliant although some of our supporting information may be in an older PDF format.

4. Our Online Funding Hub is supplied by Decision Time, currently working towards compliance.

5. NIHMO is a regional solution for landlords for houses of multiple occupancy. The supplier is Tascomi, which is working on making this part of the site accessible.

If you are having difficulties accessing any of these areas, please email webmaster@belfastcity.gov.uk and we will report it to the supplier.

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

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 Financial Statements published before 2018  our financial reports from 2013 – 2018

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are using some automated checks to alert us if something falls below the standard. By 23 September 2020, we will have carried out user testing with groups of users including our Disability Advisory Panel. On a monthly basis, we will contact our suppliers, to assess their compliance with the legislation. We are also approaching organisations, who request that we publish their documents on our website, to discuss how we can present their information in an accessible way.

Preparation of this accessibility statement 

This statement was prepared on 27 July 2020. It was last reviewed on 27 July 2020.

We tested this website on 27 July 2020. We carried out our own testing using automated accessibility testing tools – Siteimprove, Wave and Silktide. We scanned about 1000 pages of our site.

 

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