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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 screen readers (links open in new window)).

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand and it is approved by Plain English Campaign (link opens in new window) on an annual basis. AbilityNet (link opens in new window) 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
  • several older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software.

Access to information 

As part of our commitment to promoting equality of opportunity and good relations, we want to ensure that everyone is able to access this website. Webpages can be made available in different languages and formats on request, contact Equality and Diversity Unit:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 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

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, 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) (link opens in new window) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (link opens in new window) (the ‘accessibility regulations’) in Northern Ireland. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your request or complaint, 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

Find out how to contact us.

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 some of our venues. Find out more about this service.

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.

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 (link opens in new window). 

Compliance status 

This website is partially compliant with the WCAG 2.1 (link opens in new window) AA standard due to some non-compliances, meaning there’s an accessibility problem with the areas listed.

Non-accessible content

The content listed is non-accessible for the following reasons:

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

‘Silktide’ is an automated accessibility testing tool, which Belfast City Council uses.

An accessibility report on 1 August 2023 from Silktide highlights the following issues on some of our website pages:

  1. Some of our pre-recorded audios don't have a text alternative. This fails WCAG 2.0 (link opens in new window) success criterion 1.2.1 (audio-only and video-only (pre-recorded)). 
    This issue relates to our committee meeting audios.

  2. Some pages have navigation content that should be marked as a list. Some lists or groups of links are not tagged correctly. This fails WCAG 2.0 (link opens in new window) success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships).
    This relates to the contents list in HTML documents.  

  3. Some form controls do not contrast sufficiently with form surroundings. This fails WCAG 2.1 (link opens in new window) success criterion 1.4.11 (non-text contrast). 
    This relates to date fields in our events search. 

  4. Some pages use duplicated link text for different destinations. This fails WCAG 2.0 (link opens in new window) success criterion 2.4.4 (link purpose (in context)).

  5. Some links are not explained as opening in a new window. This fails WCAG 2.0 (link opens in new window) success criterion 3.2.5 (change on request).

  6. Some text on our pages does not have a high enough contrast with the background colour so that people with significant visual impairments can read it. This fails WCAG 2.0 (link opens in new window) success criterion 1.4.6 (contrast (enhanced)).  
    This relates to text in table cells where the background is shaded.

  7. Some of our footer links and input areas are not large enough to be easily used by people with motor impairments. This fails WCAG 2.1 (link opens in new window) success criterion 2.5.5 (target size).

  8. Some links are not accessible to screen readers which are devices used by blind or partially-sighted people. This fails WCAG 2.0 (link opens in new window) success criterion A 4.1.2.

Several of our PDF documents, online forms and third-party products are not accessible:

Online forms

We will continually review our online forms. If you need any help with carrying out a task on our website, contact the service or email equality@belfastcity.gov.uk

Microsoft Bookings

We use Microsoft Bookings to schedule appointments for:

There are parts of this application that are not fully accessible:

  • Contrast (minimum)
    For some text, colour contrast ratio is failing.
  • Resize text
    In some places, elements are truncating on larger text mode.
  • Reflow (horizontal and vertical scrolling)
    In some places, reflow mode is not adopting correctly.
  • Non-text contrast
    For some elements, non-text colour contrast ratio is failing.

Microsoft last updated its accessibility statement for this product on 14 October 2022.

PDF documents

These PDFs are inaccessible. If you need them in another format, email webmaster@belfastcity.gov.uk

Additional inaccessible PDFs were added on 12 May 2022 to the Draft Plan Strategy Modifications: Consultation. The first three documents are not produced by Belfast City Council and will not be converted to HTML.

If you need these in another format, email planning@belfastcity.gov.uk or call 028 9050 0510.

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

These forms need to be completed in hard copy. Forms A and H need to be sworn and signed in the presence of a commissioner for oaths. If you need any help with these forms, call 028 9027 0296 or email webmaster@belfastcity.gov.uk.


Our intention is to publish new PDFs or Word documents in line with accessibility standards.

Disproportionate burden

We are not claiming disproportionate burden for this website.

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 our financial statements published before 2018.

Third party suppliers

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 monthly, until we are satisfied that they are compliant.

If you are having difficulties accessing an area of the website that is provided by a third party supplier, email webmaster@belfastcity.gov.uk and we will report it to the supplier.

Our website presently uses the following third party suppliers:

1. Civica – provides Modern.Gov (link opens in new window), where you can search for minutes of council and committee meetings. Civica has carried out an accessibility review and states that the majority of pages were compliant at WCAG 2.1 (link opens in new window) AA level, with the exception of the calendar functionality (see non-accessible content) which has now been disabled on this site.

How Civica tested their website

Civica’s Modern.Gov (link opens in new window) site was tested using a range of accessibility assessment tools across different web browsers and cross-checked against accessibility standards to identify improvements.

Non-accessible content

Modern.Gov uses the PDF file format to display agendas and minutes. We are investigating options for publishing these in a more accessible format. Email democraticservices@belfastcity.gov.uk or call 028 9027 0434 if you need this is another format.

Ongoing development

Civica welcomes feedback from customers to assist them with improving accessibility. If you have any comments, email webmaster@belfastcity.gov.uk

2. Public-i offers the webcasts of the council meetings (link opens in new window). Read Public-i’s accessibility statement (link opens in new window).

If you need any help, contact Democratic Services on 028 9027 0434 or email us at webcast@belfastcity.gov.uk and we will respond to your email within two working days.

Public-i does not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations. 

3. Our engagement platform, Your Say (link opens in new window) is supplied by Bang the Table Pty Ltd and encourages public consultation. Read Your Say's accessibility statement (link opens in new window) and email policy@belfastcity.gov.uk if you need any help.

4. Our Online Funding Hub (link opens in new window) is supplied by Decision Time. If you need any help, email our Central Grants Unit at cgugrants@belfastcity.gov.uk

5. Northern Ireland Houses in Multiple Occupation (NIHMO) (link opens in new window) is a regional solution for landlords for houses of multiple occupancy. The supplier is Idox. The website is fully compliant.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are using automated checks to alert us if something falls below the standard.

We commissioned Web Usability to conduct a manual accessibility audit of our websites. They completed a test in August 2023. We are currently fixing these issues and will carry out a retest in November 2023.

We 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. We reviewed it on 15 September 2023 and updated the statement. We will continue to review our accessibility status monthly and update the statement when needed.

We tested this website on 15 September 2023. We carried out our own testing using automated accessibility testing tool Silktide. We scanned 3,415 pages and 340 documents on our site.

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