We want everyone who visits our website to be able to access the full range of services available, regardless of their skill or technology.
We have designed it so that it lets you edit your preferred settings, with options 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
See how you can adapt the website to meet your needs:
Alternatively, you can set your Web browser to ignore the colours that we have used on this Web site. You can also ask your browser to use your own preferred colour scheme when viewing this site.
AbilityNet have developed some useful guides to help you to make your device easier to use if you have a disability.
- My Computer My way - AbilityNet website
We use Browsealoud to provide speech, reading and translation support to our website.
It works by reading our website content out loud in a natural sounding voice.
It can translate our web pages into 99 languages, and read the content aloud in 40 of the most commonly spoken languages in the world.
In addition, Browsealoud can:
- magnify text on-screen to help users with visual impairments
- convert text to audio files using an MP3 generator for offline listening
- block on-screen clutter using a screen mask, to let readers focus on the text being read
- remove ads and other distracting content using a web page simplifier for easier reading
- read PDF documents aloud
How accessible the site is
We know some parts of this website aren't fully accessible:
- many older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
- some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
- Maps (and the information displayed on them) are not picked up in full by assistive technology for example key elements such as magnification and points of interest.
- live video streams do not have subtitles
What to do if you have problems or queries
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website: if you have any problems that aren’t already mentioned, or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, email us at:
If you need to contact us about any other issues, please use our contact us page.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you're not happy with how we respond, please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
Technical information about this website's accessibility
Oldham council is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
Under the Equality Act 2010 we must ensure we do not unlawfully discriminate in our service delivery and make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities where necessary. We are constantly working to improve the accessibility and usability of our site.
This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard.
Our approach to testing and addressing accessibility issues is outlined in our disproportionate burden statement.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
PDFs and other documents
- Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing council services e.g. PDFs that give users complex information in a clear format, using illustrations etc, or forms that were published as Word documents. We plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.
- 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. Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.
- We have a rolling programme to update our PDFs.
- We do not plan to add captions to live video streams, because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. All of our pre-recorded and edited film clips will feature subtitles, captions and a transcript.
Embedded clips from YouTube
- When embedding Youtube content, it automatically generates non-compliant HTML5 code. We’re currently monitoring this to see if it has a negative effect on the overall user experience. At the time of publication that is not the case, but linked film clips will not function without the non-compliant code.
Embedded images from Flickr
- We have a selection of historical photo albums on the site, some of which are only hosted on the photo-sharing website, flickr.com. The code used to embed an image or album can create non-compliant elements.
- Maps and mapping services are exempt as long as essential information is provided in accessible digital manner for maps intended for navigational use. We have implemented this methodology wherever maps are used.
- We aim to meet the needs of all visitors to our site, but we don’t yet have a way of presenting geographical information (maps and site plans etc.) in a fully achievable and accessible format. Currently all accessible map solutions would be impossible to implement for all residents due to both resource and installation issues. As new technologies emerge we will revaluate this topic.
- If you need help to understand our maps, there will be contact information specific to the relevant map content author within the page
- Alternately you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non compliance with the accessibility regulations
Due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the web team's workload, there are still some areas of the site that are not fully compliant.
- Images uploaded to the site before 2018 may not have alt tags or captions. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).
- We will correct insufficient or needed alt-text over time as we review sections of the site.When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.
- Some web page headings don't cascade inside the features on the page. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.10 (Section Headings).
- A number of updates are coming to our site by the end of this year, and we expect the updates to address these issues.
Select link text
- Some pages use the same link text more than once, but each goes to a different URL. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context)
- Any link or text that is flagged to us will be looked into and assessed against collected user data.
Several of our website’s subdomains are hosted on separate platforms.
- committees.oldham.gov.uk - a Modern Gov platform for historic council minutes, meetings and agendas. On this site, information must be collated and published publicly within a short legal timeframe.
- myaccount.oldham.gov.uk - is a customer account providing information on Council Tax and Housing Benefit
- planningpa.oldham.gov.uk is our planning portal which is managed by our planning team
These subdomains predate accessibility legislation and are not WCAG 2.1 AA compliant.
We are working with the platform providers on making their content accessible going forward or developing alternate solutions which will be WCAG 2.1 AA compliant.
Our payments are processed through a third-party payment platform, E-paycapita. E-paycapita is not WCAG 2.1 AA compliant, however we have raised this with the supplier and are developing an alternate solution.
How we test the site
Our accessibility audits have been performed internally using accessibility analysis tools such as WAVE, Adobe Acrobat DC Pro and BrowseAloud screen reader.
These have been performed on a selected sample of our websites’ most frequently visited webpages.
We also use the SortSite accessibility tool to highlight accessibility issues with our content pages.
We re-assess a website or system for accessibility whenever it undergoes a major modification.
Page content is checked every time it is updated.
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This statement was prepared on 25 September 2019. It was last reviewed on 26 November 2021.
This website was last tested in July 2020 and was carried out by staff at Oldham Council.
We tested a large sample size of page types and varieties from our site. Paying careful attention to make sure all types of user journey and the most popular tasks were represented, e.g. the main homepage and also the content listed under Council Tax.