This website is run by Sunderland City Council.  We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website.  For example, this means you should be able 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 a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader

We've also made the website text as simple as possible to understand

Ability.net has advice on making your device easier if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of the website are not fully accessible:

  • most PDF and some Word documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard
  • you cannot skip to the main content when using a screen reader
  • forms will time-out after 20 minutes as a default

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print,easy read, audio recording and braille please contact us.

We'll consider your request and get back to you as soon as possible.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We're always looking for ways to improve the accessibility of this website.  If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, please let us know using our online feedback form.

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 not happy how we respond to you're complaint, contact the Equality, Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person.

Our offices have audio induction loops.

If someone requires a service from us and they do not speak English, an interpreter can be provided through the Council's approved provider who will provide high quality interpreting between Council officers and users of Council services. All interpreters are appropriately qualified, and all follow a code of practice that includes the need for confidentiality. The Council officer you are dealing with will arrange this service on your behalf when organising an appointment.

Communication Support is available for people who require a British Sign Language Interpreter, but this needs to be arranged in advance.

Technical information about this website's accessibility

Sunderland 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.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content and Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA standard due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content

Success criteria 1.1.1: non-text content

We are aware that some 'image' elements do not contain alternate text. We are reviewing the use of images and descriptions across the website with a view to improving our compliance with this standard.

Success criteria 1.3.1: Info and relationships

We are working to improve the use of semantic html page elements to convey the meaning of our content rather than relying on visual presentation alone. We continue to review our content using website auditing tools and are working towards addressing and reducing any outstanding issues by changing or rewriting content where applicable.

Success criteria 1.3.5: Identify input purpose

Some of our forms currently do not auto-fill form fields from values stored in the users browser.  We are working towards addressing this issue.

Success criteria 1.4.3:  Contrast (minimum)

There is an issue with contrast between text and its background in some areas of the website.  We are working towards addressing this issue.

Success criteria 1.4.10: Distinguishable

We are aware a small number of pages where horizontal scrolling is required on smaller screens.  We are working towards addressing this issue.

Success criteria 2.4.1: Bypass blocks

Users currently cannot bypass blocks of content that are repeated on multiple pages.  We are working with our website provider to address this issue.

Success criteria 2.4.2: Page titled

Some pages currently do not have appropriate titles.  We are working to address this issue.

Success criteria 2.4.4: Link purpose (in context)

We know that the purpose of some links within web pages are not clear from the text within the link.  We are working to address this issue.

Success criteria 2.4.7:  Focus visible

Some controls do not change appearance when they are selected.  We are working with our website provider and third parties to address this issue.

Success criteria 3.1.1: Language of the page

Pages do not currently the language they were written in.  We are working with our website provider to address this issue.

Disproportionate burden

PDF documents

PDF documents published after 23 September 2018 may not be accessible for several reasons. 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).

Due to the vast number of documents on the website, to amend every document would be a disproportionate burden so we are unable to rectify this problem.

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

PDF's and other documents

Many of our older PDF's and downloadable documents don't meet accessibility standards. For example, they may not be structured so they're accessible to a screen reader. This doesn't meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2. However, the accessibility regulations don't require us to fix PDF's or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they're not essential to providing our services.

Using third party content or functionality on our website

We often use third party content or functionality on our website. This allows us to offer a wide range of services that can be completed online. They are each built to look like our website but are based on a different technical platform. 

This includes:

  • Online forms 
  • Card payment systems
  • Committee Management system
  • Parking 

Where we choose to feature third party content or functionality on our website, we are responsible for ensuring it meets accessibility standards.  We are currently working with our third party suppliers to ensure that they are compliant with the accessibility guidelines.

How we tested this website

This website is currently being tested for accessibility.  The test is being carried out by Sunderland City Council.

We are testing our main website platform including:

  • our homepage
  • content pages
  • search pages

What we're doing to improve accessibility

We're currently working to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, please let us know using our online feedback form.

This statement was updated on 17 September 2020.