This accessibility statement applies to content published on 

This website is run by Dorset 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% 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.

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 aren’t fully accessible:

  • most older PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software
  • not all images have an alt text attribute
  • some third party elements have non-accessible attributes (e.g. YouTube controls)
  • some videos embedded on our pages may not be fully accessible 
  • our drop-down services menu is difficult to use for people that cannot use a mouse
  • some of the forms linked from this website may not be fully compliant
  • some buttons have coded accessible labels that don't match the text on the button

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please contact us. We will consider your request within 3 working days and get back to you.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations please contact us

At the bottom of every page there is a link to a contact form called “Is there anything wrong with this page?” If you are having a specific problem with a part of this website, please use that form to let us know of an issue

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint,  contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.

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

Find out how to contact us.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Dorset 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 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

2.4.6 Headings and Labels

Some of the form fields on our forms don't have accessible labels. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.4.6 (Headings and Labels).

1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose 

Some of the form fields on our forms don't indicate that they are mandatory. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.3.5 (Identify Input Purpose).

We are working to address these as resources allow. 

1.4.11 Non text contrast

The colour contrast on some call to action buttons is not sufficient.  This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.11 (Non text contrast).

We will be addressing this issue after the next upgrade of our content management system. Due to be completed in spring 2024.

1.4.3 Contrast minimum

Colour contrast is not sufficient when links with white text (such as in the footer) receive focus. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 (Contrast minimum).

We will be addressing this issue after the next upgrade of our content management system. Due to be completed in spring 2024.

2.1.1 Keyboard

Our drop-down services menu cannot currently be accessed by keyboard users. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criteria 2.1.1 (Keyboard)

We will be correcting our drop-down services menu once we have upgraded to the next version of our website software which will allow us to customise this standard feature (spring 2024).

Identify Input Purpose (1.3.5)

Not all our buttons have consistent accessible labels to the button text. This fails success criteria 1.3.5 (Identify Input Purpose).

We are working to correct them on an ongoing basis, as resources allow.

Identify Input Purpose (1.3.5)

Some of our videos do not have HTML titles where they have been embedded as iframes. This fails success criteria 1.3.5 (Identify Input Purpose). 

We are planning to correct these issues by September 2024.

Captions (Pre-recorded) (1.2.2)

Some of our videos do not have captions, or have incorrect captions. This fails success criteria 1.2.2 (Captions (pre-recorded))

We are planning to correct these issues by September 2024.

Audio Description (Pre-recorded) (1.2.5)

Some of our videos do not have audio descriptions where needed. This fails success criteria 1.2.5 (Audio Description (Pre-recorded)). 

We are planning to correct these issues by September 2024.

Non-text content (1.1.1)

Not all images have an appropriate alt text attribute. This fails success criteria 1.1.1 (Non-text content).

We are addressing these as they are identified by our site monitoring tool. 

Disproportionate burden

At this time we have not made any disproportionate burden claims.

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 our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. 

The accessibility regulations don’t 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.

Documents submitted to us by third parties that we are obliged to publish, such as planning applications and letters of objection, will not be compliant. We cannot amend these documents as we did not author them. 

Online maps

Our service includes the use of online maps to show certain geographical information. These are not used for navigational purposes and are exempt under the regulations. If you require the information presented in an online map in a different format, please contact us to discuss reasonable adjustments.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are taking a number of actions to improve the accessibility of this website:

  • we have moved to a new content management system which helps us ensure better AA technical compliance. We work with our website supplier to propose improvements to its accessibility
  • we are training our staff and providing guidance on how to meet accessibility requirements 
  • we use the Siteimprove tool to monitor our website content and address issues as they arise
  • we check new content for accessibility compliance prior to publishing, and advise colleagues on how to make their content compliant
  • we introduced a long-form HTML content feature in September 2022 that allows us to convert longer documents traditionally created as PDFs only into HTML content

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 27 August 2019. It was last updated on 12 March 2024.

This website was last tested on 29 September 2021. It was previously tested on 20 May 2020 by Shaw Trust Accessibility Services, and prior to that on 7 October 2019. This involved automated testing and testing by people with a wide range of disabilities. 

Our website is scheduled to be reviewed for accessibility by the Shaw Trust in May 2024. We are currently in the process of upgrading our content management system and our site will be reviewed for accessibility after this upgrade is complete.