Accessibility statement

This accessibility statement applies to the Tower Hamlets Connect website, https://towerhamletsconnect.org/ . This website is run by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

This website is designed to be compliant with the international standard Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG) – Level AA.

How accessible is this website?

This website should allow a user to do the following:-

  • modify the line height or spacing of text.
  • zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the page.
  • navigate most of the website using a keyboard.
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software.

We are aware that some parts of this website may cause accessibility issues :-

  • This website uses JavaScript to deliver certain features. Please make sure you have JavaScript turned on within your browser to deliver full features;
  • Most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software;
  • Live video streams do not have captions.

Using this website

Accessibility widget and accessible features

This website uses a widget that contains several accessible features that can be used by users with specific requirements. To access the widget, or accessibility toolbar, click on Accessibility link in the main menu. The widget will open in the left-hand side of the screen.

The features include:

Contrast and font size

Changing the contrast and font sizes of text can increase legibility for some users.

A user can change the contrast settings.

This website has two-colour contrast settings, firstly, the “default colour theme” which provides a suitable level of contrast for most users and satisfies the accessibility standards. However, if a user feels the colour contrast is too low in areas the website also contains a “high contrast theme” which satisfies all accessibility standards for colour contrast.

A user can change the contrast settings by clicking on the icons at the top right of screen. For a user using voice recognition please say, “Switch to colour theme” and “Switch to high contrast theme” respectively for the same result.

To increase the font size, click on the icons at the top right of the screen. For a user using voice recognition please say, “Switch to normal font size”, “Switch to big font size” and “Switch to biggest font size” respectively for the same result. The user can also use the browser’s own zoom facility. The website will work up to 200%.

Translation

You can use the Google Translate feature at the top right of the screen to translate the text to any of the available languages, including common community languages in Tower Hamlets such as Bengali, Chinese and Somali. Please note that the translation is done automatically by the Google software, not by the council.

Other features

This website provides several ways to access content. A user can search the website using the search bar on the top right of any webpage. For a voice recognition user navigating the website please say “Search Website” to focus on the search field and “Start searching” to start the search process. If you can’t find what you are looking for a Site-Map is available in the website’s footer.

Further information on accessibility options

The RNIB has a webpage with information on options that computers have which can make it easier for people with low or no vision to use them. - RNB Accessibility Options.

Accessible alternatives

Efforts have been made to create accessible alternatives for content that does not meet standards where possible.

Where appropriate we may be able to deliver content to users in accordance with their needs.

Please see “Make a request for Accessible Content” section for further details.

Make a request for accessible content

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille; Please fill out details in "Contact us" form or use the appropriate details, below.

Contact details for Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Council who manage the website:

Telephone: 020 7364 5000

Email: THConnect@towerhamlets.gov.uk

We will consider your request and get back to you in 30 days.

Purpose of links

Tower Hamlets Connect uses links to navigate to content on the website. External links will open in a new window.

Where possible the action of an external link will be described by extra description within the link text, so all users can understand the link’s purpose. However, in certain areas of the website adding this extra description will become a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.

We have provided the following definition for external links:

External links will be used for any content that has known limitations with assistive technologies OR navigates a user away from secure platforms. In summary, this means the following items are considered external links:

  • Non-HTML documentation (see “Issues with PDFs and other documents”)
  • Redirection away from secure platforms
  • External websites that are not part of Tower Hamlets Council.

Contact us and complaints procedure

We are always looking for ways to improve the Tower Hamlets Connect website. If you find any problems that are not listed within this statement, or believe we are not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations please contact us on –

Contact details for London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets Council who manage the website:

Telephone: 020 7364 5000

Email: THConnect@towerhamlets.gov.uk

We will consider your request and get back to you in 30 days.

Enforcement procedure

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

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Tower Hamlets 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 Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG) AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below. (See Non- Accessible Content, Issues With…).

Non-accessible content

Whilst Tower Hamlets Council strives to adhere to accepted guidelines and standards for accessibility and usability, it is not always possible to do so in all areas of the website.

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

This sub-section lists issues that fail the current accessibility regulations.

  • Bypass Block and My Favourites do not meet colour contrast standards on focus.
  • My Favourites Shortlist is not keyboard accessible.
  • Label-in-name, not all items match the visible label shown so users using voice-recognition may find it difficult to focus on items.
  • Non-HTML documentation - it has come to our attention that several of these documents are inaccessible with a few accessibility technologies. These include the document heading structure, use of tables and insufficient alternate descriptions. We have begun to implement these changes in future documentation. Where these documents cannot be improved, we are committed to provide an HTML document alternative.

JavaScript issues

The website makes use of JavaScript to deliver certain pieces of functionality such as the Accessibility Widget and Progressive Disclosure menus.

We would advise all users of this website to use a JavaScript enabled browser.

Screen-reader reading issues with interactive forms

It has come to our attention that some forms within marketplace cannot be read properly using screen-readers.

Our forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships).

Please see “What are we doing to improve accessibility?” section for further details.

Issues with voice recognition

It has been discovered that marketplace buttons - "More details" and "Add to favourites" do not give adequate descriptions to screen reader users  on the website. They have a different accessible name which causes these buttons to be inaccessible to users who use voice recognition software.

This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.5.3 Label in Name.

Please see “What are we doing to improve accessibility?” section for further details.

Issues with colour contrast

It has been discovered that the colour contrast of text in certain areas of the website is too low.  The area is where the bypass block is located at the top of the website. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3 Colour Contrast (Minimum) for the default colour theme.

Please see “What are we doing to improve accessibility?” section for further details.

Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

This sub-section lists issues that are exempt from the current accessibility regulations. For more information see following section, “Exemptions to the Accessibility Regulations”.

Issues with live video

Live video streams do not have captions. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions - live).

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Issues with PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they are accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, Role Value).

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. By September 2020, 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 are not essential to providing our services.

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

Disproportionate burden

This sub-section is N/A

Exemptions to the accessibility regulations

Web Content that is not subject to the standards referenced in this policy statement are as follows: -

  • Content that is archived.
  • Content on intranets and extranets published before 23/09/2019
  • Non-HTML documentation (PDFs, Microsoft Office files) that were published before 23/09/2018.
  • Non-HTML documentation (PDFs, Microsoft Office files) that are not essential to the services Tower Hamlets provides.
  • Live Audio and Video
  • Pre-recorded audio and video published before 23/09/2020
  • Online maps and mapping services
  • Third party content that is not under direct control of Tower Hamlets or main website provider – Google Translate, Social Media links.

What are we doing to improve accessibility?

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is fully committed to meeting all the accessibility criteria specified in the regulatory provisions. We plan to identify and fix issues in accordance with the timescales shown for each non-compliance area. Areas of this website that fail to meet these standards will have fixes prioritised according to usage data.

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets will make continuous assessments of this website’s content and update this statement when issues have been resolved.

Our current estimation for full accessibility fixes from our website provider is no later than 31st December 2021.

Policy review

This statement was prepared on 20/07/2021. Tower Hamlets Council will review this policy every year. This policy was last reviewed on 26/10/2021, by Tower Hamlets.