Accessible documents

Accessibility statement for documents published on Bury Council website

This accessibility statement applies to documents published by Bury Council on the Bury.gov.uk website. It does not cover content published on Bury.gov.uk as HTML web pages as these are covered by our main Bury.gov.uk accessibility statement.

Using our documents

Bury Council publishes documents in a range of formats, mainly PDF, but sometimes Excel, CSV, Word, etc.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use those documents. For example, when we produce a document we make sure to:

  • provide an HTML text webpage option where possible
  • tag headings and other parts of the document properly, so screen readers can understand the page structure
  • make sure we include alt text alongside non-decorative images, so people who cannot see them understand what they're there for
  • avoid using tables, except when we're presenting data
  • write in plain English (wherever possible)

How accessible our documents are

New documents we publish and documents you need to download or fill in to access one of the services we provide should be fully accessible.

However, we know that some of our older documents (published before 23 September 2018) are not accessible. For example, some of them:

  • are just images of text and are not marked up in a way that allows screen reader users to understand them
  • are not tagged up properly - for example, they do not contain proper headings
  • are difficult to read because of contrast issues
  • are not written in plain English

We don't currently have plans to make these documents accessible (unless they become due for review), but if you need to access information in one of these documents, please contact us and ask for an alternative format.

What to do if you cannot use one of our documents

If you need a document we've published in a different format, please contact the department or section responsible for the document, stating your contact details and the name of the document you cannot use.

Contact details for the responsible service area are usually found at the bottom of each content web page.

Reporting accessibility problems with one of our documents

We're always looking to improve the accessibility of our documents. If you find any problems not listed on this page or you think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, contact us.

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 with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).


Technical information about the accessibility of our documents

Bury Council is committed to making our documents accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The documents Bury Council publishes are 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

Some of our documents are not properly tagged, or do not use accessible headings or structures. This means that they do not meet the success criteria for navigation set out in standard 1.3.1 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 (AA standard).

Some of our documents have diagrams. These images do not have a text alternative, so the information in them is not available to people using a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

We are tagging, adding text alternatives for all diagrams and adding accessible headings and structures in all documents produced after 23 September 2018, as they come up for review. We aim to complete this as soon as we can.

When we publish new documents we'll make sure our use of tagging, diagrams, headings and content structures meets accessibility standards.

Some of our documents (including some produced before 23 September 2018) are essential to providing our services. For example, we may still have some PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms that are not accessible. We are fixing these or replacing them with accessible HTML pages as soon as we can.

Any new PDF or Word documents we publish will usually be compliant with the accessibility regulations but there are some exceptions to this (which may only be partially compliant):

  • very complex PDF documents which are non-essential for accessing our services such as complex tables in the statement of accounts documents
  • documents which are specifically designed to be downloaded for use as posters or flyers (in such cases, information contained in these documents will be available as text on the web page)
  • maps, building plans, historical archive scans etc.

Some of the documents we publish are produced by third parties. We are not always able to make these fully compliant, for example adding alternative text to images or diagrams. This means that they do not meet the success criteria for perception set out in standard 1.1.1 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 (AA standard). We inform third parties of our accessibility requirements but sometimes we have to publish documents at short notice that are not accessible.

Disproportionate burden

Some documents that are supplied to us by other organisations may not be edited to make them accessible, for example, documents used during consultations done by other organisations, which are of a temporary nature.

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

Some of our documents were produced in a print format before 23 September 2018. This type of document cannot be read by screen readers and other forms of assistive technology, so it fails to meet the success criteria for perception set out in standard 1.1.1 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 (AA standard).

Some of our documents produced before 23 September 2018 are not properly tagged, or do not use accessible headings or structures. This means that they do not meet the success criteria for navigation set out in standard 2.4.6 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 (AA standard).

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. We do not plan to fix some of these. Examples include:

  • non-statutory guidance that doesn't relate to the provision of a service
  • consultation responses
  • policy papers
  • independent reports
  • corporate reports
  • correspondence
  • research and statistics
  • historical archive documents
  • scanned copies of original letters (where necessary, text is reproduced in HTML on the web page)

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


How we tested our documents

We regularly check a sample of our documents. These checks are carried out by staff who have web editing responsibilities, as web pages or individual documents come up for review.

What we're doing to improve accessibility

We're improving accessibility by carrying out accessibility checks on all our new documents. Our web content pages are reviewed periodically and any PDFs linked to those pages are checked also. An assessment is made on whether the documents meet accessibility requirements, taking into account the importance of the information contained within the document. If they don't, then we decide if they need re-doing to make them accessible or removing and the content adding to HTML web pages, etc.