Do you have issues with digital accessibility? This could mean that reading or understanding online content is more difficult because of a number of reasons. This page will direct you to tips and information that can improve your experience.
To help you understand why accessibility is so important, have a look at these sites, which show you the issues some people may experience when websites and/or content aren't accessible.
- Accessibility personas - see how different needs affect different users. You can even experience these issues yourself in a series of simulations.
- Empathy Prompts - intended to help build empathy, not describe any one person's experience.
- Accessibility facts - for example, by 2050 nearly 2.5 billion people will be living with some degree of hearing loss
- Accessibility myths - 'accessibility only affects a small group of users' Not that small - it affects around 15% of the world's population.
- Assistive technology demonstrations (YouTube)
This accessibility statement applies to content published on Luton.gov.uk.
This website is run by Luton 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 or impairment, including how to:
- make text larger
- magnify the screen
- change fonts and colours
- make your mouse pointer easier to see
- using your keyboard instead of a mouse
- making your device talk to you
If you'd like information on our website translated into another language, you may find one of the services listed below meets your needs. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any external website or free website translators.
Under some circumstances, for example, if you cannot read the information easily in English, you can request information in a different language from us. This includes British Sign Language, easy read or a foreign language. Please contact our customer service centre for advice.
- Email Customer Services
- Telephone 01582 546000
How accessible this website is
Parts of this website are not fully accessible, but we're working where possible to correct this and your help is welcome in spotting anything we have missed. For example, some:
- pages and document attachments are not clearly written
- images do not have good alternative text
- images contain text which you may not be able to read
- heading elements are not consistent
- tables do not have row headers
- pages show a Google map which screen reader users and keyboard users can find difficult to use
- of our third party forms and applications may not meet WCAG 2.1
We're working with our third party suppliers to bring these up to the standard we expect. We'll also be:
- making an assessment when each supplier contract is up for renewal
- building in accessibility requirements as part of our procurement process
What to do if you can’t access parts of this website
If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF or large print, please email Customer Services. We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 10 working days.
Reporting accessibility problems with this website
We’re always looking 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, you can
- use the 'Rate this page' link at the top of the page to report problems - please include your contact details so that we can respond to you
- email Digital Services
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing PSBAR (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.
Contacting us by email, 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, and if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.
Contact us by email Customer Services or call 01582 414367
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
We're committed to making our website accessible, in accordance with the PSBAR.
This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 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 headings may not be structured correctly. This fails WCAG 2.1 level A success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships).
We will correct this issue over time as we review each page.
- HTML is used to format some content. This fails WCAG 2.1 level A success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships).
We will correct this issue over time as we review each page.
- Some iFrames are missing a title. This fails WCAG 2.1 level A success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role, value).
We're using automated software (SiteImprove) to monitor our site and correct these issues as soon as they are highlighted. When we publish new pages we’ll make sure iFrames meet accessibility standards.
- A number of images do not have appropriate alt text. This fails WCAG 2.1 level A success criteria 1.1.1 (non-text content).
- Some images contain text this fails WCAG 2.1 level A success criteria 1.4.5 (images of text)
We are using automated software (SiteImprove) to monitor our site and correct these issues as soon as they are highlighted. When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.
- Some pages have the same link text going to different destinations, so people might not know the difference. This fails WCAG 2.1 level A success criteria 2.4.4 (link purpose, in context).
We are using automated software (SiteImprove) to monitor our site and correct these issues as soon as they are highlighted. When we publish new pages we’ll make sure link text meets accessibility standards.
PDFs and other documents
- Some of our PDFs and other documents are not formatted so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, role value).
By October 2022, we've reviewed 100% of our post-2018 online documents and made these accessible retrospectively, where possible.
Any new documents we publish should meet accessibility standards but there are some exceptions to this (which may only be partially compliant), including
- very complex PDFs which are non-essential for accessing our services such as complex tables in the statement of accounts documents
- documents produced by external organisations
- documents specifically designed to be downloaded for use as posters or flyers
- some form documents where related systems are dependent on the existing layout or format
- maps, building plans, historical archive scans
However should any users require an accessible version of any one of these documents please email Customer Services
- Some tables don't have summaries or headings. This fails WCAG 2.1 level A success criteria 1.3.1 (info and relationships).
We will correct this issue over time as we review each page. When we publish new tables we’ll make sure they meet accessibility standards.
Video controls do not have enough contrast. This fails WCAG 2.1 level AA success criteria 1.4.11 (non-text contrast).
This is an issue with the YouTube or Vimeo video player and not within our control.
- On some pages we use the Care Quality Commission widget to display ratings on our website. This widget does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.3 Contrast (Minimum) or 2.4.7 Focus Visible.
This is a widget which has been created by the CQC and this issue has been reported to them to fix.
Interactive tools and transactions
Some of our services are provided by third-party software and 'skinned' to look like our website. These include:
- online forms (myforms.luton.gov.uk)
- online payments (civicapay.co.uk/Luton)
- business rates, landlord payments and free school meals list (connect.luton.gov.uk)
- consultations (engage.luton.gov.uk)
- planning (planning.luton.gov.uk)
- Luton Directory and Local Offer (directory.luton.gov.uk)
- Committee Management Information System (CMIS) (democracy.luton.gov.uk)
- registry office appointments (s14.sishost.co.uk)
- adult social care self-assessment (socialcare.luton.gov.uk)
- penalty charge notice (PCN) payments (parking.luton.gov.uk)
- tenancy self service (housing.luton.gov.uk)
- job search (jobs.luton.gov.uk)
We're currently in the process of assessing the complexity and costs of fixing the issues with our third party providers. We require that any new third party systems we commission for the website are Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 AA compliant.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
PDFs and other documents
- Some of our older PDFs and other 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.
- 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. For example, we don’t plan to fix old PDF newsletters that might still be published and accessed through our website.
- Any new documents that are added to the website are tested first to ensure they’re accessible to users of assistive technology.
- Live video streams may not include captions. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 Captions (Live). We may not add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
- Some pre-recorded videos published before 23 September 2020 do not include captions. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.2.2 Captions (Pre-recorded). We may not add captions to these videos because pre-recorded video published before 23 September 2020 is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
- Some pre-recorded videos published before 23 September 2020 may require, but don't include, audio description. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria 1.2.5 Audio Description (Pre-recorded). We may not add audio description to these videos because prerecorded video published before 23 September 2020 is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.
- Any pre-recorded video content we publish after 23 September 2020 will meet accessibility standards.
- Online maps and mapping services are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. From 23 September 2020 we'll ensure that where maps are intended for navigational use essential information is provided in an accessible digital manner.
How we monitor this website
Our website platform, available at m.luton.gov.uk is tested every 7 days. The tests are carried out by the Luton Council Digital team using Siteimprove accessibility reports. Tests are scheduled automatically and are monitored by Digital Services.
When developing additional content or functionality we use a combination of methods to test the accessibility, including:
- automated software (Siteimprove and Accessibility Insights )
- manual sampling (by template type and high volume)
We also use a range of other tools to test for accessibility issues including:
- Accessibility insights for the web
- Arc toolkit
- browser developer tools
- Siteimprove accessibility checker
- Web Aim contrast checkers
- Web developer
Manual reviews are carried to assess any content and functionality automated testing cannot cover.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
We are continuously working to resolve all identified accessibility issues which are within our control as well as working with all our third-party supplied systems to try to resolve any of their identified accessibility issues. We monitor our site regularly using
- Siteimprove - a subscription service that reports on accessibility and quality assurance for all pages.
- SiteImprove provides three levels of accessibility warnings based on the WCAG 2.1 criterions, errors, warnings and reviews.
- Luton.gov.uk is currently (6 October 2023) marked at:
- 95.4% for accessibility compliance level A
- 99.4% for accessibility compliance level AA
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This statement was prepared in September 2020. It was last reviewed on 6 October 2023.
This website was last tested in October 2023, the test was carried out by staff at Luton 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, such as the main homepage and also the content listed under Benefits and Council Tax.
We complete our accessibility audits by testing how the site performs when accessed using accessibility tools such as:
- Accessibility Insights for the Web, Axe, Siteimprove and WAVE to test coding elements
- Siteimprove and Web Aim contrast checkers to test the contrast levels between colours.