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Hertfordshire County Council

Accessibility statement for

Hertfordshire County Council runs this website. We want as many people as possible to be able to use it.

We work to make this website as accessible as possible to everyone, including those with disabilities and those who use assistive technologies to browse the web.

We're pleased to achieve accessibility accreditation from the Digital Accessibility Centre, covering this website, the Hertfordshire Directory and the Local Offer website.

We built our website to meet WCAG 2.1 AA requirements. That means you should be able to:

  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader.

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:

  • third party video players
  • a third party application on the Recycling and waste page
  • some headings may be non-hierarchical
  • Google Translate widget
  • HotJar widget
  • LuckyOrange widget
  • Getcomposting widget
  • Library PC booking system
  • Colour contrast on some form headings.

Email if you need a document in a different format.


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, email

We try to write in plain English and avoid jargon. If you don’t understand something, let us know at


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, contact


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 this website’s accessibility

Hertfordshire County 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 fully compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard.


Non-accessible content

The elements listed below are non-accessible for the following reasons:

Third party platforms

We often create or link to content which is hosted on third party platforms. This includes:

  • content we create for social media, such as Facebook or Twitter
  • videos hosted on YouTube or Vimeo
  • PDFs or documents hosted on other websites

We're responsible for ensuring the content we create meets accessibility requirements. However, we're not responsible for the accessibility of the platform itself, or content which has been created by a third party.

For example, when we add video to one of our YouTube channels, we'll ensure any subtitling, captions and audio-description are included as required. However, we're not responsible for the accessibility of the video player itself.

Some third party reports may not be accessible, for example, risk management documents.

Individual school admission rule documents

Where schools have their own admission rules, we publish those in PDF format on the relevant school directory entry. Whilst we encourage and provide guidance to schools around web accessibility standards, not all PDFs are completely accessible. We are legally required to offer these documents on our website, but each document is owned by its respective school. Contact the relevant school if you need content in an alternative format.

Our school admissions system

We're working to improve various elements of our school admissions application system, including:
  • keyboard navigation: improving the focus order for tab key navigation
  • skip to link: resolving an issue of it not appearing
  • required/optional fields: ensuring that required fields are explained on the page. We can also add ‘optional’ to fields if needed
  • contrast: addressing the low contrast footer text
  • timing: there is timer placed on the resend button for resetting passwords. Also a time limit on the application process with no option to turn off, adjust or extend that time limit
  • lists: we're rewriting the password requirements list due to an issue with tagging in the code
  • contrast on yellow buttons: a new colour palette is being used to address this
  • ARIA attributes: fixing a mistake on an element in the code
  • schools list: improving the definition code for screen readers.

Children's Services professional referral form

The referral form on Professionals – report a concern about a child or young person has some accessibility issues.

  • Link missing a text alternative (2.2.4 Link Purpose (in context) and 4.1.2  Name, Role, Value)
  • Container element is empty (1.3.1 Info and Relationships) – automated tools have appeared to flag this because there is a 'div' with an ARIA role of menu but it doesn't contain any expected direct child elements.
  • Navigation landmarks don't have unique elements to help the users navigate the content more effectively (1.3.1: Info and Relationships and Sufficient, 1.3.6: Identify Purpose, 2.4.1: Bypass Blocks)

Our forms are hosted on the System C platform (formally LiquidLogic), which limits our direct ability to implement certain accessibility features. However, we are actively collaborating with the platform’s developers to make improvements.

Adult Care Services referral forms

The Adult Care Services referral forms have some accessibility issues.

  • Focus disappears after the 'skip to link' button, then reappears in the header when tabbing through the page (2.4.3 Focus order, 2.1.2 No keyboard Trap)
  • 'Previous' and 'Next' buttons on the forms have fixed key shortcuts that could interfer with assistive technology (2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts)
  • Invalid autocomplete attribute used on some input fields (1.3.5: Identify Input Purpose)
  • Navigation landmarks don't have unique elements to help the users navigate the content more effectively (1.3.1: Info and Relationships and Sufficient, 1.3.6: Identify Purpose, 2.4.1: Bypass Blocks)

Our forms are hosted on the System C platform (formally LiquidLogic), which limits our direct ability to implement certain accessibility features. However, we are actively collaborating with the platform’s developers to make improvements.

Winter Service Operational Plan and Highways Design Guide

Our Winter Operational Service Plan 2023-24 (PDF, 908KB) outlines how we maintain the roads in Hertfordshire during winter. We know this document isn't accessible currently and are working to improve it. We advise any customers who have difficulty accessing the document to email

Our Highways design guide is for developers and contractors. We've made the document largely accessible, though some tables may still present challenges due to empty cells. Given the guide’s small and specialised audience, we believe we’ve spent proportionate effort to make it accessible in this context. If anyone has difficulty accessing the document, they can email


Disproportionate burden

We have a large number of documents on, some of which are not well used (often in cases where we're obliged to publish a document but there's little user need for it). With limited resource to check all documents for issues, we decided to review and fix the most popular 200 documents (which make up 80% of all the document usage on the website).

That leaves approximately 4,000 documents published on since 23 September 2018. Whilst it's difficult to assess how long each document would take to review and fix, if we spent an hour fixing each document, it would take over 500 working days to fix them all.

We don't believe the time, effort and resource to fix all the documents is justified. As such, we've assessed that it would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

We believe that:

  • the majority of this effort would be of little to no benefit to users due to the low usage
  • with finite resource, fixing the remaining in -scope documents would take resource away from core web activity, essential to managing
  • maintaining statutory and essential frontline services should be prioritised over paying for over 500 days’ work to fix documents which aren’t well used
  • users will benefit most from us focusing available resources on fixing the most used documents on, ensuring that new documents are accessible where they're required for essential services or are likely to be popularly used by people with disabilities.


Where we do need to publish documents that aren’t accessible, we highlight how users can get in touch to request content in alternative formats, if necessary.

We are training document authors around the council to produce accessible documents from the outset.


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

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with forms which allow you to request a service. Any document which is essential to accessing a service should have been made accessible or replaced with accessible HTML pages.

Some of the PDFs or word documents within our resources area of the website are not accessible. This is because many of the documents are designed to be printed and are not used as digital documents. We have made the decision to host these documents on the website so that our users can download and print them if they wish, but they are exemptions to the web content accessibility guidelines.

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 don't plan to fix documents which are older than this date which are hosted on our website.

We'll work to ensure new PDFs or Word documents meet accessibility standards wherever possible.

What we're doing to make this website accessible

We work with services and suppliers to meet and maintain WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standards. 

We have a large web presence, and limited resources, so we prioritise activity to fix the most well-used sections.



We use both automated and manual testing (in conjunction with the Digital Accessibility Centre) to identify and assess problems.

We do manual testing with real users with disabilities, some of whom use assistive technology such as screen readers.

We test a range of key web components (for example, our opening hours tool, filter tool, accordions and events booking system).

Fixing our online services

Many services are accessed through online forms and systems. Again, we focus on fixing the most popular transactional forms on the website, which make up 80% of transactions.

Where 3rd party services aren't yet fully accessible (for example, PC booking in libraries), we're in contact with the supplier about when issues will be fixed.


Keeping things accessible

We re-test the website to ensure it remains fully accessible throughout future developments. We continue to engage with our user testing panel and our internal accessibility panel to ensure our website continues to be accessible for all.



Changing colours, font, text size and other settings

All modern browsers allow you to change colours and font sizes. We've tried to create a site which doesn't get in the way when you change these settings.

For advice on changing settings, check out the BBC’s accessibility pages.

You can choose your operating system (for example, Windows), your browser (such as Internet Explorer) and the problem you're trying to fix. You'll then get lots of relevant advice on accessibility settings.


Screen readers

A screen reader is a program which reads out the information displayed on your computer to you. Screen readers can be useful to enable blind and partially-sighted people to browse the internet and carry out other tasks using their device.

There are a variety of screen readers available. Assistive technology: definition and safe use.


Plain English

We try to write in plain English and avoid jargon. If you don’t understand something, let us know at


Easy read content

Easy read is a format used in documents and webpages to help people with learning disabilities understand information easily. Easy read typically uses an image on the left and text on the right.

We aim to make easy read content as web-accessible as possible, though users may have to view it in its non-easy read view. If you require content in a different format, email


Language translations

Translate this site into 90 different languages using Google Translate (external link).

Contact services for deaf customers or those with hearing loss

  • Textphone/ Minicom: 18001 01992934479 (through Text Relay)

Alternative formats

Email if you need information in a different format such as Braille, large print or easy read.


Skip links

This website uses skip links, allowing keyboard users to skip to the menu and access content faster.



We carry out formal accessibility audits of the website every year using WCAG 2.1 AA standards which guide our long term audit and improvement plans.


Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 16 October 2020. It was last reviewed on 24 September 2021.

This website was last tested on 8 July 2020. The test was carried out by the Digital Accessibility Centre (DAC).

The DAC tested on a sample of our webpages, ensuring that the sample included examples of every component we use.



Page was last updated on: 17/06/2024 11:49:57

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