Accessibility Statement for Dartford Borough Council:

Using this website:

This website is run by Dartford Borough Council. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. 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.
  • Use most of the website using just a keyboard.
  • Use most of the website using speech recognition software.
  • Listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the latest versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver).

Dartford Borough Council does not make use of public facing web applications.

AbilityNet can help explain how to make your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is:

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • A number of third party applications still have issues which the suppliers are working to resolve.
  • A number of PDFs hosted on this website do not meet WCAG requirements.
  • The wording used within many pages of this website do not meet the recommended reading age.

Feedback and contact information:

If you need information on this website in a different format, like an accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:

We’ll get back to you with a reply within 10 days.

If you cannot view the map on our ‘contact us’ page, call us on 01322 343434 for directions.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website:

We’re always looking to improve our website. If you find any mistakes or problems:

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) .

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.

Contact us.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility:

We are committed to making our websites 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 non-compliances listed on this page.

How we test our website:

We test the accessibility of every page on the website at least once a month. That report is used to fix and/or make note of any issues.

A sample set of pages are tested every week by an independent third-party specialist company called Sitemorse.

In Quarter two of 2024, our website was ranked 185th out of 386 councils. Our overall score was 6/10 in the SiteMorse Accessibility and Code Compliance rankings (Sitemorse accessibility index).

Non-accessible content:

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations and supplier statements:

  • (Committee and Councillors) This system is now running the latest version of the software. However PDFs still require a lot of work and a number of pages require titles and work on contrast: Committee server.
  • (Planning System) This system is now considered to be double A compliant, however the PDFs still need a lot of work and maps cannot be made accessible due to their nature. A number of pages don't have their headings in the correct order and some landmarks are missing: Public access server.
  • Some PDFs hosted on this website do not meet the required standards. This is covered below.
  • The wording used within the pages of this website does not meet the recommended reading age.

Issues with PDFs and other documents:

Many of our PDFs don't meet accessibility standards for the following reasons:

  • Several PDFs are not machine readable.
  • Several PDFs do not specify a heading.
  • Several PDFs are untagged.
  • Several PDFs do not specify the document title using the Title entry in the document information dictionary.
  • Several PDFs specify a default language.

We are actively working to fix errors within PDFs as part of our overall drive to improve accessibility. For more information on this please refer to the ‘What we’re doing to improve’ paragraph below.

Text Relay and readability:

If you would like to contact someone at the Council and you have speech difficulties, you can contact us using the Contact the Customer Services Team form 

If you have a text phone you may wish to contact us through Text Relay .

We still have a lot of work to do to make this website easily readable using 'plain English'.

If necessary, text can be made larger by doing the following:

Hold down <CTRL> and press '+' to increase the font size or hold down <CTRL> and press '-' to decrease the font size. Hold down <CTRL> and press '0' to return the browser back to the default font size. This is supported by the following browsers:

  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Safari
  • Microsoft Edge

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

Any PDFs supplied by third parties, such as consultation responses, for which we have no legal editorial rights.

PDFs and other documents:

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.

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

To enable the viewing and downloading (saving) of these documents you will require Adobe Reader.

The latest version of Adobe Reader includes support for people with additional needs.

You can download Adobe Reader free of charge 

What we’re doing to improve:

Our digital team met with our CMS provider (Jadu) in May to review issues within the website’s templates. We have commissioned Jadu to fix these issues, and bring other areas of the website up to WCAG 2.2 standards. This is expected to take between 8-10 weeks.

We are changing workflows to improve quality control, starting with PDFs. Recently uploaded PDFs have been checked and replaced with acceptable revisions where there were failures.

Soon a dedicated web team will proof and approve all content before it is made live, and monitor it once live to keep content up to date.

Our Content Manager is working with all services to review content and accessibility. This includes the removal of PDFs. More than 700 PDFs have been taken offline in the past 12 months.

Web style, including page layout, is also changing. New layouts are being rolled out that aim to make it easier for audiences to find their information.

A style guide has been put together. This will help lower the average reading age of web content and will be shared with staff when new workflows are adopted.

We are hiring an accessibility officer to increase expertise and support.

All of these things will help improve our compliance with WCAG 2.2.

Preparation of this accessibility statement:

This statement was prepared on April 21, 2023. It was reviewed and updated on June 3, 2024

The statement will next be reviewed on September 3, 2024.