Gloucestershire County Council is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability. We are actively working to increase the accessibility and usability of our website and in doing so we adhere too many of the available standards and guidelines.
Accessibility and usability of our site
This website endeavours to conform to the Double-A level of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 . Whilst Gloucestershire County 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. We are aware that in some of our existing forms and PDF files are not fully accessible. To address these issues we have created a checklist for our staff to use when creating new documentation for the website.
Known issues checklist
The Known Issues checklist represents issues with the website that could break accessibility standards that have been discovered during testing or raised by other users. We are committed to try and solve these issues as quickly as possible and will update this section when fixes have become available.
If you discover anything that you believe has affected your experience of this website that is not covered in the list below please notify us by sending your email to
Non-HTML documentation - it has come to our attention that several of these documents are inaccessible with a number of 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 [that will be released from date TBC]. Where these documents cannot be improved we are committed to provide an HTML document alternative.
Changing the contrast can increase legibility for some users.
You can change the contrast settings on the website by clicking on the contrast icon at the top right of the screen. The screen will show with a black background with coloured text. Main titles will be in high visibility yellow.
To increase the font size, click on the icons at the top right of the screen.
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. - RNIB Accessibility Options .
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 Gloucestershire. Please note that the translation is done automatically by the Google software, not by the council.
Checklist of our Accessibility standards
- The website has a consistent layout (main menus - top; sub menus - left; additional items - right; other information - bottom)
- We use HTML as the default information format, and no browser-specific HTML or scripting methods are used in the website
- Where we do use scripts, they are not critical to the function of the site
- We keep the use of images to a minimum - they should all have "alt" descriptions which should be meaningful
- We use clear, commonly used fonts (Arial, Helvetica or sans-serif)
- We use Cascading Style Sheets to format and style basic elements of the website, and all colours and fonts can be adjusted by the end user or removed by switching off style sheets
- Our HTML pages validate against version "4.01 Transitional" HTML
- We provide standard accesskeys and a logical tab order for users who cannot use pointing devices
Any important information we provide in a format that requires other software (e.g. MSWord or Acrobat) is offered in HTML where possible.
Go to http://www.w3.org/WAI to see the full WAI specification
Help with downloads
On some pages in the site you will see links to files which may be in formats that need software in addition to your browser.
If you have Microsoft Office installed, then .doc(x), .rtf, .xls(x), and .ppt(x) files will open automatically. Sometimes this happens in your browser window, otherwise the files usually download to a temporary directory and then open with the Office program.
If you do not have Microsoft Office you can use LibreOffice which is a free and open source program for Windows®, Mac and Linux, that can read Office files.
To read PDF files you will need the Adobe Reader. If you prefer not to install Adobe Reader, there are free and open source alternatives available. Some of these can even be used without installing them. Try a search for "FOSS PDF viewer" to see a selection.
We will not offer any file in a special format unless we warn you and provide full instructions on how to deal with it..
If you have problems with any download contact the webmaster and they will help you get the document.
BBC: My web My way
Do you need help in making the web easier to use?
The 'My Web My WayOpens new window' site from the BBC explains what can be done and helps you to set this up.
My web My way explains the many ways you can change your browser, computer, keyboard and mouse settings to make the web more accessible for you.