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Accessibility

Plain English

We have attempted to use plain, uncomplicated, jargon free language for ease of understanding.

We strive for our website to be:

  • free of jargon, using simple, plain English

  • easy to search, so you can search and retrieve information about Council services without having any knowledge of the Council's structure, or what we call things

  • accessible to everyone

  • In trying to achieve these aims we contacted the Plain English Campaign and followed its guidelines.

We try:

  • to present information in a logical order and write clearly and simply using everyday words and short sentences

  • keep our webpage design simple, consistent and free of moving images

However, our website is developing all the time. Please let us know if you have any comments, good or bad, about our website or suggestions about how we can improve it by using the feedback form.

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Speech enabled content

This website is speech enabled with SpeakIT.

Reading large amounts of text on screen can be difficult for those with literacy and visual impairments. SpeakIT, allows web pages to be read aloud making it easier for those who find it difficult to read pages online. However they are not designed to replace screen reader software such as JAWS.

For more information on how SpeakIT operates please go to the listening to our sit help page.

Click on the listen link on any page and the SpeakIT Plus toolbar will be displayed.

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Viewing the website in a different language

The machine translation of any web page text (approximately 70% accurate) is possible via Google Translations. Simply clicking on the appropriate language. This will trigger the automatic reload of the website, complete with translated text.

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Text Size

For visitors who wish to view the site in larger text size, clicking the corresponding text size within the link in our header bar.  There are three sizes of text available, with the smallest being the default setting. Larger sizes are easier to read for those with a visual impairment.

There is also a free magnification tool available through the 'Listen To Our Site' service.

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Contrast

Visitors who wish to view the site with a different contrast setting can click on the appropriate coloured box in the header bar at the top of every page. This will reload the page with your preferred contrast setting for increased visibility. Text and pictures become more discernable to those with visual impairments when presented in different colours on different backgrounds.

There is also a free contrast tool available  through the 'Listen To Our Site' service.

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Access keys

Access keys are a useful navigation device enabling you to get around the website using your keyboard. They can be used to jump to different sections of content across the website. View access keys on boroughofpoole.com.

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Alternative text for images

Images on our website have alternative text attributes, often known as alt text. This means that when an image is used on a web page to convey information its content is also described in the alt text. This means that the image can be understood by text browsers and assistive technologies such as screen readers. Where possible we will not use images for simply decorative purposes however if an image is used for this purpose, the text attribute for the image is left empty in line with accepted best practice.

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Minimising the use of images

Live text is used rather than graphics wherever possible to reduce page download time and to increase your control over text size.

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Making content more accessible

In order to ensure a consistent user experience for visitors to the site we use what are known as cascading style sheets (CSS for short). CSS enable us to enforce a corporate look-and-feel to our website which ensures that a consistent font typeface, use of colour and optimum text sizes are presented to you.

Using cascading style sheets enables us to meet current legislative and industry standards on website accessibility.

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PDF's

We try to provide most of the content in basic HTML which you can view in any browser. However for some large or complex information we provide documents in Adobe Acrobat format (also known as PDF format) .

To view and print PDF files, you must have Adobe® Acrobat® Reader installed. To download this product for free please follow this link.

If you cannot use Acrobat Reader to see these documents (for example, if you use screen reader software or an audio-enabled web browser), Adobe provide a free online tool which converts them to text.

To use this service, send the web address (URL) of the Adobe Acrobat document you want to read through the web form at the following link

The service will return the document to you as a webpage (HTML) or as plain text. Alternatively you can choose to get it emailed to you as an attachment

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Help us to help you

We aim to meet the Priority A, AA, and selected AAA guidelines of the W3C

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Our website is tested on a regular basis using a combination of automated tools to identify potential problem areas and manual testing to ensure we meet the spirit as well as the letter of the W3C's accessibility guidelines.

Inevitably, we won't always get it right, and with over 8,000 pages of content we are bound to miss some problems, but we are committed to addressing any access issues promptly. And that's where we'd like your help. If you experience any difficulties in accessing our website, or have trouble using any aspect of the website, we'd like you to let us know. E-mail the webteam and let us know your experience.

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User-testing

We have conducted several phases of user-testing of the whole website and of new sections. We make any changes needed to make the site more accessible and easy-to-use.

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