Accessibility Statement

This website is run by Gateshead 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 using Recite Me Listen and Translate software

  • zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen using your browser

  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard

  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader

  • change the line height or spacing of text

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:

  • most PDF documents aren't accessible to screen reader software

  • increasing line spacing and the space between words on the homepage, causes text to overlap making it difficult to read

  • there is a limit to how far you can magnify maps throughout the website

If you're not able to view vital information, or complete an action on the website, please contact us so we can provide additional support or guidance.


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, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please contact us.

We'll consider your request and get back to you as soon as possible.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We're always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren't listed on this page or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, please use our online feedback form.

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

Hearing loops (audio induction loops) are available in meeting rooms and at the main reception desk.

If someone requires a service from Gateshead Council and they do not speak English, an interpreter can be provided through the Council's approved provider who will provide high quality interpreting between Council officers and users of Council services. All interpreters are appropriately qualified, and all follow a code of practice that includes the need for confidentiality. The Council officer you are dealing with will arrange this service on your behalf when organising an appointment.

Communication Support is available for people who require a British Sign Language Interpreter, but this needs to be arranged in advance.

Please note it may take some time before the interpreter is available to help you. If you are unable to attend your appointment for whatever reason, please contact the Council officer you are dealing with and advise them in order that your interpreter / communicator can be cancelled.

Technical information about this website's accessibility

Gateshead Council is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Noncompliance with the accessibility regulations

  • There is no way to skip repeated content in the page header and navigation. This doesn't meet WCAG success criterion 2.4.1 (Bypass Blocks). We have functionality to allow users to skip to the main content section with a 'skip to main content' link.

  • It is not possible to increase the letter spacing to 0.12 times the font and increase word spacing to 0.16 times the font without causing loss of content on the homepage. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4 12 (Text Spacing).


Disproportionate burden

Pdf documents
  • PDF documents may not be accessible for several reasons. They may not be structured so they're accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

  • The language of a document may not be able to be programmatically determined (3.1.1 Language of Page). Some pdf forms may not provide error identification or labels or instructions when content requires user input. (3.3.1 Error Identification, 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions, 3.3.3 Error Suggestion). As the document styles, colours and formatting are pre-set they also may not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4 (Distinguishable).

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

PDFs and other documents
  • Many of our older PDFs and downloadable 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. However, 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.


What we're doing to improve accessibility

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. We use third party software which notifies us of any non-compliance allowing us to monitor, plan and resolve.