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Accessibility Statement

This accessibility statement applies to

This website is run by South Hams District 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
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen 
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

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 are not fully accessible:

  • live video streams do not have captions
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • some of our online forms have issues with colour contrast and reflow

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:

We'll consider your request and get back to you within 14 days.

If you cannot view the map on our 'contact us' page, call or email us for directions.

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:

Katherine Toms
Web Editor
South Hams District and West Devon Borough Councils

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

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Find out how to contact us here.

Technical information about this website's accessibility

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

Our website also includes an accessibility toolbar, provided by ReciteMe. This feature allows users to: 

  • Change the font size, colour and contrast of any of our pages
  • Download and read webpages
  • Change the language of the website to over 120 different languages
  • Mask areas of the site to enable ease of reading
  • Use any of the pre-programmed optimal settings for neurodivergent conditions such as Dyslexia and Autism.

Compliance status

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

When last tested on 27 February 2023, 99% of the website was compliant with the standards.

Non-accessible content

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

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

We are in the process of replacing many of the forms on our website. All new forms published after September 2020 will meet this standard, and we anticipate that older forms will be replaced by the end of November 2023.

Some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a 'label' tag. Many of these issues will be fixed as we move to a new platform for our forms.

A few of our interactive forms (for example, Comment on a Planning Application) feature warning text which is styled as red text on a red background. This makes the text difficult to read and fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3. These forms are provided by Civica W360. We have ended our contract with this supplier and are working to convert the forms to a new provider. The completion date for this work is 01 Feb 2023.

These forms also fail to resize adequately when zoomed into 400% or above - the warning text obscures the form text at this size. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10. These forms will be removed and replaced by 01 February 2023.

A few of our pages (0.4%) scroll in two dimensions on small screens. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10. This issues affects a very small number of pages and a very small number of devices (for example, the iPhone 5 or iPhone SE). The issue can be resolved by the user rotating their device to landscape mode.

Interactive tools and transactions

Some of our forms are built and hosted through third party software and 'skinned' to look like our website. We've assessed the cost of fixing the issues with navigation and accessing information, and with interactive tools and transactions. We believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.

You can read the Disproportionate Burden (Third Party Software) Assessment here.

We will review this decision periodically, and work with our suppliers and third party software providers to improve accessibility.

Planning Documents

Documents which form part of a planning application or relating to a planning application are usually image-heavy, or scanned images of plans and written letters. Planning documents held by the Council go back to 1947. We have assessed the cost of providing planning information in accessible formats and believe that doing so now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations.

You can read the Disproportionate Burden (Planning Documents) Assessment here.

We will review this decision periodically.

If you require access to planning documents and you have a disability which makes this difficult, please contact and we will  provide the information in an alternative format.

PDFs and other documents

Some of our PDFs and Word documents are essential to providing our services. For example, we have PDFs with information on how users can access our services, and forms published as Word documents. All PDFs on our site are tagged and can be read by assistive technology.

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. For example, we do not plan to fix the PDFs showing maps of the areas subject to Dog Control Orders. However future documents will be produced in an accessible format.

Where possible, we will endeavour to provide information required in an alternative format.

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

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

It may be possible to provide transcripts of the Council meetings on request.

All other videos on our website will have captions by the end of 2021.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 21 September 2020.

It was last reviewed on 9 December 2022.

This website was last tested on 27 February 2023.

The test was carried out by Silktide. All webpages and documents were tested. You can read the full accessibility test report here.

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