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Accessibility

Customer Service
Tel: (065) 6828040

 

Accessibility

  

Overview of accessibility, access officer contact details, web site accessibility features and improvements and guidelines and standards used, and help for users with disabilities. 

  

Clare County Council is committed to providing information and services that are accessible to all customers. In December 2008, Clare County Council achieved the NDA Excellence Through Accessibility Award.

The role of the Access Officer is to provide assistance and guidance to persons with disabilities in accessing local authority services. Access officer contact details:

Ms. Fiona Mooney,
Access Officer,
Clare County Council,
Áras Contae an Chláir,
New Road,
Ennis.
Telephone: (065) 6846216

Accessibility of this web site

Improvements

This new web site includes many accessibility improvements that are aimed to make the site easier to use. These include: 

  • Improved site structure and navigation 
  • High contrast versions of all content pages
  • Text only versions of all content pages
  • Advanced search functionality
  • The ability to change text size easily using buttons at the top of every page
  • An alphabetical index of services (A-Z of Services) 
  • Much improved features for publishing and integration of bilingual content. You can see all content that is available in Irish by clicking the Gaeilge link at the top of all pages. A "Gaeilge" link also appears at the top of each page that is available in Irish.
  • This site uses a content management system that has been customised with the aim of providing accessible content

For help with using the site and its various accessibility features go to our help for users with disabilities section. If you have any problems using this site for any reason, please phone us at (065) 6846303 / 6846377 or email us at webteam@clarecoco.ie.

Your input and feedback is important. We would welcome any comments or feedback that you have in relation to accessibility or using this site in general.

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Guidelines and standards

This site is designed in accordance with the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (Version 2.0) and conforms to all Priority 1 and 2 checkpoints (AA Compliance) and most of the Priority 3 checkpoints (AAA Compliance). 

Known issues

Accessible HTML, publications and forms

Where possible we publish information in accessible HTML format and to date a lot of work has been done in this area. All new content is converted to accessible HTML and most Council publications and long documents are converted to accessible HTML versions with their own navigation menu for ease of use (for example, the Freedom of Information Section 15 Manual). PDF versions are also made available for those users who want them. Document authors are trained in how to create publications in a way that is suitable for conversion to accessible HTML. Some documents are not available in accessible HTML. These include:

  • Some of the older publications are available in PDF format only (e.g. 2005 Development Plans) rather than accessible HTML. This is due to the way they were originally created.
  • The planning permission lists, which are generated automatically by a system and published in PDF format.

Forms

We are working at present to make more forms available in accessible formats and to improve the accessibility of forms in general. To date some forms have been created that have specific support for assistive technologies and that can be either printed out and filled in by hand or filled in on-screen and printed out. For example, the planning application form is available as an accessible PDF that can be filled in on-screen and printed out. Other forms will be provided as accessible Word forms that will have support for assistive technologies.

PDFs

In general it is our policy to avoid publishing PDFs as the only version of a document (PDF versions are often made available in addition to accessible versions). There are some older publications on the site that are only available as PDFs. These are mainly publications that were created in graphical desk top publishing tools. Where we do publish PDFs, we try to make PDFs accessible. Accessibility and usability features in PDFs include correctly marked up structure, the addition of document properties, bookmarks and internal links for ease of navigation, tagging and alternative text for all images.

If you require a particular form or publication in a particular format, please phone us at (065) 6821616.

Systems

There are some accessibility issues with the E-Reg application (which allows users to check if they are listed in the Electoral Register) and the E-plan system for Search Planning Applications. 

Colour contrast

The colours for textual elements in the site conform to AAA of version 2 of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

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Maintaining Accessibility

Clare County Council is committed to maintaining and monitoring the accessibility of this website.

To help deliver and maintain an accessible website Clare County Council has published guidelines for web content authors and managers in the creation of accessible documents, publications and web content. We also provide training and continuous support in creating accessible content to web authors and content managers. The training and guidelines cover issues such as:

  • How to structure content for assistive technologies and for ease of conversion to accessible formats
  • Creating user friendly web content
  • Creating accessible tables (and avoiding tables unless necessary)
  • Writing meaningful alternative text

In addition, training was provided in Writing for the Web to web authors and content managers as well as members of the web team.

An independent accessibility audit of the web site was carried out in 2008.

We conduct testing and validation on a daily basis to ensure that new and existing content is accessible.

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Help for users with disabilities

This site contains many features to help users with disabilities. These include keyboard shortcuts for all major links. 

Users with screen readers can skip over the set of navigation links to access the main content directly (e.g. skip left navigation, skip to content etc.).

Using the tab key to jump between links

You can use the tab key on your keyboard to jump from one link to the next. All navigation bars in the site provide a logical order for this.

Text size

This site uses relative sizing. This means that you can you change the size of the text in your web browser. Use the large A button at the top of the screen to increase the text size, use the smaller A to change back to normal font size.

Alternatively, you can increase the text further by going to the "View" menu in your web browser, choose the text option (or zoom in some browsers) from the menu then selecting a smaller or larger setting.

Text equivalents for multimedia

All video clips on this site are supplied with captions. A caption is a text transcript for the audio track of a video presentation that is synchronized with the video and audio tracks. Captions benefit people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.

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General help on using this web site

Finding information

To find information on the site, you can:

  • Use the A-Z of Services link which lists all of the main services alphabetically. You will find this link on the top right of every page.
  • You can also use the Search feature (on the top right of every page).
  • Use the Site Map, a list of all the main topics in the site, grouped by section. You will find this link on the top right of every page.

Printing

To print a page select the Print icon on the top of the page.

Viewing PDF documents

There are some PDF files (Portable Document Format files) files on this site. In order to view these documents you need a pdf reader. If this software is not installed on your computer you can download it, for free, from the Adobe Website.

Comments and suggestions / help requests

The Clare County Council web site has been redesigned and redeveloped with the aim of making it more user-friendly and accessible. Your input and feedback is important. We would welcome any comments or feedback that you have in relation to accessibility or using this site in general. If you have any problems using this site for any reason, please phone us at (065) 6846303 / 6846377 or email us at webteam@clarecoco.ie.

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Page last updated: 10/12/08