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Website accessibility

Page last updated: Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Rochdale Borough Council is committed to making our website at more accessible and usable by people, whatever their abilities or disabilities. This is unless providing direct access is not possible due to technical or legal limitations.

This commitment applies only to the council's website on the domain and not to websites that are linked from our pages. If we don't have control over 3rd party sites we can't make them complaint as it's not within our remit.

We try  to conform to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1. These guidelines explain how to make web content accessible to people with disabilities. Conformance to these guidelines helps to make the web more accessible to users with disabilities and benefits all users.

We're always striving to make our site more accessible and do so in a number of ways:

  • We add skip navigation to the site to allow you to use the tab key to move around the website.
  • We have a logical navigation order to make the website easier and simpler to use.
  • Our web pages have page titles that clearly and plainly describe their topic or purpose.
  • Our content page structure is presented and maintained in a meaningful sequence.
  • We make links on our website descriptive so they can be read out of context and users know where they will go next..
  • We provide an alternative text for images to help people using assistive technology, like screen reader software.
  • We consider accessibility when we design new pages or update existing pages.
  • We increase the contrast between colours to make pages content easier to read.
  • We add tags to PDFs to make them easier to find and use. PDF links also notify users a pdf will open and its file size.
  • We aim to continuously test our website and regularly get independently tested by organisations such as Sitemorse and Socitm; this helps us to identify and fix issues.

Whilst we have done a lot to ensure this site's accessibility, this is an ongoing process and you may find some parts of the content do not fully conform to the accessibility standard such as legacy pdfs and content on sub-sites. Where a covered technology is not able to be brought into compliance, the system or content owner is responsible for providing individuals with disabilities equivalent access.

This website is built using code compliant with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards for XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets.

W3C is the governing authority on web development standards and practices.

Using a keyboard to navigate our website

We've designed this site to be useful with the following keyboard commands:

  • Tab: move to the next interactive item (such as link, button, input)
  • Shift + tab: move to the previous interactive item
  • Arrow keys (up, down, left, right): navigate within some page component
  • Enter: interact with items on the page

Skipping repetitive navigation links

Inside the header at the top of every page on there are common links that make navigating our site easier for users.

The first of these is a 'Skip to main content' link that bypasses the other links and goes directly to the  main content of that page. Once it receives keyboard focus it is presented visually on the page.

Changing the text size or colours of our website

While we've aim to create a usable site, some people are likely to benefit further by customising their computer to suit their individual needs, for example to increase the size of its fonts, get the site spoken to them.

Almost all modern browsers let you change the way web pages are displayed. If you need to change the text size or colour, or the colour of the background, the BBC have a very good 'How to guides' for making the web easier to use

Document downloads

We aim to provide all information as web pages where possible. Sometimes we provide information in other formats such as PDF (Portable Document Format) and Word documents. Most computers already have the software to open these document formats.

Most PDF files on this site allow basic accessibility and should not represent an accessibility problem. However, despite our best efforts some PDF files may still not be fully accessibility such as scanned and older PDF files and those containing complex statistics and data tables.


All content images used in this site include descriptive ALT attributes. Those in purely decorative graphics or used for layout include null ALT attributes. An ALT attribute is the text you see when images are turned off in your browser.

Visual design

This site uses cascading style sheets (CSS) for visual layout.

If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the content of each page should still be readable.

Turn on accessibility features

Access keys

How you use a website's access keys varies depending on which internet browser you are using. We try to avoid using access keys on our site as these can override screen readers shortcuts.

Plain English

The language used on the site will, where possible, be concise, easy to understand and free from jargon, abbreviations and technical terms.

Information in other languages

Although this website is mainly written in English, we provide some basic information in the borough's main community languages. Where appropriate we can translate information on this website or provide an interpreter. For further information please contact us​​. 

Audio downloads

In some circumstances we provide audio files such as mp3 audio files for download from this website. To listen to them you may need a media player, such as Windows Media ​​Player or Quicktime. We aim to provide a text transcription of audio files. The recordings for download may be podcast programmes or interviews broadcast on the local community radio station. Where this is the case much of the information discussed is already available on this website so we will not always provide a full transcription.

Let us know if you have difficulties using this site

We recognise some content on the website may not be fully accessible. If you find anything on the site difficult to use please  email us at To help us get to the bottom of your difficulty, it would help us if you provide the information advised in Contacting Organisations about Inaccessible W​ebsites’ in your request.

We welcome all constructive feedback regarding the accessibility or usability of this website and will carefully consider it. 

If you feel your feedback has not been respected you can raise a formal complaint. How to make a formal complaint.


Digital Services Team
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU