We are working to make the Cheshire West and Chester website as accessible as possible for visitors regardless of their ability, disability or general awareness of using the internet.
It is our aim to create a public sector site that stands out as an excellent site to visit – not just an excellent public sector site. The standard of service and design you expect shouldn’t be any less, simply because we’re a local council and that’s something we feel strongly about.
The problem with trying to make a fully inclusive website is that no single solution meets the needs of all users – and we’ve found that sometimes trying to improve the site for one particular disability can have an effect on our ability to meet the needs of another section of our audience. So while we do work to achieve all World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2.0 'Double A' standard as a minimum, sometimes we may not have got quite there on some pages.
We also try as much as possible to allow you to 'optimise your user experience'. Put simply, this allows you to view and use the Cheshire West and Chester website the way you want to - not the way we make you.
The following websites provide further accessibility information for your web browser.
Help with downloads
This website sometimes uses files that your computer may need an extra programme, or piece of software, to open. In most cases this software, such as Adobe Reader, is already supplied with new computers. We only use document formats that can be opened using a free reader that you can download by following the links on this page.
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Many of the files held on this website are in Adobe PDF format, which means you'll need special software to view them. This software is available to download free of charge from this page.
The Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to view, navigate, and print PDF files across all major computing platforms. PDF stands for Portable Document Format and means a document that can be viewed or printed out on any platform, whether Windows, Macintosh or Linux.
To download Adobe Acrobat Reader, visit the Adobe Acrobat website.
PDF files and accessibility
We try to ensure that the information in the PDF content is made accessible to all our users by enriching it with PDF tags. This means the PDF documents can be easily read by screen readers. However, in rare cases it is impossible to make PDF documents as accessible as we would like, for example in the case of PDF's containing maps and other diagrams.
Image based PDF Documents
Where PDF documents are imaged based, for example maps, planning applications etc, it is impossible to make the document fully accessible. In those instances we will try as best we can to offer an alternative solution, although this may not always be possible.
Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint viewers
Some documents on this website were produced in Microsoft packages such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint. There's no need to buy the software as free viewers are available from the Microsoft website.
Help with hearing the website
ReadSpeaker ProReader is a web service that reads the text content on a web site out aloud.
On the Settings page you can choose how you want it to work. You can have the text that is read displayed in the window, select text size, colour and make other changes on how the text is shown.
ProReader will load automatically when you click on Listen to this site in the right hand menu and will start to read the webpage you are on.
You can control the player with your keyboard using the space bar to toggle between pause/play and the Escape-key to stop.
You can stop and pause ProReader at any time, as well as later the volume an, if you prefer, you can click on the 'save mp3' option to save an mp3 version of the page to your computer to listen to when you like.
If you would like to alter the ProReader settings, simply click on the 'Settings' tab and change the speed, highlighting, font size or text appearance to suit your own preference.