Accessibility statement

InformationNOW is run by Newcastle City 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
  • use the free accessibility Recite ME software across the site to: translate it, read it aloud, change it’s appearance and more

We use plain English to make the website as simple as possible to understand. You can also tailor InformationNOW to suit your access needs and change the settings on your device to make it easier to use.

Get content in a different format or language

You can tailor InformationNOW to suit your access needs. Click the white button in the right hand corner of any page to open the free ReciteMe toolbar to:

  • listen to the website being read aloud
  • increase the size of the writing
  • change the colour and contrast
  • use a ruler to hold your place on the page
  • change the spacing of the text on the site
  • find out the meaning of any words you’re unsure of
  • translate and read aloud the website in different languages
  • see the website in plain text only
  • download the page of information as an audio file so you can listen later
  • use a magnifying glass to zoom into the page
  • save your choices so you can browse the rest of the site easily

image of Recite ME toolbar above the InformationNOW logo on web page

ReciteMe is a cloud based web accessibility software which means you can customise the website. You can launch ReciteMe on our website by clicking on the ‘Listen and translate’ link that appears at the top right of our website. The ReciteMe tool is easy to use and includes text to speech functionality, dyslexia software, an interactive dictionary, a translation tool to get the web content translated into Welsh and many other languages (100+).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Newcastle City Council is committed to making it’s websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

InformationNOW website aims to comply with all of the Guidelines for UK Government websites, as well as all the priority 1 and 2 checkpoints to achieve compliance with the Worldwide Web Consortiums (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0, Level AA, and to maintain this standard as a minimum. We are currently working towards compliance with the W3C WCAG 2.0, Level AA, with a long-term aim of achieving W3C WCAG 2.0, Level AAA. For more information visit Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

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

What to do if you can’t access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format like an accessible an PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille let us know by emailing [email protected] or calling the Communications Support Team on 0191 211 5094. We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 3 working days.

Contacting us

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of InformationNOW. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations (that are not listed below), please let us know by emailing [email protected]

If you need information about Newcastle City Council services in a different format like an accessible an PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille let  Newcastle City Council know by emailing [email protected] or calling the Communications Support Team on 0191 211 5094. They’ll consider your request and get back to you within 3 working days. Their contact centres have audio induction loops, or if you contact them before you visit a contact centre they can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter. Find all of Newcastle City Council’s contact details are here

How accessible is InformationNOW?

InformationNOW was tested on 14th January 2021 using the SiteImprove website. We achieved:

  • an accessibility rating of 94.4 out of 100
  • digital certainty index score of 85.4 out of 100
  • quality assurance score of 85.7 out of 100
  • search engine optimisation score of 76.0 out of 100

We worked with members of the public and professionals who use InformationNOW to improve the accessibility, usability and mobile friendly design of the website. The new site was launched in 2017. We know some parts of this website aren’t fully accessible. We are working on fixing the issues below within the next 6 months:

  • images with no Alt text attribute
  • broken links
  • spelling errors
  • improving the keyboard focus across the site so that the user can see where they are on the site when using the keyboard to move across the web page.

It’s important all images have the attribute for alternative text regardless of whether an alternative text is added. A screen reader knows how to handle both an empty alt attribute and one with a text. If there is no attribute some screen readers will compensate and read the path to the image instead, which will often give no value to the end user. When we publish new content, we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

There are some elements of InformationNOW that we are unable change to follow the accessibility guidance as the cost would be too great and these changes would impact upon the usability of the website. For example:

We will not be making changes to:

  • the ‘Read more’ buttons that we use across the site to indicate that you can read the page in full from the summary of the page. They have been flagged as using too generic a text. However upon review screen readers will read the title of the page, followed by the summary and then the ‘read more’ button. We hope that this is enough contextual information for the user to understand that you can click the button to ‘read more’ about that specific page.
  • ‘Form elements are not grouped’. This is not something which can only be fixed by building entirely new custom forms across the website. This would be a huge cost. We have tested InformationNOW using the ReciteME screen reader software and understand that the site is usually read in the correct order despite this being flagged as an issue.
  • “i” tag used to format text. The ‘I’ tag is used to show icons across the site and would take a lot of time and therefore cost us to change. We don’t use italics in the text of the site which would be incorrect for accessibility.
  • iFrame is missing a title. The iFrame elements are supplied by external resources, like YouTube and do not have title tags.
  • Input field has no description. This is an issue with the accessibility of the sign up form for InfoNOW News which is provided by an external website and it is embedded on the website. This is out of our control to edit.

PDFs and other documents

We don’t publish PDFs or other documents on InformationNOW. This means that all of our content is available directly on the web page and can be search and read by screen readers.

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

Live video

Live video streams don’t have captions. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions – live). We don’t plan to use live video on InformationNOW but we do use it on social media. We won’t add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

How we tested this website

InformationNOW was last tested on 14th January 2021 using SiteImprove software. We have tested the site further using the ReciteME accessibility software.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We carry out monthly accessibility check using software, if issues are identified we either fix them straight away, or if the issue requires resource or financial investment put plans in place to resolve. For issues we can’t resolve easily, we publish details in this accessibility statement under Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

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).


This statement was prepared on 13 November 2019. It was last updated on 14 January 2021.

Last updated: January 14, 2021