Accessible documents at Denbighshire County Council

Documents published on must meet accessibility standards. This is so they can be used by as many people as possible, including those with disabilities.

This policy explains how accessible the documents Denbighshire County Council publishes on are. It covers PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations and other types of documents. It does not cover content published on as HTML - our main accessibility statement will cover that.

Using our documents

Denbighshire County Council publishes documents in a range of formats, including Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint and CSV.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use those documents. For example, when we produce a document we make sure to:

  • provide an HTML option where possible
  • tag headings and other parts of the document properly, so screen readers can understand the page structure
  • make sure we include alt text alongside non-decorative images, so people who cannot see them understand what they’re there for
  • avoid using tables, except when we’re presenting data
  • use plain language

How accessible our documents are

New documents that we publish should be fully accessible.

However, we know that some of our older documents (published before 23 September 2018) are not accessible. For example, some of them:

  • do not include a proper heading structure to support assistive technologies
  • do not include sufficient colour contrast and font size
  • contain tables used for layout, rather than data
  • are not tagged up properly
  • are not written using plain language

This mostly applies to some reports, strategies and spreadsheet documents.

These types of documents are exempt from the regulations (external website), so we do not currently have any plans to make them accessible.

But if you need to access information in one of these document types, you can contact us and ask for an alternative format.

What to do if you cannot use one of our documents

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please contact us:

Alternatively, you can write to us at:

Denbighshire County Council,
PO Box 62,
LL15 9AZ

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 10 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with one of our documents

We're always looking to improve the accessibility of our documents. If you find any problems not listed on this page or you think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, contact our web team:

You can also submit your feedback using our customer feedback policy which is called Your Voice.

You can use this to let us know if:

  • you think we did something wrong or made a mistake;
  • you think we have done something well; or
  • you have a comment or an idea about how we could do something differently.

You can contact us:

  • via our website;
  • by e-mail to;
  • by writing to Your Voice, Denbighshire County Council, PO Box 62, Ruthin, LL15 9AZ;
  • by phone 01824 706000; or
  • in person at any of our One-Stop Shops, libraries, leisure centres, receptions and public buildings.

We will normally respond in the same way that you contact us, but if you want us to respond in a different way please let us know.

We will always deal with your feedback openly and fairly and use it to improve our services.

If you are making a complaint, we will investigate using the Council’s complaints process.

This process will also advise you on how to access help to make a complaint and what to do if you feel that your complaint has not been responded to appropriately.

However, if you concern relates to website accessibility rather than general website issues then you may wish to investigate the enforcement procedure as set out in the next paragraph.

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) (external website).

Technical information about the accessibility of our documents

Denbighshire County Council is committed to making our documents accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The documents Denbighshire County Council publishes are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 (external website) AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non accessible content

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

Some of our PDFs and Word documents published after 23 September 2018 do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they're accessible to a screen reader.

We aim to replace PDF and Word documents on our website with accessible HTML pages where possible.

When considering whether we can provide the information in an accessible format, we will assess:  

  • how much the work would cost and the impact that carrying out the work would have on us
  • how much users with a disability would benefit from us carrying out the work

Disproportionate burden

We have identified a limited number of PDF and MS Word documents published after September 2018 where the cost and/or time of publishing these documents in an accessible format would represent either:

  • a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations; or 
  • a temporary disproportionate burden, that we aim to fix.

Documents we have currently identified as a disproportionate burden include:

  • Statement of accounts (PDF)
  • Council Constitution (PDF)
  • Houses in Multiple Occupation public register (PDF)
  • bin collection date calendars (PDFs)
  • some spreadsheets (MS Excel documents).

A number of application forms in PDF and MS Word format currently represent a disproportionate burden, however we aim to replace these forms with accessible, online versions of these. 

Something which is a disproportionate burden now will not necessarily be a disproportionate burden forever. If circumstances change, we will re-assess whether we can provide our online information in an accessible format.

Content that's not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

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. By September 2020, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 (external website) if they’re not essential to providing our services. For example, we do not plan to fix some of our annual scrutiny reports.

How we tested our documents

All new website documents are tested for accessibility before they are published on the website.

All new website documents are created using accessible website document templates and are tested for accessibility using the following tools, before publication:

  • Microsoft Word Accessibility Checker
  • Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Checker (if the website document is to be published in Adobe PDF format)

What we're doing to improve accessibility

We have introduced new accessible website document templates in October 2019 to ensure that online documents are accessible and can be used by as many people as possible, including those with disabilities.

The accessible document templates and guidance ensure that documents include the following:

  • Clear and consistent headings, styles and formatting
  • Clearly structured and labelled tables that contain data only
  • 12 point line-spacing
  • Sufficient colour contrast
  • Images that include 'alternative text'

Our corporate priority of 'Connected communities' will be achieved by ensuring that 'Council information and services will be accessible online where possible', as stated in our Corporate Plan.

This page was prepared on 3rd July 2020.

It was last updated on 27th May 2022.