Hi Joe - thanks for your comments. Can I ask you just to clarify the position of Voice, in that UK Public Bodies need to meet the level WCAG 2.1 AA compliance in terms of accessibility of its website as part of The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 which came into force on 23 September 2018. Is this website itself Compliant? Is there any guidelines about what we can do to ensure compliance?
Thanks so much.
I am also asking you to claify whether Voice meet the level WCAG 2.1 AA compliance in terms of accessibility of its website as part of The Public Sector Bodies as per Adriana Jones message. Thanks in advance.
For the Tewin village website, which includes the Parish Council web presence, (tewinvillage.co.uk) I believe I managed to achieve the needed compliance by using the Bootstrap Standard 3D theme, then adding a custom css to play with some of the colour contrasts. So it is possible using an eVoice site.
Mind you the Parish Council will need to do further work to make the pdfs of agendas, minutes, etc. accessible.
Unfortunately my knowledge of such things is very limited, but I appreciate your guidance which I am no doubt will prove useful.
Can I please ask that someobyd from 'Voice' responds to this thread and advises if the Voice websites are compliant if of themselves, or if there is something that we (as users) need to actively do to make our webistes compliant.
I have found some aspects of the site will not pass the basic tests to meet WCAG 2.1. Those features require a significant amount of coding and changes.
I my opinion, I belive Joe has done a great job in providing a service that has helped many parish councils and community groups with a web presence, but in my very personal opinion no longer viable for Councils with the new regualtions and the need for engagement.
We moved to Eyelid Productions when Joe closed the service to Bedfordshire. You can find me on the Stondon PC website and happy to discuss my experiances
Councils also need to work to develop a suitable set of documents to meet these requirements and improve levels of engagement.
James Stirling, Clerk to Stondon Parish Council.
The above are my personal experiances and not a representation of the Council.
Hi James - thanks for your email.
I agree the site has been great for us so far, and fully appreciate everything Joe has done. But we are obviously in a situation where if we contiunue with the site we may not be compliant, and as such I was just trying to determine if 'Voice' generally is complaint, or if there are things we can do to make it compliant.
By the sound of it you know what you are talking about, have done your research and decided the site cannot offer the compliance we need as a local authority.
I will do some research too, but it would be very helpful if Joe could give a position statement on the matter so I know where to go.
I really am very grateful to everybody for taking the time to respond.
Currently the best official answer I can give is this:
Voice allows you to build a site that is WCAG compliant, but doesn't guarantee it.
(In the same way that a car allows you to obey all the rules of the road but of course cannot guarantee that you do.)
The reason we can't guarantee it is that a lot of WCAG is about how you create your content, which we have no control over. For example how you structure your menus, what text you put into links, or what ALT text you provide for images.
So, you need to be familiar with the aims of WCAG and create your site with that in mind.
For this same reason I don't believe that any website builder guarantees that a site meets all WCAG guidelines.
I realise my answer is a bit vague and probably not what you were looking for. So I'll try to be more specific.
Going forward Voice will aim to ensure that:
- All Voice themes and applications meet WCAG guidelines. (We will test them for this)
- Where it is found that a theme or application does not meet guidelines we will make reasonable efforts to fix it.
- That the system allows your content to be fully WCAG compliant (e.g., they allow you to create ALT text for all images).
Our aim is that public bodies that need to meet WCAG standards can build sites on Voice with confidence and without having to worry excessively about it.
I'll add a more formal statement of this to the main site in due course. There are actually quite a lot of things going on with Voice at the moment, which will gradually become apparent. (I won't spoil the surprise by pre-announcing anything though!)
Oh, and I forgot to mention: Voice is free and always will be.
Joe - Voice Admin
That's great. That does help me a lot, and I appreciate your full and thorough response. I will continue to look into this, including what we need to do ourselves as a Council.
Once again, thanks for your response.
Joe, one more quick quesiton - Is Voice Cyber Essentials Certified?
No, Voice isn't Cyber Essentials certified - though we have in the past had an independent penetration test done on the system, and fixed all known vulnerabilities.
Joe - Voice Admin