Accessibility statement for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS)

This policy explains how accessible the documents CDDFRS are. It covers PDFs, spreadsheets, presentations and other types of document. 

Using our documents

CDDFRS publishes documents in a range of formats. 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
  • write in plain English

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability

How accessible this website is

The website and new documents we publish and documents you need to download or fill in to access one of the services we provide 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:

  • are not tagged up properly - for example, they do not contain proper headings
  • are not written in plain English
  • some pages and document attachments are not clearly written
  • some tables do not have row headers
  • some pages have poor colour contrast
  • some heading elements are not consistent
  • some images do not have good alternative text
  • some buttons are not correctly identified
  • many documents are in PDF format and are not accessible use of Microsoft PowerBI in an iframe
  • live video streams do not have captions

This mostly applies to our older safety documents for home and business fire safety, Combined Fire Authority documents, Human Resources documents and media many of which have been created by third parties. These types of documents are exempt from the regulations, so we do not currently have any plans to make them accessible.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format, please contact us by:

•    email at
•    by calling 0345 305 8383 and ask for a member of our governance team 
•    or write to Governance, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters, Belmont Business Park, Durham, DH1 1TW

Reporting accessibility problems with one of our documents

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our documents. You can request documents in an accessible format if needed. If you find any problems not listed on this page or you think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact the governance team using the details listed above.

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).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

CDDFRS is committed to making its websites accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

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

Disproportionate burden

The following has been identified as Disproportionate Burden for 2020 and will be reviewed annually.

  • sections identified low traffic content, due to the prioritisation of key content across our sites
  • updating some pdfs created after 2018, this being an ongoing project based on access metrics and internal content prioritisation

Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs/documents: many of our older PDF documents don't meet accessibility standards and may not be marked up so they're accessible to a screen reader. The accessibility regulations don't require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they're not essential to providing our service.

Documents and videos that are supplied to us by other organisations will not be edited to make them accessible.

Video transcripts: many of our videos are embedded from YouTube and may feature labelling from YouTube itself, which is incorrect or not sufficiently descriptive.

Where we provide recordings for council meetings we don't plan to provide transcripts as we also provide the minutes of these meetings.

PPTX files hosted on the website are used for educational visits by our staff and not intended for general consumption.

How we tested our documents

W3C Validation Service

This web site is built using code compliant with W3C standards for HTML, XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). W3C is the governing authority on web development standards and practices.

This website has been checked for compliance for desktop and mobile devices July 2020. The test was carried out by Consult and Design Ltd. Every page of this website is scanned for WCAG 2.1 compliance issues using a third-party automated service. See the accessibility report for desktop computers here. And mobile devices here. Sample pages across the website were checked internally.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We reassess the website for accessibility whenever it undergoes a major modification.

Most page content is checked every time it is updated.

Outdated documents will be replaced as new documents are created.

This page was prepared on 28 August 2020 it was last updated on 23 September 2020.