07/07/22: Breckland Council website now ranked in national top ten for accessibility

A review of more than 400 council websites across the country has seen Breckland Council's site ranked in the top ten for accessibility.

The assessment was carried out by Silktide (opens new window) , an organisation which monitors and measures the content and quality of websites. Figures from their tests this month  placed Breckland Council 9th out of 402 local authorities nationwide. It is an astronomical rise, as the council was placed in 344th place when a similar assessment was carried out in February 2020.

The radical improvement has been achieved by the council making a range of changes. These include reducing and simplifying the text on the web pages, making downloadable files easy to read and useable with screen-reader equipment used by people who are blind or those with low vision, amending the colours and contrast of the website's design, and reducing images to help make pages load quicker.

Cllr Jane James, Executive Member for Customer and Corporate Services, commented: "At Breckland Council we pride ourselves on being inclusive to all. It has been our goal to make our website as usable as possible by everyone, regardless of visual, mobility, auditory, or cognitive impairments, so to now be ranked in the top ten councils nationwide is an incredible achievement."

The changes to improve the accessibility and functionality of the website are in addition to the introduction of a new chatbot. People can type in questions and Bobbie will provide an answer automatically. It means residents can contact the council 24/7 and a recent survey showed that 80% of people who used the service found Bobbie useful. In May, the chatbot answered 86% of enquiries without intervention, with the small number of questions that Bobbie couldn't answer responded to by a council officer during office hours.

Last updated: 06/10/2022 15:35:17