Accessibility Statement

We’re committed to making our website as accessible as possible to all audiences (including those with visual, hearing, cognitive or motor impairments) to meet its requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act.

Accessibility Statement

This accessibility statement applies to

This website is maintained by HNC, currently supported by Concept4. 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 (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We follow the recommendations given by the Web Accessibility Initiative and AbilityNet, a national charity that helps disabled adults and children to use computers and the internet. You can follow these guides for more information.

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

What is Accessibility?

In this instance, accessibility refers to the attempt to ensure that our sites content can be read by everyone, regardless of disability and technology used.

We understand that accessibility should not be seen as an “optional extra”, but must be considered as a fundamental consideration at every stage of site development work, and we try to ensure that our media works consistently with its assistive technologies to ensure an accessible experience for disabled users.

Often people are at a disadvantage when browsing a web site because they have not been accounted for in the design of the site. We have tried to provide a high level of accessibility and developments in this regard are ongoing.

How accessible this website is

This website is designed in such a way that you can easily adjust your computer and browser according to your needs. This includes making the text larger, changing your keyboard or mouse settings, or increasing colour contrast.

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • Some PDF documents published after September 2018 are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams do not have captions
  • some of the third party online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • some images do not have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information.
  • older videos may be missing captions and audio descriptions.
  • key information is available in written form wherever possible. However, this is not always possible – for example, our virtual tour.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. Please let us know if you encounter accessibility barriers to addition to those listed below or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements. Please contact HNC’s Clerk to the Corporation. We aim to respond to accessibility feedback via email within 7 days.

As an educational institution, we are fully committed to assisting users to access the information required for education choices. If you require information on this website in an alternative format that is more suitable to your individual needs to ensure full access to our primary service; please contact the Clerk to the Corporation.

  • Email:
  • Call:  01484 652341

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 7 days.

If you cannot view the map on our ‘contact us’ page, call or email us for directions.

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

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

Compliance status

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. 

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • WCAG 1.1.1 Non-text content – Some images do not have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. We plan to add text alternatives for all images. As we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.
  • WCAG 1.2.2 Captions (Pre-recorded) – The accessibility of embedded video content is dependent on the standards reached by the third-party provider. Where possible we will make use of features such as subtitles to ensure our content is accessible. We are aware that not all of our videos have easily accessible captions or transcripts. We are looking at ways to provide these in the future.
  • WCAG 4.1.2 name, role value – Our older PDFs don’t meet accessibility standards – for example, they may not be marked up so they’re accessible to a screen reader. Other known issues with  some of the PDF documents, which fails  include:
    • Have headings which do not follow a logical order
    • Do not specify headings
    • Are not tagged
    • Do not define a title or have a weak title
    • Do not use bookmarks to aid navigation
    • Do not specify a default language
  • Some of the third party interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard
    • Some controls don’t change appearance when they are selected
    • Some hyperlinks to forms don’t use accessible link text
    • some forms don’t have descriptive labels for form fields
    • some forms don’t allow autocompletion of fields with regularly submitted information like name, and email address
    • some forms use an inaccessible method of choosing dates
    • some forms don’t include a submit button
  • It’s not always possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it more difficult to view the content.
  • WCAG 1.2.5 Audio Description (Pre-recorded) – Our embedded videos are hosted on third party platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo. These platforms do not yet fully support audio description so we are unable to provide this separate audio track.

We embed third party videos (and at times use third party interactive forms) on the site. We know there are accessibility issues with these features. We don’t have accessible alternatives and, as we don’t control the platform, are unable to make the changes required to improve them.

We do not plan to either fix or replace existing PDFs (see reasons listed below – disproportionate burden). However any new PDFs or documents we publish on the website will aim to meet accessibility standards.

Disproportionate burden

Due to limited web design capability in-house, we engaged the services of our web providers to support us in resolving as many as possible of the accessibility issues found on our website.

Content and functionality which failed to meet accessibility standards has been removed or replaced as necessary. However we acknowledge that some issues remain unresolved.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. We acknowledge however that some of our PDF’s (from September 2018) do not meet accessibility standards. Due to limited staffing resource at college, we are unable to retrospectively fix our PDF’s or other documents. We’ll therefore focus on ensuring that new documents are accessible where they’re required for essential services or specifically address the needs of, or are meant for, disabled people.

Our assessment of the burden of making the existing PDFs into accessible HTML formats is that:

  • there are hundreds of historical documents created by the organisation
  • each document would require a number of hours of work to be recreated in a fully accessible version (estimated time, based on research, of converting the active documents is between 2 and 30 hours per document, depending on length and complexity, plus any required sign-off)
  • many of the documents, in particular the financial statements and members reports, contain complex elements which are difficult to retrospectively convert, such as detailed tables, graphs, and diagrams
  • interest in these documents is low – few people access them and to date we have not received any requests for additionally accessible versions and/or received any historical complaints (in relation to the accessibility of these online documents).
  • the documents do meet accessibility requirements for a large number of users, although some groups will find them disproportionately difficult
  • we have and will always assist with accessible versions on request

We therefore believe that:

  • the size, resources and nature of our organisation mean that there are limited public resources available which must be managed appropriately and in the public interest to prioritise the delivery of essential services to the public.
  • the costs of paying for fixing all of the documents on our website would be a substantial burden on us and the public resources we manage.
  • the benefit to users would be limited and their needs can be met in other ways.

Therefore, fixing all documents on our main website would impose a disproportionate burden on us.

We remain however committed to supporting all learners and will continue to monitor the impact of these failures. If any issues raised above are found to be detrimental to a user’s experience, the inclusion of the element on our website will be reassessed against the service it provides.

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

  • We do not plan to add captions to live video streams as live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are constantly working to ensure that this website is as accessible as possible to all internet users, including those with disabilities.

This website is periodically tested and updated to meet current standards and to be compliant and function with as many web browsers and versions of web browsers as possible.

Due to the limited web design capability in-house, we shall continue to engage the services of web providers to support us in improving the accessibility of our website where issues occur.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was first prepared on 04.10.23 and will remain subject to annual reviews. It was last reviewed and changed on 04.10.23

The college will commit to annual tests of its website by using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines V2.1 level A and level AA to test how accessible is.

We are committed to testing our web pages and documents annually using Deque Axe Tools.

Our commitment to monitor and test the accessibility of our site and to fix and improve the accessibility of the site is now part of our daily work.

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