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Known issues

As part of our commitment to accessibility we are required to publish where we know there are issues with our website.

Issues with text

Some links state ‘link’ in the alternative text or aria label – screen readers are therefore repeating this twice. For example ‘link, report graffiti link’.

Some links have link text as well as a combination of titles, aria labels and alternative text. As a result when read using a screen reader it reads the same or a similar thing multiple times for each link. This is dependent on screen reader settings

We're working on fixing these issues as soon as possible. When we publish new content we’ll make sure link text meets accessibility standards.

Issues with PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be marked up so they’re accessible to a screen reader.

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 and PDFs. By the end of the year, we plan to either fix these or replace them with accessible HTML pages or online forms.

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 services. For example, we don’t currently plan to fix historic meeting minutes as we need to prioritise other areas.

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards.

Issues with images, video and audio

There are a small number of images on the website that don’t have alternative text. For some that do, the alternative text isn’t as relevant and helpful as it could be.

Not all of our video content has captions.

We plan to make sure that all images on the website have relevant and helpful alternative text by September 2020. 

Time-out issues

Our BRUM Account login and progression from page to page in most of our forms have a built-in time-out of 30 minutes of inactivity; this is a standard behaviour of websites to protect your data. In a future update to the website infrastructure we will introduce a notification to users when the time-out will shortly expire giving you the opportunity to extend the login period.

Form issues

Some of our old forms do not correctly label some options in a manner which can be read by assistive technology; we will resolve these outstanding issues by December 2021.

Our forms do not currently have unique page titles as the user moves from page to page; some forms have headings which some assistive technology incorrectly reads out. These issues will be resolved by a website update due to be completed by January 2022.

WAI-ARIA issues

Some aria-labels and WAI-ARIA roles may be incorrect or not as useful as they could be. Our automated checks are able to check whether they exist, but are not able to tell us if they are useful in their given context.

We are working through all of the pages on the website to ensure that they are helpful with the assistance of a screen reader. We aim to have this completed by September 2020.


There are some types of content that are exempt from accessibility regulations. All exemptions that relate to our website are listed here:

  • Third-party content that is neither funded nor developed by, nor under the control of Birmingham City Council. E.g. content and services supplied by GOV.UK or NHS.UK.
  • PDFs and documents published before 23 September 2018 which are not essential for providing a particular service or active administrative process. However, we are actively working towards reducing the number of inaccessible PDFs and replacing them with accessible alternatives.
  • Pre-recorded time-based media (videos and audio recordings) is exempt from the regulations if it is published before 23 September 2020.

What we’re doing to fix accessibility issues

We have a plan in place and are working to fix these issues. We have limited resources but are putting a large proportion of our time into making our website compliant and as accessible as possible.

We are also working with all our staff who are responsible for writing content for the website, to train them in producing more accessible content and to improve all the content already up on the site that has issues.


We are aware that on some pages there is an HTML validation error caused by style information being included within HTML elements which it shouldn't be in; this should not affect your usage of the site, but we are working with our provider towards a resolution.

Something missing?

If you believe that something is missing from this list, please contact us and be as specific and detailed as you can. Please also tell us if you had a good experience on our website.

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