Accessibility Statement

This website is managed by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (of which Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is a part). This accessibility statement is for web pages that start with manchesterfire.gov.uk.

For our 'meetings, agendas and minutes' site, please read this moderngov accessibility statement (external website).  

For our 'live meetings' site, run by GMCA and Public-I,  please read this Public-i accessibility statement (external website).

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

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

How accessible this website is

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

  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video streams do not have captions
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard

We are currently making improvements to the Accessibility of this website.

What to do if you cannot access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a different format:

Email: enquiries@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk

Telephone: 0800 555 815 

Write to: Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, 146 Bolton Road, Swinton, Manchester, M27 8US

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact the GMCA digital team by email gmdigital@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk  or telephone 0800 555 815.

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) (opens in a new tab)

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Greater Manchester Combined Authority provides a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment. To access this call 18002 0161 778 7000. If there is a specific number you wish to call add the prefix of 18002 to enable Text Relay.

Our offices have access to audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Please note, the contact details on this page are not for emergencies. In an emergency, dial 999. Or you can register in advance to use TextRelay to contact 999. If you use British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate you can also access help from NHS BSL line.

Register to dial 999 using TextRelay (external website)

NHS British Sign Language line (external website)

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is committed to making its website 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 listed below.

Non accessible content

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

Images

While most do, not all of our images have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access the information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Navigation and accessing information

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. Some iframe video embeds are missing the "title" attribute. When we add new videos we will ensure it has captions available and the title attribute in the iframe.

Interactive tools and transactions

Some of our interactive forms are difficult to navigate using a keyboard. For example, because some form controls are missing a ‘label’ tag. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (information and relationships).

Forms

Our forms are built and hosted through third party software and ‘skinned’ to look like our website. Some legacy forms may still be in Word doc format and not an online form.

Data

We sometimes publish and link to visual data using platforms such as Tableau (opens in a new tab). This information is hosted on an external website and we make our information as accessible as the platform allows.

Not all data visualisations within documents (e.g. heat maps or complex relationship structures) can be made accessible. Where possible we will include the same information in plain text alongside the visualisation and/or provide alt-text with the chart.

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

Live video

Live video streams do not have captions. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions - live).

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations (opens in a new tab).

Pre-recorded video

Some older pre-recorded videos don’t have an audio captioning or description, so the information in them isn’t available to people who cannot see or the hear the video content. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.5.

As we publish new video content we’ll make sure to use captions/subtitles in order to meet accessibility standards.

Third-party content

Third-party content on our site that is neither funded nor developed by, nor under the control of, the public sector body may also not be accessible. For example slides accompanying webinars and social media widgets and plugins - for example the Twitter feeds on our homepage.

PDFs and other documents

Older documents

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 (opens in a new tab) if they’re not essential to providing our services.

Some of our older PDFs and Word documents, including some published after September 2018, do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

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.

Our newer documents should be compliant. If a new document is published that we have not been able to make accessible, we will make this clear on the page holding the document itself, along with details of when the document will be fixed by or how to obtain the information in an alternative format.

Documents designed for print and creative / artistic content

Some of our documents have been designed for print and as such may not be accessible for screenreaders. Some documents also contain artistic and creative content, and are also not accessible by screen readers. 

Translated documents

Some of our documents are translated by a third-party translations service. Currently these documents are provided in a format that can be printed but not read online by screenreaders. We are in discussions with our provider to see if we can change to a screenreader friendly format.

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 10th October 2019. The test was carried out internally by Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

We checked a broad sample of pages on the website, including the homepage and a selection of other pages. We used a free-to-use developer tool which checks each page against standard accessibility issues. A manual audit was also conducted. Each of the issues was logged, and an action plan formed and implemented for the website. 

The charity, Henshaws, also reviewed some of our Staying Safe pages for accessibility and provided positive feedback.

What we have done to improve accessibility

We are always open to suggestions, additions or the reporting of accessibility problems. Users can use the contact details supplied above.

We made the following improvements in March 2020:

  • added a ‘skip to main content’ function on the header of every page
  • increased the colour contrast of hyperlinked texts
  • ensured all page titles should be unique on the browser window tabs
  • added labels to all page buttons
  • reviewed labels and attributes to ensure compatibility with assistive technologies 
  • increased the colour contrast of the keyboard navigation indicator box
  • reviewed video iframes resize and response to different devices
  • we created a web guide to ensure all web authors are creating content that is accessible

We made the following improvements in September 2020:

  • checked content of every page of the website and updated, including: headings, alternative text, tables and link text
  • made a log of all published documents on the website 
  • rolled out Accessibility Essentials training to all staff and made mandatory for staff who are web authors or publish documents online

We made the following improvements in March 2021:

  • Created document templates and guides to enable authors to publish content accessibly in Word or PDF format.
  • Engaged with our external design agencies to improve their understanding and delivery of accessible content.

We made the following improvements in May 2021:

  • Implemented a "workflow" that introduces a quality check stage before content is published.

What we are doing to improve accessibility 

We have identified a list of key older service documents such as plans and strategies. The majority of these documents are PDFs have been designed using Adobe software or converted from a Word document and older documents are not fully accessible.

Our focus is very much on ensuring newer, current information is accessible. However we also plan to:

  • re-audit our content in summer 2021
  • carry out a document review with our policy areas to remove or fix inaccessible documentation by autumn 2021
  • where possible publish on-page HTML content instead of pdfs
  • look at creating HTML forms instead of document-based forms 

In the meantime, if you are unable to access a document, please contact us. We’ll consider your request and get back to you.

We plan to annually review website accessibility, and ensure that any new pages or PDFs and other online documents conform to web accessibility criteria.

This statement was prepared on 23rd September 2019. It was last updated on 10 June 2021.