CCG Communications Officer made project team aware of the accessibility information standards regarding the website and the actions required to ensure we are as compliant as possible. This was the first instance that the team had been made aware of this compliance and its impending deadline to be compliant.
As a result of the recent awareness of the web accessibility standards, the team enlisted the support of the digital agency who manages the project website. A quotation was sought for the agency to audit the website to identify any areas for improvement to meet these standards. Initial quote for the agency to run the audit was received on 12 March 2020 however due to budget constraints the audit was not viable at the time.
Re-engagement with the local clinical commissioning group was undertaken to knowledge share on this topic and to under what approaches were being taken by other local authority teams in regards to their web accessibility standards.
The original agency that provided the quote to audit the website was contacted to provide a web accessibility training course. Agency provided a knowledgeable training session to various communication, project support and technical staff members at the CCG location, of which a member to the Leeds Care Record project team attended.
Following the training course, an internal audit review was undertaken by the project team. This audit consisted of sampling a number of pages on the website to check for their accessible standards compliancy. The tools used to conduct this audit was via Google Chrome browser, Lighthouse extension and https://wave.webaim.org/.
The initial audits uncovered a number of areas where improvements could be made. These included adding more descriptive image alt and title tags, alterations to certain colour tones, closed captioning on embedded YouTube videos.
A compliance Website Accessibility Statement was subsequently added to the website on 21/05/2020 which stated the summary findings of the internal accessibility audit review of the website.
Since the statement was initially drafted, it has been revised following various enhancements that have been made on the website to try and make it as accessibly complaint as possible. As the project has not had a dedicated resource to make these changes, nor a budget to allow someone external to make them, these changes have been carried out by the team directly using free tools that have been available. Certain aspects, such as the website code structure, have not been able to be edited due to the team not having access to do this. This has resulted in some accessible changes that would have liked to have been made, not possible.
The Leeds Care Record is part of a wider initiative, known as the Yorkshire & Humber Care Record. Because of this it is not yet known if Leeds Care Record will supersede therefore the branding, including the web assets, will become redundant in the near future. As these strategic conversations are still taking place, the team have made the changes where they have been able to and regularly discuss how it can be improved further to try to be as accessibly compliant as possible on the website.
On 9th November 2020 the project team met with the websites hosting digital agency to discuss the website service. The meeting covered aspects of a potential redesign and rebuild of the website to make it fully accessibly compliant, rather than its partial compliancy now. Due to budget constraints on the project it has been recommended that the upcoming financial year (2021/2022) would perhaps be a better time to allocate funds to the rebuild of the website. Whilst this was acknowledged, the existing site will still be reviewed regularly for the project team members to make changes that are available and within the capacity to make.