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Removing barriers to information 

We are committed to designing our website to make it as accessible as possible but still visually interesting.

To do this we have included a variety of features:

Browsealoud - speech enabled website 

Browsealoud is an online screen reader to help the visually impaired. This is software which reads the text on the screen and speaks those words to you.

How to use the Browsealoud screen reader

Once the software is installed on your computer you will be able to listen to any website offering the Browsealoud service.

Access keys 

We use the standard UK Government access keys. These are:

  • S Skip navigation
  • 1. Back to Home Page
  • 2. What's new?
  • 3. Site index
  • 4. Search the site
  • 5. A - Z of services
  • 6. Help
  • 7. Complaints procedure ('Contacting the council' page)
  • 8. Disclaimer
  • 9. Contact us - Feedback form
  • 0. Access keys details

To use the access keys on this site
Follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the 'alt' key
  2. Press the required letter
  3. Press the return key and the browser will load the relevant page

Please note: Access Keys may not work on all browsers.

The ability to navigate the site using other means than a mouse can be important for those who have difficulties in using a mouse or other pointing device.

To help with this we have set up 'Access Keys' on the site which allows easy navigation to the main pages on the website.

As well as helping those who have difficulty using a Mouse it also allows quick access to the main pages for anyone who prefers to use the keyboard.

Images and alt tags 

We have avoided using excessive graphics within the website where possible to ensure quick download times and access to information which cannot be read if in image format.

Where images have been used we have added 'Alt' tags - text alternatives so that you will still know what the image is meant to convey even if it does not load or if you have chosen to browse with the images switched off or you are using an assistive technology like a screen reader to browse the web page rather than view.

Resizable text 

We have been careful to make sure that we have not fixed the size of the textual information on the website so that visitors who wish to can alter the font size on the screen to make it easier to read.

There are a number of ways to change the text size in your browser, the easiest way is to follow the following steps: (In Internet Explorer)

  1. Select the 'View' menu
  2. Select the 'Text Size' option from the menu
  3. Click on the text size you want to view

It is also possible to increase the size of the text by holding down the ctrl key on the bottom left hand row of the key board whilst using the scroll wheel on the mouse to increase (or decrease) the size of the text.

Coding standards and Double-A conformance 

This website is built using code compliant with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards for XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets. W3C is the governing authority on web development standards and practices.

The site displays correctly with current browsers, and using standard XHTML code means that any future browsers will also display this website correctly.

We are continuously improving this website to ensure that pages conform to the Double-A level (and in places Triple-A) of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0.

The Accessibility Guidelines explain how to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities. Conformance to these Guidelines helps to make the Web more accessible to users with disabilities and benefits all users.

Individual pages are tested using the W3C Validation tool.

There may be a few pages that do not conform to all the guidelines. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the whole site conforms, with so many contributors, this is an ongoing process.

If you have any problem accessing any information on the site, you can contact the Web Team at the address shown and they will try to provide the information in a suitable manner.

Consistent navigation 

Throughout the site we have tried to keep the navigation consistent. Certain pages (Search, Accessibility, Site Map, Disclaimer, Contact) are available from every single page on the website.

The top level of navigation to the main standard category headings are also available from all the pages.

As well as finding pages via the standard navigation users should also be able to find them through the Search and Site Map pages.

If you have any comments about the navigation on the site please contact the web team. We have tried to make it as easy as possible, but with over 10,000 pages of information this can be difficult.

Skip navigation 

On the top of the site there is a link to 'Skip Navigation' - this automatically moves you down the page to below the navigation so if you are using a screen reader you can click straight on this link and not have to listen to all the links being read out.

Standards references 

We are dedicated to modifying this site to be fully accessible, and to meet the following legislation and guidelines. We have already gone some way to doing this, but some features, such as PDF files, still require amending.


Relevant organisations:

Accessibility standards:

Report an accessibility problem 

If you find any pages with an accessibility problem, please contact the Web Team at the address shown.

Barking and Dagenham Direct

C/o Civic Centre


RM10 7BN


Phone: 020 8215 3000

Email: 3000direct@lbbd.gov.uk