Our approach to accessibility

At Citizen we take accessibility very seriously and our new website is designed and developed to be a user-friendly and accessible experience for all of our customers.

 

Our goal is to be fully AA compliant and we’ve ensured that usability is at the core of our latest website design. From the very beginning of the work on our new website, we’ve included and tested extensively with customers and we’re committed to a process of ongoing review to ensure we keep doing everything we can to make our website easy to use for everyone.

What is web accessibility?

In its simplest form, accessibility is about ensuring that websites, tools and technologies are designed and developed so that the widest possible range of people can use them, regardless of ability. Specifically, users should be able to perceive, understand, navigate and interact successfully with our digital services, as well as contribute.

Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the web, including:

  • auditory
  • cognitive
  • neurological
  • physical
  • speech
  • visual

Web accessibility also benefits people without disabilities, for example:

  • people using mobile phones, smart watches, smart TVs, and other devices with small screens, different input modes, etc.
  • older people with changing abilities due to ageing
  • people with “temporary disabilities” such as a broken arm or lost glasses
  • people with “situational limitations” such as in bright sunlight or in an environment where they cannot listen to audio
  • people using a slow Internet connection, or who have limited or expensive bandwidth.

 

How is our website accessible?

Our new website is user-friendly and fully responsive, which means you can browse it on any device you choose, including desktop, tablet and mobile. We’ve also improved and updated our My Account service, which is responsive and allows you easily report repairs, pay your rent, or get in touch with us about any issues you may have.

 

We’ve selected a font type and size designed by Adobe to be highly legible and our pages are designed and structured to help you access the information you need in a simple and straightforward way, with particular attention given to things such as line length, colour contrast and clear and simple ‘calls to action’ in plain English.

 

Our team has also made sure our images are supported with ‘Alt Text’, which supports the use of screen readers where appropriate, and we’ve structured our text to ensure that it is easy to understand. Our website and My Account portal support keyboard navigation as an alternative to using a mouse.

 

If you’d like to use a screen reader to support the use of our website, then you can launch BrowseAloud here:

 

If you encounter any problems with our site, or you aren’t to able to find what you’re looking for, there are many options to get in touch with us. We’ve also included new online chat functionality to support your queries within our working hours and you’ll be connected to one of our highly trained customer service advisors to help answer your questions. Out of hours, the chat is still available, and will help direct you to content on the website which will assist you in answering your questions.

Help us keep improving

Despite all of our hard work there may still be issues we are not aware of, so we value your support in helping us to keep on top of them.

 

If you experience any issues using the website we want to know about them!

 

If an image looks odd, a button doesn’t load, or your screen reader isn’t making sense of content, then please do get in touch with us detailing the issue and ideally the device you are using at the time you experienced the issue and we’ll look into it for you. If you are able to make and send a screen grab, that can help speed up any diagnostics we need to do.

Improving your experience of our website

We’ve taken plenty of steps with the design and development of our website to ensure that it’s accessible, but there are many things you can do to personally tailor your experience of using our website and others.

 

The Government have worked with an organisation called Ability.Net, to create a set of resources called ‘My Computer my way’. These online factsheets will help you to further tailor your browsing for a comfortable and enjoyable experience online.

 

Their website can be found here: https://mcmw.abilitynet.org.uk/

 

The following links provide step-by-step guides across four specific areas:

 

Vision 

 

This includes guidance on making text larger, magnifying your screen, making your mouse pointer easier to see, using screen reader technology and even changing the colours of your screen to support browsing: https://mcmw.abilitynet.org.uk/impairment/vision

 

Hearing

 

This includes guidance on how people with a hearing impairment can improve their browsing experience, including hearing options for your computer/tablet: https://mcmw.abilitynet.org.uk/impairment/hearing

 

 

Motor

 

This advice covers additional features which can make your keyboard, mouse and even mobile device easier to use: https://mcmw.abilitynet.org.uk/impairment/motor

 

 

Cognitive

 

This advice covers how to make reading, writing and using our site easier on your computer, mobile and tablet: https://mcmw.abilitynet.org.uk/impairment/cognitive