Accessibility statement

Using the SEMD website

South East Museum Development (also referred to in this statement as ‘we’) runs this website, and we want as many people as possible to be able to use the site. We have worked with the site developers to increase accessibility from the start of the project, running regular access checks and user testing. 

In this section we outline some of the access features that are built into the site, how to contact us to make suggestions for improving accessibility, and how you can get content in alternative formats if something is not accessible to you. 

On this website you should be able to:

  •     zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  •     navigate the website using just a keyboard
  •     navigate the website using speech recognition software
  •     listen to the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)
  •   Change the size of the browser window but still read the text – as it will reflow in a single column

As well as using the above features on the site, you can also make changes to the access settings on the device you’re using, depending on your own preferences, including switching on: 

  •     Speech output
  •     Magnifying the screen 
  •     Making the mouse point bigger
  •     Slowing down the mouse speed
  •     Using the keyboard to move around a website

Go to the AbilityNet website for advice on making your device easier to use if you want to change how you view or use a website.


How accessible this website is

We’ve tried to build in features to increase general accessibility including: 

  •     Text content written in plain English to make it easier to understand
  •     A logical layout 
  •     The use of structural elements including headings 
  •     The use of alternative descriptions to describe some images

 We know that some areas of this website aren’t fully accessible and we are working to improve their accessibility, including the following issues:

  • Images with missing or unhelpful alternative text
  • Links with missing and suspicious text 
  • Missing text labels on forms and some buttons – making some of our online forms difficult to navigate using a screen reader or keyboard only. 
  • Some older content might not be accessible, e.g. Word, PDF and Powerpoint documents are not formatted to be accessible. 
  • Underlined text – underlines are usually used to indicate a link, so the use of underlines will confuse some users. Review their use and use alternative styling to differentiate text. 
  • You can’t skip to the main content when using a screen reader. 


What to do if you can’t access parts of this website

Please get in touch with us if:

  • You cannot access the information on this website and would like to request it in a different format.
  • You would like to ask us anything or tell us something about the accessibility of our website.
    • Name: Juliet Thomas 
    • Email:
    • Telephone: 01273 292864

We want to improve our web accessibility and welcome your feedback. We will respond to any enquiries within 5 working days.


Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking for ways to improve the accessibility of this website and would like to hear from you. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, please contact:

  • Name: Juliet Thomas 
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 01273 292864


Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).


Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We do not have a public venue or office, but please email or phone us using the contact details listed above if you’d like to get in touch.


Technical information about this website’s accessibility

We are committed to making our website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. 
In this section, you will find out more about the accessibility of our website and how far it conforms to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 level AA. The known issues are not an exhaustive list, but we have summarised the main problems found on the site.  

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below: 

  • Empty buttons and empty form labels
  • Missing alternative text 
  • Missing headings 
  • Missing/empty/orphaned form labels
  • Linked images missing alternative text
  • Fieldset missing legend
  • Redundant links, redundant title text and suspicious link text 


Detailed information about the accessibility of the site

Accessibility problems WCAG 2.1 criteria fails on Why it’s a problem How to resolve Date to fix
1. Some images don’t have a text alternative, so the information in them isn’t accessible to people using a screen reader. Some linked images are also missing alternative text. Empty buttons 1.1.1. Non-text content

2.4.4. Link purpose (in context)


Without alternative text, the content of an image will not be available to screen reader users or when the image is unavailable. 

When navigating to a button, descriptive text must be presented to the screen reader users otherwise they won’t know the function of the button

Add alt text to all images old and new. 

Add text to describe function of buttons /

place text content within the button element or give the element a value attribute.

Fixed by 1st August 2020
2. Missing and empty form labels – a form label does not have a corresponding label 1.1.1. Non-text content

1.3.1. Info and relationships 

Headings and labels 

3.3.2. Labels /instructions

If form controls don’t have associated text labels, the function of the control may not be presented to screen reader users. Form labels also provide visible descriptions and larger clickable targets for form controls.  We will review all the form labels to ensure that they have correct labels. 


Fixed by 1st August 2020
3. Empty headings  This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria: 

1.3.1.   Info and relationships 

2.4.1.   Bypass blocks

2.4.6.   Headings and labels 


Some users, especially keyboard and screen reader users, navigate by heading elements. An empty heading will present no information and might be confusing. Also need to check where some heading levels have been skipped, to help with navigation.  We are planning to go back through the site to add headings, and will add them as a matter of course from this date. Fixed by 1st August 2020
4. Orphaned form labels 


1.1.2. Non-text content

1.3.2. Info and relationships 

2.4.7. Headings and labels 

3.3.2. Labels or instructions

Where form labels are used, they’re not always correctly associated with a form control. This means that functionality or information about the form control is not always provided to the user.  We are planning to investigate all form labelling issues, and will address them now and as a matter of course from this date. Fixed by 1st August 2020
5. Fieldset missing legend 1.1.2. Non-text content

1.3.2. Info and relationships 

2.4.7. Headings and labels 

3.3.2. Labels or instructions 

A fieldset legend presents a description of the form elements within a fieldset and is especially useful to screen reader users. We are planning to investigate all form labelling issues, and will address them now and as a matter of course from this date. Fixed by 1st August 2020
6. Redundant links, redundant title text and suspicious link text 2.4.4. Link purpose (in context)


When adjacent links go to the same location, this results in additional navigation, repetition and ‘clutter’ for keyboard and screen reader users. Combine the links if possible. In some areas title text is the same as the text or alternative text – the advisory information or the title attribute shouldn’t be identical to the element text/alternative text. 

‘Suspicious link text’ – some link text contains extraneous text or might not make sense out of context – links should clearly describe the destination or function of the link. Ambiguous and extraneous text such as ‘click here’ can cause confusion.

> We will review all redundant links and title text, and will address them now and as a matter of course from this date.

Reword the text so that it’s more descriptive of its destination when read out of context. 


Fixed by 1st August 2020


Disproportionate burden

This section of the statement does not apply to the SEMD website. 


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

There are some usability and content problems that fall outside the scope of the accessibility regulations – they don’t necessarily fail on WCAG 2.1 criteria, but we will include them in our overall accessibility plan: 

  • PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents 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.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. However, if users want specific PDFs or Word documents that aren’t accessible, they should get in touch with us and we will create and share a more accessible format.  

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

  • Low contrast – during testing there were alerts relating to low contrast. It’s crucial that the text and background colour contrast is high to aid visibility – we will review colour contrast throughout the site and ensure any low contrast is updated to improve access. 
  • Visual display short-cuts and ‘accessibility settings’

We plan to add an accessibility settings section, rounding up the access features on the site and linking to short-cuts to adjust the font size and text / background colour contrast. 

  • Some external sites that we link to might not be fully accessible

We are not responsible for the accessibility of websites that we link to from our site, but from this point on, if there is an option we will choose to link to the most accessible sites that are available.


How we test for accessibility

We tested the site during development, to ensure that accessibility was built into the site from the start. There were 3 main stages of testing:

  •     ‘Wireframe’ testing of early plans of the site to test the site’s logic and usability 
  •   ’Flat design’ testing of the site – testing usability / visual accessibility 
  • Testing the code with an automated validator, against WCAG 2.1. AA

During ’flat design’ testing of the site we tested with visually impaired screen magnifier users. An external facilitator referred to questions in a test script, with typical user journeys and scenarios to help participants explore each section of the site. The test facilitator captured their feedback and any access barriers that they encountered on the way. 

All findings were rounded up into a report which included the access auditor’s recommendations for improving the overall usability and accessibility of the site, and were shared and implemented by the site developers. 

Most recently we have tested the site and content for accessibility using the automated validator Pope Tech – to highlight any access problems in relation to WCAG 2.1, and we have included this information in the accessibility statement. 


What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are committed to providing websites that are accessible to all and have created an accessibility roadmap which shows how and when we plan to improve accessibility on this website.

We will review and update the accessibility statement regularly (every 6 months from publication of this statement). 


We will focus on items that have been added since publication and will review them once again within one year from publication of this statement. 


Other ways that we are working to make sure that our website and content is accessible to all include: 

  • Raising general awareness of accessibility across the museum sector
  • Raising awareness within SEMD
  • Doing more research into how to increase accessibility of content including videos and audio, PDFs and Powerpoint documents 
  • Updating any guidelines for external organisations
  • Updating any training material 


This statement was prepared on 23 September, 2019. 

It was last updated on 7th November 2019.


Accessibility Options

The following options may make it easier for you to use this website

Change the contrast of colours and text

Change the size of the size of the text

Toggle the display of images