Help and accessibility

What are we doing to ensure we meet the criteria?

The Government requires that all public sector websites should meet the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, to Level AA. These guidelines are based on good design practice and exist to ensure that no individual is excluded due to disability or choice of device or software.

We aim to achieve level AA and to comply with as many of the features of AAA as are possible, but recognise that this is not always achievable for the entire website.

Main accessibility features

Text/font size

Text/Font sizes are set to relative units rather than absolute units. This setting allows people to increase or decrease text size in their web browser. You can use your browsers built in accessibility functions to adjust font size.

Language - Google translate

Translations of this site are provided by Google Translate. For more details, please see our Language Translation page.

Alt tag for all images

We aim to use images relevant to the content. All images that contain important information used in the website have alternate text descriptions, which are known as their 'alt' tag. These help visually impaired users to identify what the images represent.

Data table headers

If a data table is presented, table headers, summary and caption are provided where appropriate to help you understand the data table structure and its data.

Customising the way you view the site

Increasing the size of text

Increasing text size in Internet Explorer
  • If you experience difficulty reading the text on our website, you may want to alter the size. To increase text size you need to change a setting on your internet browser.
  • Internet Explorer users should click View > Text Size > ... and select from the options.
  • Netscape users should click View > Increase Font.
  • Firefox users should click on View > Zoom and then use the options to Zoom In and Zoom Out.
  • Google Chrome users should click on the Page menu > Zoom and then use the options to make the text Larger, Smaller and Normal size.

You can also use keyboard and mouse shortcuts for Internet Explorer 7 and 8, Firefox 3, Google Chrome 2 and Safari 3.2 and 4:

  • CTRL + to zoom in
  • CTRL - to zoom out
  • CTRL 0 (zero) to reset to normal size
  • If you have a mouse scroll wheel, hold CTRL and scroll up to zoom in and scroll down to zoom out.

Cascading style sheets

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS2) are used on all Cheshire East web pages to set design and layout elements, e.g. colours, background colours, alignment, spacing, border, font sizes and types. The advantage of using CSS is to give you the choice of switching off the Cheshire East style sheet and using your own style sheet instead. The web pages are designed to be read in the correct order, even if the style sheets are switched off.

Configuring your web browser to help you use our site

Most web browsers have tools and settings that you can use to help browse our website such as, for example, being able to change the text and background colours for a higher contrast ratio. We have provided the following links to guides that will explain how to use these aids to benefit your browsing experience:

Navigating the website

Using the A-Z

  • Another way to navigate the website is the A-Z Site Index. Simply select the initial letter of the service you require. Each A-Z page lists the services in alphabetical order.
  • The A-Z can be accessed directly from the home page or from the quick link next to the search.


The sitemap lists all pages contained on this website. Please be aware that pages do not appear in alphabetical order but rather in the order of the menu structure.


All the links on our site open in the same window; however some sites will not let you use the back button to get back to the previous page. If this happens select the down arrow at the right of the back button. This will give you a list of previous pages, you can then select the last page you had visited.

Opening links in a new window

If you require a link to open in a new window, position the cursor over the link and right click and then select the 'open in a new window' option. Alternatively you can press and hold the shift button on your keyboard whilst clicking on the link you wish to open in a new window.

External links

All external links are labelled as such using the link title. The link title can be seen when you hover your mouse over the link. Any links that open in a new window display a warning of this.

Viewing online documents

When we link to files on we  indicate the file type and size. 

Adobe acrobat documents

Each link to a PDF document is denoted with (PDF, xxKB) indicating the file type (PDF) and showing the file size of the document in bytes (xxKB). If you cannot view Acrobat documents you can download Adobe Reader.

Wherever possible, PDF documents are created in a way that makes them accessible to visitors who use screen readers. However, in a small number of situations, for example where a document contains detailed maps and diagrams, it may not be possible for us to do this without adversely affecting the integrity of the document.

Microsoft word files

Microsoft word files (.doc) can be opened in Microsoft Word. If you do not have this program Microsoft provide a free Word file viewer that can open, view, print and copy Word documents. This download is a replacement for Word 97 Viewer and all previous Word Viewer versions. Download Microsoft Word viewer.

Microsoft excel files

Microsoft Excel files (.xls) can be opened in Microsoft Excel. If you do not have this program Microsoft provide a free Excel file viewer that can open, view, and print Excel workbooks. This download is a replacement for Excel Viewer 97 and all previous Excel Viewer versions. Download Microsoft Excel viewer.

Microsoft powerpoint files

Microsoft PowerPoint files can be viewed in Microsoft PowerPoint. If you do not have this software then you can download the Microsoft Office PowerPoint Viewer 2007. This is a free download from Microsoft that allows you to view full-featured presentations created in PowerPoint 97 and later versions. Download Microsoft PowerPoint viewer.

Video and sound files

Video files are available to download in Windows Media Format (WMV), This enables the file to be opened in the user default software capable of playing this widely used format. Video clips on the site have a transcript version available or the ability to request an alterative format. In addition to downloads, video has been presented in some cases using the YouTube streaming format. Where this is the case, video has also has the option of captions. A download and transcript are offered alongside the YouTube presentation.

Audio files are available as downloads in MP3 format. Where an audio file is present, a link to a transcript is also provided.

Online transactions

Completing online forms

  • Each on-line form contains fields (blank boxes). You should type the responses to the questions in these fields.
  • You can tab between fields or use your mouse to move into a field.
  • Click the "next" or "submit" button to move to the next section of the form.
  • You have the opportunity to review your answers and print a copy of the form (normally with your browsers print function) before you submit it.
  • Mandatory fields are identified by a red asterisk (*) preceding the form field. You must type a response into these fields in order to continue with your form submission.
  • If the form requires you to enter information in a specified manner (i.e. dd/mm/yy), you should ensure that you follow the pattern.
  • Certain fields are validated as you submit and may return an error message if you have input incorrect data. These errors are identified and where appropriate, the nature of the error is explained and suggestions are made to assist in completion of the form.
  • When you have completed and submitted the form you may be given a reference number. You should make a note of this number if presented and use it in any future correspondence with us.

Credit card payments

  • You can make a credit/debit card payment with any of the following cards: Delta, Visa, Mastercard, Solo, Switch, JCB.
  • You will be required to provide your personal details, details of the account you wish to make a payment for, plus your credit card details.
  • Complete the form as described above.
  • Your details are submitted over a secure server which means that the transaction is encrypted from the moment it leaves your PC until it reaches our server.
  • The transaction is validated on-line and the money will be taken by the bank within 24 hours.
  • Please note, we do not store any credit cards details.

Checking the validity of our security certificate

The padlock symbol at the bottom of a secure web page

To check the validity of our security certificate - for example on the online payments page, you should double-click the closed padlock symbol on the bar at the bottom of your browser screen. Double-clicking on the padlock brings up details about our site's security certificate.

Third party applications

Some parts of our web site are provided via third party applications. Whilst we make every effort to integrate these with our main site it is not always possible. Should you have any difficulties in accessing or using these applications please contact us.

Our policy

Cheshire East Council is committed to ensuring that this website is accessible to the widest possible range of people, regardless of technology or disability. We are therefore actively working to increase the accessibility and usability of our website and ensure that it adheres to many of the available standards and guidelines.

Contact us


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