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Colchester Borough Council aims to make this website accessible to all visitors, ensuring it meets the needs of disabled users, and is viewable in the widest possible range of web-browsing technology. To achieve this goal, the Colchester Borough Council website was created in accordance with certain web standards and government guidelines.

pdf icon The Council's equality impact assessment which includes the website can be viewed here. [94kb]

Access keys

Access keys can make it easier for a visitor to navigate through a website. A link is instantly selected when its access key is typed.

Access keys can make it easier for a visitor to navigate through a website. A link is instantly selected when its access key is typed.

On a Windows computer, you can press ALT + an access key to select a link.
On a Macintosh, you can press Control + an access key to select a link.

Conforming to the UK Government access keys standard, the following access keys are defined on each page of the Colchester Borough Council website:

  • S - Skip navigation
  • 1 - Home page
  • 3 - Site map
  • 4 - Search
  • 9 - Contact
  • 0 - Access key details

Standards compliance

  1. All pages on this site marked with the W3C-WAI Level Double-A conformance icon comply with all priority 1 and 2 guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0). As many of the guidelines can not be tested automatically, this statement is made on the basis of subjective manual review. After evaluating the site against the priority 1 and 2 guidelines, it is believed that all marked pages adhere to them. A checklist of the WCAG guidelines is available here.

  2. All pages on this site validate as XHTML 1.1, as determined by the W3C Markup Validation Service. This is important to ensure that the website has a consistent appearance and functionality across all modern web browsers.

  3. All pages on this site use valid Cascading Stylesheets (CSS), as determined by the W3C CSS Validation Service. This is important to ensure that the website has a consistent appearance across all modern web browsers.


Colchester Borough Council's website is BrowseAloud enabled which means that you can have information on this site read aloud to you for free whether you are using a Smartphone, Tablet, PC or Mac.

What is BrowseAloud?
BrowseAloud is a suite of products that provides reading support on websites. BrowseAloud reads website content out loud, highlighting each word as it is spoken in a high quality, human-sounding voice. Other features include: 

  • Dual-Colour Highlighting
  • Talking Translator 
  • Secure Site Reading 
  • Text Magnification 
  • MP3 Maker 
  • PDF Reading 
  • Talking Dictionary
  • Screen Masking 
  • International Languages

More than 7,000 websites use BrowseAloud, so once you have it on your device you can listen to all of these websites too.

Who BrowseAloud Helps?
BrowseAloud helps website visitors who require online reading support and those who simply prefer to listen to information instead of reading it. BrowseAloud is particularly useful for those with print disabilities such as dyslexia or mild visual impairments and those with English as a second language.

How do I get BrowseAloud?
Click on the wording 'Listen with BrowseAloud' that appears at the top of our homepage to launch the BrowseAloud toolbar. This toolbar provides instant high quality speech at the touch of a button - no need to download anything.

To use BrowseAloud's fully-featured version, which includes a dictionary, a translator, an MP3 maker, a text magnifier and reads secure web pages and PDFs, visit the BrowseAloud website to download a small application, free of charge.

Support with using BrowseAloud
A full range of support services are provided for BrowseAloud:
Web: BrowseAloud Support
Tel: 0800 328 7910

For information on making the web easier to use, visit the BBC's 'How to' guides


There are a number of free online tools to help translate from English into other languages, two popular choices are:

Google Translate

Google Translate translates English into other languages and vice versa.



Babelfish also translates websites from English to other languages however Babelfish also has the ability to translate individual pages. Paste a url of the web page into the translation box and have the individual web page translated for you.

Please note:
These services are intended as a rough guide and Colchester Borough Council cannot be held responsible for any errors in the translated text.


Text Phone

If you can't hear or speak on the phone, we can help. You can contact us via Textphone. To access this service, you need to have a Text Phone at home, or be able to access one. An operator will relay your message to us verbally, and our response back to you in text form.

The number to use for Textphone is 18001, followed by the number you require.  The .

If you don't have a Text Phone you can still have your message relayed to us via an operator on a computer, tablet or smartphone. You can find out more by visiting the Next Generation Text Servicewebsite. General information and advice is available from the national organisation, Action on Hearing Loss.