Disproportionate burden statement
Find out how we’re checking our website for accessibility issues, and what we consider to be a disproportionate burden
This website is run by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS). We are committed to meeting our legal obligations set out in The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (“No. 2 Regulations”). However, we have a complex collection of online service information and limited resources to check them all for accessibility issues. You can read our approach to checking our website, and how we’ve assessed what we consider a disproportionate burden.
Reporting accessibility problems with this website
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
We are working to improve accessibility on this website. Internally we have created an ‘Accessibility Hub’ training site on our Intranet with templates, instructions and video guides. This has been communicated to all staff who are expected to produce accessible material going forward. We have also carried out extensive staff training to our small team of web editors and implemented processes to ensure that documents we produce are easier to navigate.
We are also working closely with our Network Accessibility Lead to further improve our site in the future.
We have trained our staff to add alternative text to all images on our website.
Our approach to carrying out accessibility checks
SCAS does not have the resources in-house to carry out accessibility checks, So the role of analysing and fixing technical issues is outsourced to our third party web hosting compnay . The process for doing these checks includes a combination of manual testing and automated-testing using accessibility monitoring tools. Our accessibility statement will cover problems any we find, and our plans to fix them.
The SCAS website covers a variety of purposes, and content types. It is hosted by our appointed hosting provider; other elements are 3rd party hosted and maintained by external suppliers, managed and paid for by an individual Trust service or directorate.
Our homepage carousel currently does not comply. To resolve this would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations as it would require a complete replacement of the system and the templates we use to run our website, at significant cost. We are committed to resolving this issue at the next major redesign of our website when the contract is due for renewal.
Some content may not reflow when viewed on mobile at 320 x 256 screen size and zoomed in at 400%. To resolve this would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations as it would require a complete replacement of the system and the templates we use to run our website, at significant cost. We are committed to resolving this issue at the next major redesign of our website when the contract is due for renewal.
Drop-down menus on the side navigation may not be viewable when using keyboard. This is not an available feature of our website and we feel it would be a disproportionate burden to resolve this within the meaning of the accessibility regulations as it would require a complete replacement of the system and the templates we use to run our website, at significant cost. We are committed to resolving this issue at the next major redesign of our website when the contract is due for renewal.
Cost of fixing links, Navigation and text reflow
We are currently working with our external web hosting company in order to understand the full implications of the costs involved.
It is worth noting that SCAS completed a huge Web Accessibility Project that looked at all of our online PDF documents and budgeted £20,000 in order to bring all our polices, procedures, strategies and research documents in line with the Accessibility Regulations. This was achieved by employing the services of a third-party design agency who created the templates that our internal departments now use for their future documents.
However, the main area that we are unable to comply is with our Board Papers. These PDF documents regularly contain hundreds of pages which contain scanned images, large reports that have been sourced from multiple departments and agencies. They are also complied and uploaded only hours before they are legally required to be available to the public, So a delay would risk a fine or a cancelled public meeting.
The low numbers of views on these documents doesn’t justify the cost of time, effort and resource to fix them.The huge cost of converting these documents is not financially justifiable. Instead we advice all interested parties to contact email@example.com to talk through any information that might be required.
Assessment of costs and benefits
We believe that:
The human and financial cost of carrying out detailed checks for all our website content, technical site files, and fixing all website themes on scas.nhs.uk would be a disproportionate burden on our organisation. The Trust does not currently benefit from developer resource in-house.
The benefit to users of carrying out these detailed checks and fixes on the website and obtaining technical resource to fix these issues on scas.nhs.uk would not be justified and would impose a disproportionate burden on the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
In reaching this decision, we have considered the following:
Our organisation’s size and resources
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is a small Ambulance trust managing unprecedented front-line service demands but with annual budgets under continual pressure. The content for the website is carried out in-house within the communication team at the current time. The SCAS communications team is a very small team, and the scale of co-ordinating the auditing and fixing of our main website – in addition to their other essential functions – means they lack the capacity to carry out a detailed audit.
SCAS does not currently benefit from any allocated budget or resource that supports website technical development, coding, or any enhancement other than basic hosting services.
The nature of our organisation
We do provide services aimed at people with a disability, and these are generally very well supported through our patient experience teams who have access to specialist services and support (e.g. BSL sign language and interpreters).
The estimated costs and benefits for our organisation: in relation to the estimated benefits for persons with disabilities, taking into account the frequency and duration of use of the independent websites. We believe the potential of paying several thousands of pounds just on audits (before we’ve actually fixed anything and appointed developers) is unreasonable.
We believe that:
Maintaining essential front-line clinical services, should be prioritised over paying for independent website audits.
How much users with a disability would benefit from making things accessible:
All of our users will benefit from us making our website and online information accessible.
However, we do not believe that for the majority of our online content, that the extra improvements that could be gained from paying for detailed checks and fixes would be justified, given the fact that the Trust has not encountered any previous cases or request for support in these areas from users.
We also believe that users will benefit most from us focusing our limited resource on maintaining the most used accessible content on scas.nhs.uk, and ensuring that new documents are accessible where they are required for essential services or used by people with disabilities.
Please note: While this assessment explains our corporate position on disproportionate burden, some services may still choose to carry out a detailed check themselves, or pay for one if they are able to budget for it.
Paying for detailed audits
On the basis of these assumptions, looking at other trusts accessibility statements we estimate the cost to our organisation overall for detailed audits for our website would be between £6,500 and £13,000.
These costs are based on estimates from GOV.UK’s guidance on deciding how to check your website and getting an accessibility audit. These include:
a third-party day rate of £1,300
about 1 to 3 days to audit a small website
about 5 to 20 days to audit a large website
Updated 27 April 2023