This Help section is intended to help you use the Hastings Online website effectively. We have included notes on accessibility matters, together with guidance about browser compatibility, site structure and navigation, page structure, using Search to find the information you're looking for, downloading information from this site, and filling in forms.
Our A to Z of Services page gives contact telephone numbers and e-mail addresses relating to specific Council services.
We have taken a great deal of care to design and implement this site with accessibility in mind.
In this respect we have tried to put together a site which can be used by users of both graphics-capable and text-only browsers, as well as access technologies such as screen readers and talking browsers. We have followed the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) of the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), with the aim of producing a site with a WCAG conformance level of ‘ Level AA’ (i.e. all WCAG checkpoints of Priority 1 and Priority 2 satisfied).
The site uses styles to lay out and format content. In the few unavoidable instances where tables are used to present information we have tried to ensure that those tables linearise consistently and logically.
We have also ensured that the content of the site is defined with sizes of relative rather than absolute units. This means that text, pictures, and indeed the whole site, can be re-sized using browser controls (many sites use absolute values and therefore re-sizing has no effect). Please see the Browser Compatibility section for a discussion of possible problems relating to text re-sizing.
We are have also endeavoured to ensure that downloadable information available on this site is accessible (see Downloading Information, below).
The site is optimised for use with a screen running at 800 x 600 resolution. However, because the design of the site permits it to be re-sized using browser controls (see below), users of the site should encounter no problems when viewing using screens running at other resolutions.
Because we have ensured the content of the site is defined with sizes of relative rather than absolute units, text can be re-sized using browser controls. In some cases the default text size set by a browser results in the content of this site being presented in very small text. If you are experiencing this problem, this may be due to use of an AOL browser. This browser uses the copy of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) installed on the host PC as its browser engine. The copy of IE in use may have text size set to 'smallest' (the default setting is 'medium'), which would give rise to such a problem. Unfortunately, the AOL browser 'wrapper' does not give the user access to the full set of IE browser commands normally available, including those which set the text size. In such cases.
We have adopted a consistent model for the presentation of information on this site.
Each page has a common top menu area providing access to the site facilities and the site content categories. This area also gives access to the search facility. Links to categories are repeated at the bottom of each page.
Each page has a menu on the left-hand side showing the topic areas available within the current category. Individual areas each have a home page containing links to content within that area.
Site Structure and Navigation
Site content is held within topic areas, which are themselves held within categories. These site areas and categories are based upon the Local Government Navigation List (LGNL) and Integrated Public Sector Vocabulary (IPSV).
The main aid to navigation are the category and area menus available on each page, and described in Page Structure.
The site can also be navigated using the Site A to Z index which provides access to content via alternative descriptive terms.
There is a search facility provided on each page of the Hastings Online website. This facility allows you to search either the entire site, or the current area.
Downloadable information on the Councils Website is currently presented in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format files. We strongly recommend you use the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat Reader to read these files. See link below for more information:
Adobe Acrobat Website - Acrobat Reader
We are aware that users of Access technology may encounter difficulty reading files in Adobe Acrobat format. If you do encounter this problem we would advise you to visit http://access.adobe.com where you can download the Adobe Access plugin for the Acrobat Reader. This plugin provides an alternative view that supports screen-reading applications for Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT. The site provides further information and tools to help make Adobe PDF files accessible to users with visual disabilities.
If you are using Internet Explorer as your browser and a version of Microsoft Office earlier than 2013, you will see a warning box appear when you try to open a Word document from our website. The warning box will say 'The application experienced an internal error loading the SSL libraries.' We advise that instead of clicking on the link to open the Word document, you right click and save the link document to your C drive. Once done you will be able to open the document from wherever you have saved it and you will not see the warning message.
Filling in Forms
If you are opening .pdf forms using Acrobat Reader you will be able to save a copy of the form to a file or folder and fill it in offline, but you may not be able to save any information you enter on the form. Click your cursor in the area that you wish to fill in. You can use the tab key to move throughout the form and you can print the completed form but it is a good idea to review your printed copy before closing the form, as you can make changes to the completed form while it is still on the screen.
We have tried to make the website content easily available via the navigation icons. However, you may find it quicker to enter the topic you are looking for in the search box available at the top of each page. Please note at the moment due to the site redesign the search is currently being reindexed which may impact search functionality. We hope that this issue will be resolved quickly.
If you have a problem using the site or any comments please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.