This site has been developed to provide a common browsing experience for as broad a range of users as possible. It has been designed to conform to the standards recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), for reliability, consistency, portability and accessibility.
The accessibility features employed in this site are listed below.
Access keys allow links within web pages to be accessed by users who have difficulty in using pointing devices such as a mouse, or who prefer to use keyboard shortcuts. Although there are no agreed standards for the implementation of access keys, UK Government guidelines include the following, which are employed consistently across this site:
- S - Skip navigation (go to main page content)
- 1 - Home page
- 3 - Site map
- 8 - Terms and conditions
- 9 - Feedback form
- 0 - Accessibility policy (this page)
The method for using access keys depends on the type of computer you are using:-
- Windows PC systems:
- Internet Explorer and Firefox 1 - press ALT + the specific access key, then press ENTER
- Firefox 2 - press SHIFT + ALT + the specific access key
- Opera - press SHIFT + ESC, then the specific access key
- Macintosh systems:
- Safari - Press CTRL + the specific access key, then press ENTER
Access keys have been supported by Internet Explorer since version 4 and by Netscape since version 6. Older browsers do not support access keys and will just ignore them.
This site uses Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to define scalable fonts throughout all pages. You can increase or decrease the size of all text elements in this site as follows:
Internet Explorer - View | Text Size | (select a size)
Mozilla / Firefox - View | Text Size | (select 'increase', 'decrease', or 'normal')
All main navigation menus are consistent throughout the site and use text links only, ensuring that text-based browsers and screen readers will interpret them correctly. The main site menu is located as close to the top of the page code as possible, without compromising the rich content structure; text-based browsers and screen readers can skip directly to the main content via a special link, positioned as the first item of each page body, above all other code. All links within this site have been given meaningful names, so they make sense when taken out of context. We also use the 'title' tag with all links, to provide an additional supporting description and, where appropriate, confirmation of the relevant access key.
Heading tags are used in a logical hierarchy, making the structure of all document content clear and unambiguous.
This site is designed to allow pages to be printed directly from a browser and appear the same in print as they do on screen with a standard, current browser (e.g. Internet Explorer 6.x or later, Mozilla Firefox 1.5.x or later etc.) and default settings.
All images in this site include descriptive text, contained in the HTML 'alt' tag.
Use of colour
This site uses strongly contrasting foreground and background colours to ensure readability by people with impaired sight and in browsers with limited, or customised colour palettes.
- This site has been developed to the W3C XHTML 1.0 standard.
- All presentation styles and page layout within this site are controlled through W3C compliant CSS (Cascading Style Sheets).
- Tables are only used for presenting tabular information in this site; they are not used for layout purposes. Where tables are used, they employ W3C standards to ensure the data they contain can be interpreted correctly by screen readers etc.
- This site does not use 'spacer' images (e.g. for positioning and/or layout purposes).
This site has been tested on a wide range of browsers and platforms. It has been designed to retain its consistent navigation and display in a logical and understandable format in older or non-standard browsers, including those with no CSS support.