This page is to give you information on what aids this website offers for people with a disability. It also explains how the WC3 Accessibility Guidelines I.O and 2.O have been implemented on this site.
Using this website
- For those screen reader and non-mouse users, please use the ‘jump’ menus provided to skip straight to the content, navigation and/or site map
- Please use the text variations provided;
- ‘Standard text’ will provide a 12px equivalent version on most browsers and hide accessibility elements
- ‘Large text’ will provide a 24px equivalent version on most browsers and hide accessibility elements
- ‘Easy Read’ will provide a low simple contrast version, using standard text size on a pale yellow background to aid legibility which is often helpful for users with dyslexia
- ‘No Style’ will strip off all our styles and provide a plain text, linear version
- To resize the text without our help:
- In Internet Explorer: View > Text size > Largest
- In Firefox: View > Text size > Increase
- In Opera: File > Preferences > Fonts > Minimum font size (pixels)
- Alternatively, scroll with the wheel of your mouse whilst holding down the control key.
- To use the keyboard instead of the mouse;
- Use the Tab key to move and browse amongst the menus and links.
- Pressing ‘Enter’ is the same as clicking a mouse
- Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move up or down the page or from left to right.
- All images contain an ALT tag unless decorative, where they are marked as empty.
- Links make sense out of context. Wherever possible, title tags have also been used to expand on their meaning.
- Drop down menu bars are sometimes used. Please select a category and click (or press ‘Enter’) on the option you wish to view. If your system does not support drop-down menus, please use the site map link for quick and easy browsing
- Most of our sites have ‘breadcrumbs’ on the top of each page which allow you to retrace your steps and go back to where you started. However, older sites may not have this facility so you may need to use the ‘Back’ button on your browser. Back buttons are usually on the top left hand corner of your browser. By simply clicking on this button you can retrace your steps through the pages you have already viewed on our website. Some keyboards also have a Back Button as part of their options.
- This website conforms to the WCAG 2.0 four principles of accessibility and so is: perceivable, operable, understandable and robust
- The original designers, Access by Design, have considered the full range of techniques, including the advisory techniques, as well as to seeking relevant advice about current best practice to ensure that this web content is accessible, as far as possible, to all communities.
- This website has been thoroughly tested on multiple browsers, platforms and devices
- This website has been tested using multiple automated accessibility testing software
- This website has been tested by a REAL person with a disability who tested the website and submitted a report to the original designers who then used it to improve accessibility further.
- All CSS and XHTML created by this website validate to the document type.
Validation does not equal accessibility.
- If a page on this website does not validate it is almost always because a third-party ‘plug-in’ has needed to be employed.
- Although we try to use only accessible third-parties and we alert designers to accessibility issues, rectifying them is beyond our control
- We reserve the right to use the web standards CSS and XHML buttons on this website as all elements within our control validate correctly.
Please Note: although this website was designed and built by a company specialising in accessible websites, it is run by us. We are not experts on web accessibility ourselves and sometimes mistakes can happen. If you find an accessibility error, please alert us as soon as possible, using the contact email address on this website, telling us the nature of the problem so that we can fix it.
You may wish to download “Browsealoud”. This is a speech reader that enables you to listen rather than read our website. Browsealoud may be helpful to people with dyslexia, those who find reading difficult, those who have a mild visual impairment or those who just like to do more than one thing at a time!
WC3 WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and W.A.G 2.0
To be considered to be Priority 1 (A) standard a website should meet all of the following points.
- This website provides a text equivalent for every non-text element (e.g., via “alt”, “longdesc”, or in element content). This includes: images, graphical representations of text (including symbols), image map regions, animations (e.g., animated GIFs), applets and programmatic objects, ascii art, frames, scripts, images used as list bullets, spacers, graphical buttons, sounds (played with or without user interaction), stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and video. (1.0)
- This website provides text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.
- This website ensures that all information conveyed with colour is also available without colour, for example from context or markup. (1.0)
- This website clearly identifies changes in the natural language of a document’s text and any text equivalents (e.g., captions). (1.0)
- This website may be read without style sheets; when an HTML document is rendered without associated style sheets, it is still be possible to read the document. (1.0)
- This website ensures that equivalents for dynamic content are updated when the dynamic content changes. (1.0)
- This website avoids causing the screen to flicker. (1.0)
- This website uses the clearest and simplest language appropriate for its content.
- This website does not use image maps(1.0)
- This website does not use tables(1.0)
- This website does not use frames(1.0)
- This websitedoes not use multimedia(1.0)
- This website has 1 area that is sadly, still inaccessible to some users. (1.0)
- After our best efforts, we have not been able to create an accessible page for the Social Networking buttons. Please see the bottom of this page for alternatives.
- Pages on this website are still usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not possible, this website provides equivalent information on an alternative accessible page. (1.0)
- Programmatic elements such as scripts are directly accessible and compatible with assistive technologies (1.0)
- This website has 1 area that is sadly, still inaccessible to some users. (1.0)
This website passes Priority 1 (A) Accessibility.
Priority 2 checkpoints
To be considered to be Priority 2 (AA) standard, a website should meet all of the following points;
- This website ensures that the foreground and background colour combinations in images provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone having colour deficits or when viewed on a black and white screen. (1.0)
- When an appropriate markup language exists, this website uses usesmarkup rather than images to convey information. (1.0)
- This website documents validate to published formal grammars. (1.0)
- This website uses style sheets to control layout and presentation. (1.0)
- This website uses relative rather than absolute units in markup language attribute values and style sheet property values. (1.0)
- This website uses header elements to convey document structure and uses them according to specification. (1.0)
- This website marks up lists and list items properly. (1.0)
- This website marks up quotations and does not use quotation markup for formatting effects such as indentation. (1.0)
This website ensures that dynamic content is accessible (or provides an alternative presentation or page only when no other option is possible). (1.0)
- Until user agents allow users to control blinking, this website avoids causing content to blink (i.e., change presentation at a regular rate, such as turning on and off). (1.0)
- Until user agents provide the ability to stop the refresh, this website does not use periodically auto-refreshing pages. (1.0)
- Until user agents provide the ability to stop auto-redirect, this website does not use markup to redirect pages automatically. (If redirects are needed they are configures via the server) (1.0)
- Until user agents allow users to turn off spawned windows, this website does not cause pop-ups or other windows to appear and does not change the current window without informing the user. (1.0)
- The website uses W3C technologies when they are available and appropriate for a task and uses the latest versions when supported. (1.0)
- This website avoids deprecated features of W3C technologies. (1.0)
- This website divides large blocks of information into more manageable groups where natural and appropriate. (1.0)
- This website does not identify the target of each link because it is written in XHTML 1.0 Strict
- This website provides metadata to add semantic information to pages and sites. (1.0)
- This website provides information about the general layout of a site (e.g., a site map). (1.0)
- This website uses navigation mechanisms in a consistent manner. (1.0)
- Tables are not used for layout. (1.0)
- Until user agents support explicit associations between labels and form controls, all form controls are combined with implicitly associated labels and the label is properly positioned. (1.0)
- Form labels are explicitly associated with their controls. (1.0)
- Event handlers used in scripts are input device-independent. (1.0)
- Until user agents allow users to ze moving content, this website avoids movement in pages. If movement is present it can be instantly and easily stopped or blocked. (1.0)
- Any element that has its own interface can be operated in a device-independent manner. (1.0)
- When using scripts, this website specifies logical event handlers rather than device-dependent event handlers. (1.0)
This website passes Priority 2 (AA) Accessibility.
Priority 3 checkpoints
- This website ensures that the foreground and background colour combinations in text provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone having colour deficits or when viewed on a black and white screen. (1.0)
- This website specifies the expansion of each abbreviation or acronym in a document where it first occurs. (1.0)
- This website identifies the primary natural language of a document. (1.0)
- This website provides keyboard shortcuts (such as jump menus) to important links (including those in client-side image maps), form controls, and groups of form controls. (1.0)
- Until user agents (including assistive technologies) render adjacent links distinctly, this website includes non-link, printable characters (surrounded by spaces) between adjacent links. (1.0)
- This website provides information so that users may receive documents according to their preferences (e.g., language, content type, etc.) (1.0)
- This website provides navigation bars to highlight and give access to the navigation mechanism
- This website groups related links, identifies the group (for user agents), and, until user agents do so, provides a way to bypass the group. (1.0)
- This site enables different types of searches for different skill levels and preferences. These might include a search box, site maps and content ‘tagging’(1.0)
- This website places distinguishing information at the beginning of headings, paragraphs, lists, etc. (1.0)
- This website does not use ASCII ART
- This website supplements text with graphic or auditory presentations where they will facilitate comprehension of the page. (1.0)
- This website uses a style of presentation that is consistent across pages. (1.0)
- This website now refers to the new WC WCAG 2.0 guidelines and does NOT include default, place-holding characters in edit boxes and text areas in forms as user agents ARE now able to handle empty controls correctly. (1.0)
This website passes Priority 3 (AAA) Accessibility.
This website may have the following minor access problems/issues. These are explained here and alternatives given.
- This site does not use meta access keys (sometimes called ‘hot keys’). Our research suggest that these are actually detrimental to most keyboard-users as they already have their own keys set up which are then overwritten or confused by websites (who do not use a consistent approach). We will review this decision periodically and if research proves otherwise (or technology improves) we will resume these techniques.
- This site may fail validation on third-party technologies. This is because we have little or no ability to recode these to meet our high accessibly standards. However, we always aim to use plug-ins that are either accessible, increase the accessibility or have simple accessible alternatives. If forced to choose between accessibility features and validation, we have taken the difficult decision to always choose accessibility.