Ensuring we have a website that is accessible to everyone is one of our main objectives.
Accessibility is about helping people with visual, auditory, physical or other disabilities to use and interact with the Web, to remove barriers allowing them equal opportunities and ensuring they are not disadvantaged.
We have tried to adhere to the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines to improve access to information on our website for everyone. Our website has been tested and has successfully passed Level AA Conformance to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0.
We have provided:
Style sheets to control layout, presentation and consistent style across the whole website
Use of imagery to facilitate comprehension of the page
Use of plain English and communication of key information
at the top of the page
Use of headings to clearly identify changes to the natural language of a document's text
Clearly identified related content and links
Metadata to add semantic information to pages and sites
To help visitors to find the information they require as easily as possible we have included a number of different ways to navigate the website:
Navigational links to all articles with breadcrumb trail
Site map displaying the layout of the site and ability to link to each page
Clear links to related content
We have provided a text equivalent (alt tag) to every non-text element such as images, animations and graphical representations so that images can be conveyed to visitors using assistive technologies such as screen readers or text based browsers.
PDF, created by Adobe Systems, stands for Portable Document Format which allows for easy exchange of documents over the Internet. To read or download any PDF document you will need Adobe Reader. Many computers already have this but if your computer does not it can be downloaded for free from http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/.
Provide a logical format.
All tables include summary data and headings and are concise and comprehensible and appear clearly within the page.
Visitors with visual impairment can use the 'Text Re-sizer' buttons located on the Home Page to automatically increase the text size of the site to their chosen font size.
Speech enabled content
This website is speech enabled with SpeakIT.
Reading large amounts of text on screen can be difficult for those with literacy and visual impairments. SpeakIT allows web pages to be read aloud making it easier for those who find it difficult to read pages online.
Visitors can listen to our website by clicking the 'Listen' link at the top of each page and the SpeakIT Plus toolbar will be displayed. Hover over each of the icons to see what each icon does.
To listen to sections of text highlight it and clicking the "Read Text" icon.
Google Translation service is available so visitors can view the website in a different language. Clicking the 'Translate This Page' link on the Accessibility bar will open the Translations page where an alternative language can be selected. The website will then automatically be reload in the chosen language.
The BBC's My Web My Way website http://www.bbc.co.uk/accessibility/ explains how to make your Windows software, keyboard, mouse and web browser more suitable to your own needs such as changing screen colours and making your mouse pointer easier to use.
If you have any difficulties accessing any of the information on our website or if you have any questions or comments about the accessibility of our website please contact us via the contact details to the right of this page.