Website accessibility is about making websites easy to use for all users regardless of ability, language, education or technology.
Great care has been taken in the construction of this site to ensure a high level of accessibility that meets The World Wide Web Consortium’s WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) standards.
Here is a run-down of the tools and options available to you:
Listening to pages
This website is speech enabled with Speak IT.
Reading large amounts of text on screen can be difficult for those with literacy and visual impairments. Speak IT, allows web pages to be read aloud making it easier for those who find it difficult to read pages online.
For more information on how Speak IT operates please go to the Help section in Speak IT which gives a detailed description of each of the tools available.
This allows the site to be translated into 52 different languages, allowing users to get a taster of the site in another language. More information about the translation service can be found on the Google website.
The site follows the Government access key system, which enables users to navigate using only the shortcuts via the keyboard.
We try to provide most of the content in basic HTML which you can view in any browser. However for some large or complex information we provide documents in Adobe Acrobat format (also known as PDF format) .
To view and print PDF files, you must have Adobe® Acrobat® Reader installed. To download this product for free please follow this link.
If you cannot use Acrobat Reader to see these documents (for example, if you use screen reader software or an audio-enabled web browser), Adobe provide a free online tool which converts them to text.
To use this service, send the web address (URL) of the Adobe Acrobat document you want to read through the web form at the following link
The service will return the document to you as a webpage (HTML) or as plain text. Alternatively you can choose to get it emailed to you as an attachment.
Text size and font
Some users might find screen text easier to read by increasing the size at which text is displayed. This can be done by holding down the ctrl key on the bottom row of the keyboard, whilst moving the scroll wheel on the mouse up or down.
Alternatively you can change text size and font in your browser settings. Find out how to do this by following this link.
Skip to and through navigation
This is useful to any visitor using screen reading technology.
The site is designed to be easily printable - providing a simple, text based output onto paper.
We have not used colour to highlight important information within text and have taken care to ensure that there is a sufficient contrast between the foreground and background colour combinations.
High contrast and text only version
If you have difficulty reading the content of the site, you can reverse the contrast so that light coloured text appears on a dark background. To do this click on the A button in the top right corner of every page or adjust your browser settings.
We try to keep the use of images to a minimum, but when they do feature we ensure they have been given meaningful ‘alt’ descriptions to provide an explanation of what the image is about. The description can be read by hovering the cursor over the image or read aloud if you are using a screen reader to browse the webpage rather than view.
Hyperlinks are highlighted using descriptive and meaningful text rather than instructions such as ‘click here’ or ‘download now’.
Headings and alt tags
We follow the recommended usage of headings and alt tags, which makes it easier for users to tab around the site if they find it hard to use a mouse. It also allows screen reader technology to interpret the information correctly.
The website has been designed to provide a variety of navigation routes to access information. These key navigation options, which include Mega Drop downs, top tasks etc can be accessed from every page on the site.
A breadcrumb facility is also used to help determine your location within the site structure.
For further information about how to make web browsing easier please visit the BBC website. They explain in more detail the many ways you can change your browser, computer, keyboard and mouse settings to make the web more accessible for you.
If you do have problems, or would like to make any suggestions to improve the site from an accessibility point of view, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org