We have worked hard to make our site accessible in accordance with the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. We now achieve Level Triple-A conformance when our site is run through industry standard online checkers such as Bobby and Cynthia Says.
We understand automated checking does not ensure 100% conformance to the guidelines, but it is a fair and reliable benchmark that you have achieved what you set out to do. We are paying attention to the manual checks that need to be carried out for colour etc. and believe we are using reasonable contrast colours. We have made use of titles in our hyper links together with the use of tab indexes to make navigating the site using means other than a mouse possible.
This site uses only relative font sizes, compatible with the user-specified "text size" option in visual browsers.
The most common visual browser is Microsoft Internet Explorer, so we have provided the following description of how to alter your font size display in MSIE version 8:
- Select 'Page' from the top pull down menu options
- Select 'Text Size' from the Page menu options
- Select the text size that you prefer from the list of five available options
- Many website visitors with impaired vision need to increase the font size from the default 'Medium' setting to 'Larger' or 'Largest'. You should be aware that although this website has been built to accommodate changed font sizes, that this is not the case with all websites
- Some visually impaired web users need to take further steps to make websites visible. Internet Explorer and many other browsers enable you to specify your own Cascading Style Sheet that will override the styling of the websites that you view. This will give you full control of the visual appearance of the text in websites. You can find out more about specifying your own CSS file by using the Help function within your web browser software
Browse Aloud: Speech Enabling our Website
This website is now speech-enabled, which means that you can download free software onto your personal computer and have the site read aloud to you.
The free software is called browsealoud, and is used on over 2000 websites in the UK and USA. Browsealoud is a Windows browser plug-in designed for use with Internet Explorer 4 upwards or Netscape Navigator. If you install the browsealoud plugin onto your PC, you can have the web pages on our website read to you (as well as any other sites that are speech-enabled).
Why speech enable our website?
Speech enabling our website provides an additional way of accessing our content for people who find it hard to read. This includes those with dyslexia or learning difficulties, those for whom English is not their first language, or anyone with a mild visual impairment. It is not designed to replace other screen readers.
What is browsealoud?
Browsealoud is a solution that allows you to have website content read to you. As you move the cursor over text, it is spoken aloud. Browsealoud is free to download and you have control over the voice, word pronunciations and speech highlighting.
How does it work?
You download a free, small browser plug-in. Once the plug-in has been installed, content on this site can be spoken aloud.
Does it work on all pages?
Browsealoud will read every webpage on our site. It can also read pdfs in Adobe Reader Version 6.0 onwards. This meets the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C's) Level A guidelines for accessibility.
Can I customise browsealoud?
Yes. Once plugged in, look for the browsealoud icon in your system tray, which is usually at the bottom right hand corner of your screen (beside the system clock). Right click on the icon and choose 'open browsealoud settings' from the menu. The speech tab on the settings window enables you to choose a male or female voice, and change the speed, pitch and volume of the reader. To read the entire page from where your cursor points, check the 'Continue reading from pointer' box. Otherwise Browsealoud will only read the individual sentences you point to.
For further help and assistance with the Browsealoud product take a look at the Browsealoud FAQs on their website.
Click on the link below and you will be taken to an external site where you will find full instructions to carry out the download and installation. A browsealoud icon will be placed in your system tray which is at the bottom right of your browser.
We believe accessibility is not a once only operation but something we have to re-visit and constantly improve on.
It is not our intention to disenfranchise any member of the community.