Our accessibility policy
We have done our best to make our web site as accessible as possible, and we've done this by adhering sensibly and practically to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) produced by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C, the web's governing body).
For those not familiar with the WCAG, this is a set of checkpoints designed to ensure that web sites are designed and written properly. For example:
- Images have alternative text (so if you can't see the image you can still read the text).
- Colour contrast between foreground and background is sufficiently strong.
- Text resizes according to user preference.
- Headings are correctly used (they're not just ordinary text made to look big and bold).
- Links make sense by themselves (e.g. no instances of links that say "Click here" or "More...").
- Tables are used for laying out tabular information and have proper headings and summaries.
- Visual presentation is defined in 'stylesheets' and is not embedded in the pages.
For those familiar with the WCAG, we've aimed for AAA compliance but have not adhered to some checkpoints that are no longer relevant or have been demonstrated to hinder accessibility (such as using placeholder characters in form fields). Our reference has been the recommendations made in the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) formal investigation and report on web accessibility in the UK in 2004.
If you have any problems with the accessibility of this site or suggestions for improvement then please do not hesitate to contact us. We will always do what we can to make this site easier for everyone to use.
If you have a vision impairment then we recommend that you visit the RNIB website for specialist advice such as alternative screen readers, screen magnifiers and other devices that are available and can make using a computer easier and more enjoyable.
We also thoroughly recommend that you visit the website of AbilityNet, the UK's leading consultancy in the field of computing and disability. In addition to their excellent My Computer My Way web site which provides a wealth of advice on making your computer accessible, AbilityNet also provide a free service to individuals with disabilities to assess their computing needs (call them free on 0800 269 545 for more information).