We are committed to making this website accessible to the widest possible range of people.
We frequently review webpages that may cause issues for people with visual, auditory, motor or cognitive disabilities, or those with slow internet speeds or portable devices. However, there may be some older pages and/or pages developed by third-parties that are not fully compliant with our accessibility standards.
If you have any comments or suggestions about how we can improve this website's accessibility, or if you have difficulty using any part of it, please email us your feedback.
On this page:
- Standards compliance and guidelines
- Adobe PDFs and non-HTML documents
- How to change text size
- How to change colour contrast
- How to remove images
- Accessibility features
- Printing options
- Older internet browsers
- Online accessibility tools
We have designed this website with usability and accessibility best practices in mind. We aim to meet or exceed the requirements of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to AA level.
For more information and a conformance level checklist, visit the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) website.
All our website code is validated by validator.w3.org according to relevant doctypes when launched, to increase reliable rendering across all browsers, to enable faster downloads and for easier navigation for screen readers.
Some documents on this site are not available as webpages or accessible document formats. Instead they are published in non-HTML formats - such as Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word - that may not be accessible to everyone, particularly screen reader users.
We provide an accessible summary of all non-HTML documents, including the type and size of the file. This allows you to decide whether the document will be useful to you. You will also find contact details so you can request the document in another format.
Using PDF documents
To view or print PDF documents, you will need to have the Adobe Acrobat software installed. If you do not have the software, you can download it free from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
Why we provide documents in PDF format
We acknowledge that PDF is not the most accessible format and are working to reduce the number of PDFs on this website.
We prioritise the creation of accessible content based on criteria including the size and specialist nature of the audience for the content, how time-consuming or technically difficult it is to create accessible versions and the likely lifespan of the content.
Most fonts on this website use relative font sizing rather than fixed font sizing. This allows you to increase the text size within your browser to make reading pages easier.
To change the text size:
- In Internet Explorer, click the View menu, then select Text Size and choose larger or largest (the default is medium). Alternatively, hold down the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel (if you have one), or hold down the Ctrl key and at the same time, push the - or + key.
- In Firefox, click the View menu, then select Zoom and then choose the whether you would like to increase the size (zoom in) or decrease the size (zoom out). Alternatively, hold down the Ctrl key and at the same time, push the - or + key.
- In Google Chrome, click the Customise button (spanner icon), then select the plus or minus buttons to zoom. Alternatively, hold down the Ctrl key and at the same time, push the - or + key.
To improve your internet experience you are able to select a personalised colour contrast by following the steps below, depending on your chosen browser.
- For Windows computers, click Start, then Control Panel. Select the Accessibility Options icon, select the Display tab and select the Use High Contrast check box. Select the Settings button to browse different colour contrast options.
- In Internet Explorer, click Tools, then select Internet options. Under the appearance heading, select the Colors button. Deselect the ‘Use Windows colors’ checkbox and change the colour by selecting the colour swatch. Select Accessibility within the Internet Options window and select ‘Ignore colors specified on webpages’.
- In Firefox, there are browser specific colour contrast options.
- In Google Chrome, download the Change Colors extension.
To turn off images to enable faster internet speeds - or just because you prefer to view webpages without images - follow these quick and easy steps below depending on your chosen browser.
- In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, then select Internet Options. Click the Advanced tab, locate the Multimedia heading and deselect the ‘Show pictures’ checkbox.
- In Firefox, click Tools, then select Web Developer. Select Images, then ‘Disable images’ and click ‘All images’.
- In Google Chrome, click the Customise button (spanner icon), then select Options. Select the ‘Under the Hood’ tab, then content settings. Within the content settings screen select Image and then select the ‘Do not show any images radio’ button.
We have added a text description to each meaningful image on this website and/or tags. This will help screen readers and visitors who browse the internet with images turned off.
We have applied a number of accessibility features across the website including:
- A text-only site map provides links to all the main areas and sub-areas of the site in a more accessible format. The sitemap is located on the bottom of the page or in the skiplink for screen readers.
- Almost all links are text-based. If an image is used for any link, it will be placed directly next to a text-based version of the same link, or techniques are used to keep the text within the code so they are still text-friendly for screen readers, text-based browsers and for those who browse with styles off (this includes mobile devices which may not render cascading style sheets).
- All link rollovers are high-contrast so they are easily distinguished from regular text and headlines that are not clickable.
- Link content text is contextual when possible (e.g. instead of ‘more’ or ‘click here’, the link may read ‘read more latest news’ or ‘see our events calendar’) to make navigation easier for screen readers and more usable for all website visitors.
Most content pages on our website are optimised for printing offline, and are specifically designed for hard copy and readability.
The navigation menus and other design elements will be removed, the text will wrap to the page margins, and the font face is updated ready for printing.
This will be supported in all browsers that accept print stylesheets and will help those who prefer to read articles offline and/or cannot read them on a computer monitor.
It may be necessary to enable the printing of background images in your print settings if you want to closely replicate the on-screen layout. However, web graphics are generally poorly suited to printing.
There are now several great browsers to choose from apart from Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator, many of which are designed to run on older PCs or Macs.
Running modern, standards-compliant browsers allows the user to access resources, materials and the World Wide Web as it was originally intended. Where possible, we develop support for web browsers according to W3C and WCAG.
Some tools online make it easier for people with disabilities to view and navigate web content, including: