We are committed to making our online services as accessible as possible to all members of society, in line with the current Equalities Act.
Four main groups of people can find websites difficult to use, these are:
- People with sensory impairment, for example; partial or complete blindness, colour blindness or deafness.
- People with other disabilities, for example; arthritis, which makes it difficult to use a mouse or other pointing device.
- People with special educational needs who may find lengthy or complicated websites hard to use.
- People without access to the latest specification, computer hardware or software.
Current features include:
- Use of alternative and title text descriptions (alt/text tags), to describe the content of an image.
- Text based navigation, providing an alternative non-graphical way of working through the site.
- Hidden ‘skips’ to assist screen reader users to jump over the main navigation bars, straight to the page contents.
- Controlled use of attachments to enable users to access as much of the content as possible. Where information is unavoidably provided in an alternative format, namely as a pdf document, we provide an executive summary of the content in the pdf, details of the file size, and number of pages, as well as providing contact details to enable users to request the content in a more readable format if they desire. Links to Adobe Acrobat are provided where attachments are used, enabling users to download this free software.
- Access Keys have been used on this site to enable users who find a mouse difficult to use, navigate around the website.
- Suitable contrast between colour background and text for increased readability.
- Implementation on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for styling and layout of web pages, allowing users to override settings in their browser, to better suit their individual needs, if necessary.
If you would like further information about accessibility or disability issues, the sites below should be of use:
- The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) site contains lots of useful information about the Equalities Act, how to get the best out of the Internet if you suffer from an eye problem, and lots of useful contacts.
- The Action on Hearing Loss site provides a lot of helpful information about deaf awareness issues.
- MENCAP is a charity supporting people with a learning disability. Their website provides good access for people with a learning disability as well as information on making websites more accessible.
- Web Accessibility Initiative and their content accessibility guidelines.
- uk offers information for disabled people, contains information provided by the government, giving details on disability rights, benefits and legislation including the Equalities Act.