Business Success

Accessibility Statement - Using the Website


It is important to provide a website that is accessible by all users. As such every effort has been made to ensure that the site can be easily used by people with disabilities.

Responding to the Disability Discrimination Act of 2004, you will find the website has a number of factors which allow differently abled users the ability to access information simply and effectively. Below is a complete list of the steps taken to achieve this and how it adheres to the W3C web consortium guidelines, recomendations and standard requirements.

Accessibility

To ensure the site is as accessible as possible significant changes have been made to achieve a Conformance Level "A" of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines on the Freedom Web Design site. Most pages adhere to Conformance Level "A" but the majority of pages achieve a Conformance Level "Double-A" or "Triple-A".

Accessibility features

We have introduced the following features to ensure the best use of our site by all of our users.

Navigation
A hidden menu has been placed at the beginning of each page to allow screen reader users to link to the main areas of the website. A hidden link has also been provided at the beginning of each page to provide easy access to information on accessibility.

Images
All images used in this site include descriptive alt tag attributes. Where an image has no use other than being decorative the alt tag is set to nothing to allow easy reading of the site by all users.

Colours
Care has been taken to ensure that the site's font and background colour combinations contrast significantly and are effective in ensuring information is still clear when viewed in different colour combinations.

If you wish to override the site's colours, you can do this by changing your browser settings to your own preference.

Font size
Most of the font sizes we use on our site are sizable. You can change the font size to make it either larger or smaller via your browser settings.

You can change the font size in the following ways depending on your browser;

  • In Internet Explorer; select View, then Text Size, and then your preferred size.
  • In Netscape; select View, then Text Zoom, and then your preferred percentage size.

Stylesheets
This site uses cascading style sheets for all visual layouts. If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the use of structured semantic mark up ensures that the content of each page is still readable and clearly structured.

You can apply your own stylesheet onto this website by;

  • Internet Explorer;
    • select Tools, then Internet Options, then Accessibility,
    • next click on any or all 3 checkboxes to ignore colours, font styles or font sizes,
    • in the same window you can change your style sheet by clicking the checkbox that says, 'format document using my style sheet' then browse to your style sheet and click OK.
  • In Netscape;
    • select Edit, then Preferences and then Appearance,
    • you will be given the choice to specify your own colours and fonts.

Tables
Most data tables have properly scoped header cells, to allow screen readers to render them intelligently. We have also ensured table summaries are used as well as captions where appropriate. Tables used for layout do not include any of the above attributes to ensure that they cannot be confused with data tables.

Forms and fields
All forms and fields follow a logical tab sequence to ensure easy navigation.

Most form fields also have ‘label’ and ‘id’ attributes to explicitly associate the form field with its label to allow for easy entry of data.

JavaScript
The use of Java script has been kept to an absolute minimum. Where it is used, all pages and processes are still accessible when Javascript is turned off.

Links
All links have been written to make sense when taken out of context. Where appropriate, we have also added link title attributes to describe the link in greater detail.

Access Keys
For users who cannot utilise a mouse, we have added Keyboard Access Keys which link into all the main areas of the website.
To use Access Keys, please define the browser you are using; the complete list of Access Keys is below.

  • Internet Explorer;
    • Hold the "Alt" Key and press the corresponding Access Key.
    • Press the Return or Enter Key.
  • Netscape;
    • Hold the "Alt" Key and press the corresponding Access Key.
  • Mozilla Firefox;
    • Hold the "Alt" Key and press the corresponding Access Key.
  • Opera;
    • Hold the "Shift" and "Esc" Keys and press the corresponding Access Key.
  • Macintosh;
    • Hold the "Ctrl" Key and press the corresponding Access Key.

XHTML
Converting the website from HTML to XHTML provides several immediate and long–term benefits: The web is moving to XML, a powerfully enabling technology. Cleaner, more logical markup XHTML brings uniformity to document structures.

This is critical for large organizations like ours. Unlike old–style HTML pages, valid, well–formed XHTML documents can easily be “transported” to wireless devices, Mobile phone internet, PDA's, Braille readers and other specialized web environments.

Moreover, XHTML’s insistence on clean, rule–based markup helps us avoid the kind of errors that can make web pages fail even in traditional browsers like Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, and Opera Software’s Opera browser. Because XHTML follows strict rules, this helps us comply with U.K. laws and accessibility guidelines and makes the site future proof.