We're committed to providing a website that's accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability.

We're actively working to increase the accessibility and usability of our website and in doing so adhere to many of the available standards and guidelines.

This website endeavours to conform to level Double-A of the World Wide Web Consortium W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines will help make the web more user friendly for all people.

This site has been built using code compliant with W3C standards for HTML and CSS. The site displays correctly in current browsers and using standards compliant HTML/CSS code means any future browsers will also display it correctly.

Whilst we strive to adhere to the accepted guidelines and standards for accessibility and usability, it's not always possible to do so in all areas of the website.

We're continually seeking out solutions that will bring all areas of the site up to the same level of overall web accessibility. In the meantime should you experience any difficulty in accessing our website, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Where possible use an up-to-date browser

By using an up-to-date browser (the program you use to access the internet) you'll have access to a much richer set of options to aid you as you navigate your way around this site. 

The standard browsers we'd recommend are below with links to install each of them:

Mozilla FireFox
Firefox
Google Chrome
Chrome
Apple Safari Logo
Safari (MAC only)

Internet explorer


Once installed, each will have its own selection of accessibilty options and may allow further options via the use of plug-ins. For more details see the Accessibility page for each one:

Options in our site

Alternative style

Please choose a link below to change the way the site looks. Once set, the site will remain in this style for up to 30 days or until you select a different option.

We try to ensure the site looks correct in these different styles but because of the constantly changing nature of the site and its content, this may not always be possible. If you do spot anything which doesn't look quite right then please let us know.

Keyboard shortcuts / Accesskeys

Different browsers use different keystrokes to activate accesskey shortcuts, as shown below:

  • Alt + [the accesskey]
    • Internet Explorer for Windows
    • Chrome for Windows (note that Shift is required in some circumstances)
    • Safari for Windows
  • Shift + Alt + [the accesskey]
    • Firefox for Windows
  • Ctrl + Option + [the accesskey]
    • Safari for Mac
    • Chrome for Mac
    • Firefox for Mac

Accesskey = 1, takes you back to the home page
AccessKey = 2, skips over the navigation menu on the site
AccessKey = 3, takes you this accessibility page
AccessKey = 0, takes you to the Contact Us page

Options in your browser

Most modern browsers all share the most common accessibility tools. Here's a list of useful features:

Incremental search 

Incremental search allows you to progressively search a web page for a particular word or phrase on a page. To enable this on your browser, press and hold ALT and then tap F. This will open a box to type your search into. As you type, the matches will be highlighted on the page for you.

Spatial navigation

Hitting tab will jump you to each of the items you can interact with on any page. Holding the SHIFT key and then pressing tab will take you to the previous item.  

Caret navigation (Internet Explorer and Firefox only)

Instead of  using a mouse to select text and move around within a webpage, you can use standard navigation keys on your keyboard: Home, End, Page Up, Page Down and the arrow keys. This feature is named after the caret, or cursor, that appears when you edit a document. To turn this feature on, press the F7 key at the top of your keyboard and choose whether to enable the caret on the tab you're viewing or all your tabs.

Space bar

Pressing the space bar on a web page will move the page you're viewing down to the next visible part of the page.

Text fonts

Depending on your browser, you can override all fonts on the site to one that's easier for you to read. Guides are available here:

Change font in Firefox
Change font in Chrome
Change font in Explorer

Enlarge your view

You can activate the browser zoom via these keyboard shortcuts:

Zoom in Firefox
Zoom in Chrome
Apple Safari LogoZoom in Safari
Zoom in Explorer

Options on your computer

To zoom your entire computer screen

Apple Mac and Windows operating systems both contain options to enlarge the view of your screen:
Windows
MAC

Make your computer read the site aloud

This website has been built with screen readers in mind. Menus, pictures and inputs will have the correct tags and mark-up to complement your chosen screen reader.

We've tested with the following tools:


NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) is a free screen reader for computers running on the Windows operating system. The latest version can be downloaded for free here (on this page you may be asked for a voluntary donation, if you don't wish to donate, click "skip donation this time").


WAVE icon
WAVE is developed and made available as a free community service by WebAIM. Originally launched in 2001, WAVE has been used to evaluate the accessibility of millions of web pages. 

Windows Narrator
Microsoft Windows Narrator is available in most versions of Mircosoft Windows operating systems and reads text on the screen aloud and describes events like error messages so you can use your PC without a display. To find out more and how to enable it on your version, click here.



Control your computer with your voice

Apple Mac and Windows operating systems both provide ways to control your computer with voice recognition. The BBC provide a guide to switching on voice recognition across the different versions but settings are different again if you're using Apple OS X Yosemite.

Third party voice recognition software is available too.

In summary

We're committed to providing you access to our resources. If you do spot anything which doesn't look quite right or have any suggestions for how we might improve our services then please let us know.