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 understand what it contains).
  • 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 'style sheets' 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 (opens in a new window) and report on web accessibility in the UK in 2004.

Further help

  • Have problems seeing the screen
  • Find it difficult to use the mouse or keyboard
  • Need help with language or reading (e.g. dyslexia)

then we recommend that you visit AbilityNet’s My Computer My Way (opens in a new window) web site which provides lots of advice on how to make your computer easier to use. AbilityNet (opens in a new window) are experts in the field of computing and disability and they provide a free service to individuals with disabilities to assess their computing needs (call AbilityNet free on 0800 269 545 for more information).