Our accessibility policy:

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 or use the title attribute to help them make sense.
  • 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 2.0, we've aimed to meet all Level AA success criteria along as many Level AAA success criteria as possible.

Advice for screen reader users

We recommend that configure your screen reader to read the title attribute of links because we sometimes use the title attribute to provide additional information about a link, e.g. if a link text says "read more" then we use the tite attribute to tell you what the link is for (which gives you the information you need without making the page look too cluttered for sighted users).

All pages should have a meaningful heading structure so you should be able to scan the headings (e.g. H key in JAWS or list them) to get an understanding of the page content.

All images have alternative text unless the image is just for decoration in which case we've used empty Alt text to hide it.

Feedback and assistance

If you have any problems using our site with the keyboard or your assistive technology, e.g. screen reader, screen magnifier, text to speech, speech recognition, etc., please contact us via the contact form to let us know and we'll do our best to help you and improve our site.

Further help

If you:

  • 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 web site which provides lots of advice on how to make your computer easier to use. AbilityNet 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 048 7642 for more information).