Website Accessibility

About this website

This site is built to make it accessible for people with disabilities and to be more user friendly for everyone.

Many Internet users can find websites difficult to use due to the way they have been designed. We recognise that this is an important issue and are making changes to ensure that the website is accessible in accordance with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines.

We have strived to make this website adhere to priority 1 and 2 guidelines of the W3 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and in some cases priority 3. Changes to improve accessibility are ongoing, but if you come across a page you find difficult to use please let us know.

The code used to create the site validates as HTML 4 Transitional, and the CSS has also been validated. The pages use structured semantic markup where necessary.

Standards Compliance

All pages validate as HTML 4 Transitional, uses structured semantic markup and the CSS has also been validated.

Our pages conform to Level AA compliance as specified by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and endorsed by the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

We strive to obey the spirit of the UK Disability Discrimination Act 1995 with respect to the provision of services online, as required by the Disability Rights Commission.

Design Accessibility

Many Internet users with disabilities find website difficult or even impossible to use simply because of the way they are designed. This website has been designed to be as accessible as possible and to be compatible with the types of adaptive technology used by people with disabilities, including screen readers. As such, visitors can control the size of the text and can use ‘access keys’ on the keyboard rather than the mouse to navigate through pages.

The stylesheet uses relative font sizes and is written to display pages correctly in most commonly used browsers. In early versions of browsers and browsing devices that do not support stylesheets at all, the flow of the content has been tested to ensure it entirely retains its sense.

Foreground and background colours contrast well throughout the site, with the majority of content appearing black on white.

The site is free of frames and uses a cascading style sheet for visual layout. Tables are used for tabular data, but we have avoided using them to dictate the layout of a page wherever possible.

Internal Navigation Links

At the start of every page are invisible links providing direct access to content, navigation and the accessibility statement, each with access keys. When keyboard navigating, however, the links become visible - try tabbing through the links on the page.

Adobe Acrobat Reader to open PDF files, and this can be downloaded for free. Adobe has recently updated its free reader to include screenreading functionality.

Adobe also has a free online conversion tool for pdfs so people who have problems reading PDFs can convert them so that they appear as normal web pages or plain text.


Due to the use of Macromedia Flash technology in some sections of the website and the interactive nature of these modules, certain users working with assistive technologies may be unable to fully engage with all pages. Every effort has been made to ensure the Flash activities will include accessibility features that ensure that dyslexic, visually impaired and motor impaired users can engage with the content. Where it is possible, we provide accessible versions of Flash content by using plain text.


The site has been configured to allow users access to its full range of functionality whether or not they have JavaScript enabled in their browsers. Where JavaScript is used, it is only used to enhance the user experience. It is never essential.

Known browser support

This website operates on a wide range of browsers.

PC operating systems:

Internet Explorer 7, 8 and 9
Mozilla Firefox (latest versions)
Safari (latest versions)
Google Chrome (latest versions)

Apple Macintosh operating systems:

Safari (latest versions)
Mozilla Firefox (latest versions)
Safari (latest versions)
Google Chrome (latest versions) 

To get the best possible user experience on our website please enable JavaScript