We aim to make our website accessible to everyone and are continually working to improve its ease-of-use and the range and quality of our web services and content.
All of our content is created to meet the accessibility standards outlined in our technical accessibility statement. We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.
Viewing the site
Our site is setup so that you can change the colours, contrast levels, font styles and magnification to suit your needs. Using your browser, pages can be magnified up to 300% without text spilling off the screen. You can also change the text, background colour and fonts that appear on the website.
How do I adjust the text size on the page?
Zoom in and out by holding Ctrl and pressing the plus (+) or minus (-) keys. Alternatively, access the Chrome menu in the top right corner of the screen and adjust the magnification in the Zoom section.
You can zoom in and out of pages to make them bigger and smaller by clicking on the change zoom level button in the bottom right-hand corner of Internet Explorer (magnifying glass with a percentage displayed next to it).
If you have a scroll wheel on your mouse you can zoom in and make a page bigger by holding Ctrl and rolling the wheel away from you (as if scrolling up the page). To make the text smaller, hold Ctrl and roll the wheel towards you.
PC users: Hold down Ctrl and press the + or - keys to make the text bigger or smaller.
Mac users: Hold down Cmd and press the + or - keys to make the text bigger or smaller.
Click on the View menu and then select either Make Text Bigger or Make Text Smaller.
Navigating by headings
Use your browser plugin, screen reader or other assistive technology to list the headings and subheadings in the page and go straight to the one you need.
For example: JAWS users can press H or Shift + H to move to the next heading, 2 or Shift + 2 to move to the next level two heading and Insert + F6 to display a list of all headings on the page.
Navigating by links
A list of all links on the page can be provided for all users of screen readers or other assistive technology. The purpose of each link is described by the link text.
Navigating by keyboard
Our site can be navigated by keyboard. A highlighted outline will show when users focus on interactive elements such as links and form fields.
We offer additional shortcut keys that allow fast navigation to important pages. We follow UK Government recommendations for access key assignments:
S Skip navigation
1 Home page
3 Site map
5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
7 Complaints procedure
0 Access key details
Skip to content
Use your keyboard to find the skip-to links and go directly to the page's main content.
In some places in the site, particularly where forms are presented, we have used tables for general layout. We also use tables for displaying out rows and columns of information also called data tables.
We have tried to ensure that the content will always read in a logical order. In some data tables it may be hard to understand the meaning of each item in which case you can use the table navigation keys in your screen reader to deliver the relevant headers for each item in the table. JAWS users can use the Ctrl + Alt + arrow keys to move around a table and JAWS will read out the headers for each cell. You can also press Ctrl + Alt + Number Pad 5 to read the headers for the current cell.
Data tables have a summary that you can hear in your screen reader to help you understand their meaning without having to read the whole table. We've also ensured that you can easily find data tables using table navigation keys. JAWS users can press T or Shift + T to move between tables and have the summary read out.
Listening to content
Text-to-speech browser plugins and assistive technology can be used to listen to the content you select using the mouse or keyboard.
A screen reader can be used to listen to content, navigate the site and interact with menus. This website has been tested with screen readers such as JAWS, Window-Eyes and IBM Home Page Reader.
Reading special symbols In JAWS
On certain pages we use footnote symbols such as asterisks *, the dagger † and the double dagger ‡ to indicate further information available at the bottom of the page. These may not be read out in the JAWS screen reader unless a program option is changed. To read all special characters in JAWS please select Options > Voices > Global Adjustment and set Punctuation to "All".
Video, audio and downloads
Where we use rich media we make sure the media control buttons can be used without a mouse and are labelled for screen readers.
All video clips have a downloadable transcript of their content. We currently offer video in several ways:
- We embed the free YouTube player to display video, but are aware that the player has some accessibility issues around the labelling of the player controls
- We use our own player to display video. Our player has accessible controls, but uses Flash video which cannot be viewed on some mobile devices such as the iPhone. Our player is currently optimised for users of IE7, but there are known issues for screen reader users in IE8.
Our website has some downloadable resources including Word documents and Portable Document Formats (PDFs): read about the accessibility of downloadable content.
If you click certain links and nothing seems to happen, you may need to deactivate this function. Some browsers such as Opera and Firefox have built in features to do this or you may have installed a third party toolbar preventing the pop-up window from opening.
Using different devices
My Computer My Way (MCMW) offer guides to using assistive technologies to use websites with a range of devices.
We’ve designed our content to be as accessible as possible. If you experience barriers, you can request alternative formats; we will always strive to provide any inaccessible content in an accessible format on a case-by-case basis. For more information please contact email@example.com.
The site has been built using HTML5 and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and we are working towards full compliance with W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1, Level AA.
The site has been tested by people with a wide range of disabilities and found to be accessible. The website content works with assistive technologies such as screen readers or text-only browsers.
What we're doing to monitor and improve accessibility
We undertook a formal accessibility audit of the website in 2018 to ensure compliance with the WCAG 2.0 AA standards. We are currently preparing our website for a new accessibility audit to ensure compliance with the WCAG 2.1 AA standards, which guide our long-term audit and improvement plans.
For more information about our commitment to compliance, details of any known accessibility issues, and how we check, maintain and improve the accessibility of the website, please read our technical accessibility statement.
Third party content
Our site includes third party content, tools and functionality. Where we have control over the third party content, it is our responsibility to ensure it meets current accessibility regulations. However, we are not responsible for third party websites or platforms over which we have no control. See our technical accessibility statement for more information on the accessibility of third party content on our website.
Contact our web team if you experience any difficulty accessing our website. Please be as specific and detailed as possible but also tell us what you do like about the site; this feedback is essential for us when fixing accessibility issues and improving our systems.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has useful tips on contacting organisations about inaccessible websites.
If you have reported a problem with our website, or asked for an alternative format, but you are not happy with our response, you can make a complaint.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you are not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).