Accessibility and usability
We are committed to making sure our website meets the W3C Web Accessibility Guidelines Level A standard. We want our website to work well for everyone, regardless of how it is accessed and welcome feedback about our site. Please let us know if you experience any problems with usability or accessibility on our site and we will work to resolve the problem.
Although the W3C recommends providing keyboard shortcuts or 'access keys' to important links, there is widespread debate about whether they actually act to increase accessibility standards or conflict with them. We have chosen not to implement access keys into the accessible design of this site for several reasons:
- There is no set of global standards for what link should use which access key, meaning that for each site, a new key system must be learnt. Any implementation of a common standard would be flawed as not all sites have the same links, designs or layouts.
- Access keys have been known to interfere with access devices since most assistive technology (such as screenreaders or special browsers) already include keyboard commands, some of which use the Alt key which negates the benefit of Access keys.
- Access keys can act to hinder access if poorly implemented, therefore interfering with web accessibility.
Portable Document Format (PDF) is a recognised standard file format for distributing electronic documents. The majority of our online documents are hosted in this format and have been created so that content is extractable by Screen Readers. PDFs can be accessed by anyone who has installed Adobe Reader software, which is freely available for download on the internet. Adobe also provides an online PDF to HTML conversion tool.
If you encounter a problem accessing our online documents, please contact us at email@example.com and we will aim to provide documentation or information in an alternative format.
*Please note we are unable to provide support for Adobe Reader or the PDF to HTML Conversion Tool. Users experiencing difficulties with these applications should contact Adobe.
BS 8878 December 2010 Web accessibility Code of Practice (formerly PAS 78)
The Disability Rights Commission has worked with the British Standards Institution to develop a set of best practise guidelines for accessible websites. We expect our sites to meet these requirements and will undertake any work to ensure compliance.
In many instances, the standard format in which we produce letters and other documentation may not be suitable for everyone. Some people may need a larger font size while others may prefer to receive information in audio format and many people need inforation in a different language. We can produce information in other formats and languages upon request although there may be a short waiting period for the information. We can produce information in:
- Other languages
- Large print
- Audio CD / File
- Email/Electronic documents