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Cascading style sheets
Cascading style sheets (CSS) are used in this site to separate content from the display. The CSS contains positioning, layout, font, colours and style information for the entire web site.
Separating style from content makes life very easy for visitors who prefer to view only the content of a web page, or to modify the content. These could be blind or partially sighted people who might use a screen reader to interpret a page.
CSS also reduces the size of the HTML files. The CSS file is downloaded just once by the visitor's browser and re-used for different pages on a web site. This reduces the bandwidth requirements for your server and also ensures a faster download for your visitors.
Tables have only been used to display data and layout forms. All data tables and forms contain additional markup that may help assistive technologies such as screen readers.
Using access keys there is a logical tab order through the forms. Information has been grouped where natural and appropriate. Form controls have been grouped into logical units, use the fieldsets, legends and label elements.
Extensible HyperText Markup Language
Appropriate use of XHTML tags has been used through out this site.
Navigation menus are marked up as HTML lists. This ensures that the number of links in the list are read out at the start and it can be skipped easily.
All images used on this site include descriptive attributes. Purely decorative graphics include empty alt attributes.
We have checked the site's font and background colour combination against the different colour blindness conditions and ensured that all information is still clear.
Adjusting text size
Our website is built using relative font sizes, which means that if you want to see larger or smaller text, there is functionality on the site that lets the user increase and decrease the font size on the site without using the browser function.
Or the user can change the text size using the browser. In Internet Explorer this is done by going to the top menu and selecting 'View', then 'Text Size'. Medium is the usual setting, so selecting Larger or Largest will increase the text size. Similar facilities exist in other browsers, normally on the 'View' menu. Your browser 'Help' menu should give you further information about making these adjustments.
Printing from this website
We have set this site up so that if you are using a modern browser, when you print a page the printout will not include the menus or sidebars. If the page title and address don't appear on your printout, you can set your browser to add them. This is usually done by choosing 'Page Setup' from the 'File' menu, or you can check your browser's 'Help' menu to find out how to do this.
We have made every effort to make this site usable for as many different web browsers as possible. Unfortunately, older browsers are not able to take advantage of current technology, and so the site does not look as 'designed' as it does in modern browsers, although all the information should be accessible. We would encourage all users, if at all possible, to update their browser to the latest version - not only for this site, but to enhance your use of the web in general. Latest versions of commonly used browsers may be downloaded from:
- PC: Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Firefox and Opera
Note: This site is not supported by Internet Explorer 5 and 5.5. Upgrade your Internet Explorer browser
- Mac: Firefox, Safari and Opera
All the style sheets on the site are CSS validated and conform to W3C recommendations.
All pages on this site are HTML validated and conform to W3C recommendations.
This website currently meets all priority 1 guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines,
- We strive to obey the spirit of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) of 1995 with respect to the provision of services online, as required by the Disability Rights Commission (DRC).
- While we use Bobby to test for accessibility, it is just one aspect of our testing procedure. As a computer programme, the Bobby test is not as reliable as an expert evaluation.
- The website meets Bobby Approval at Level 1 and adopts many of the recommendations at Levels 2 and 3.
Through taking this approach we hope to make our site as inclusive as possible, and also to comply with UK legislation including the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) as amended by the Special Education Needs and Disability Act (2001), which states that it is an offence to discriminate against a disabled person by treating him or her less favourably than others for a reason relating to their disability.