Accessibility

Every effort has been made to ensure maximum accessibility by applying standards-compliant design to the production of this website. Despite our best efforts, you may experience some problems when trying to access this website using assistive devices.

Accessible design

This site has been tested using the automatic validation services provided by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and employs many features to make information more accessible:

  • All images have text alternates (ALT attributes)
  • Pages are organised to be fully functional, even with javascript turned off
  • All text uses relative font sizes so text can be enlarged or reduced using the text size options available in visual browsers (see instructions below)
  • The site can be navigated without the use of a mouse (see instructions below)
  • All pages use flexible page formats so pages can be automatically resized for different window sizes and screen resolutions
  • Page formatting is achieved with XHTML and CSS to ensure that the semantic structure of the information is preserved
  • All pages are designed with separate cascading style sheets, so they can be replaced by user-defined style sheets
  • This site follows World Wide Web Consortium, W3C, recommendations and accessibility guidelines

Metadata

Metadata has been added to all pages as well-crafted metadata can provide important orientation information to users. The metadata provided includes:

  • A meaningful page title
  • The document language
  • A !DOCTYPE statement in order to validate to a published formal grammar
  • A description of the site’s content
  • Keywords describing the site’s contents

Browsers

You will be able to best experience this site and take full advantage of its features by using a standards-compliant browser. The following browsers support numerous web standards including CSS, XHTML, and the DOM (a universal means of controlling the behavior of web pages):

  • Mozilla (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)
  • Mozilla Firefox (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux)
  • Safari (Mac OS X)
  • Camino (Mac OS X)
  • Opera (Windows, Mac, Linux)
  • Netscape 7+ (Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris Sparc, QNX, Os/2, FreeBSD, BeOS)

Please note that this page does not pretend to be an exhaustive list of browsers that support web standards, nor a test of browser compliance, nor a side-by-side comparison of various manufacturers’ browsers.

Plug-ins

This site makes use of the wibiya toolbar. No information of yours other then IP address is used or stored by using our site.

Bandwidth considerations

Efforts have been made to ensure that this website is as bandwidth-friendly as possible. However, your experience here will be greatly enhanced if you access this site with a fast connection to the Internet (DSL, ISDN, Cable, T-1 etc.) and a computer operating at 500Mhz or faster.

Site navigation

A consistent navigation structure has been provided on all pages of the site. The navigation bar may be used as an indication of which section of the site the user is currently viewing. The selected link is clearly highlighted in the top navigation bar.

Links are displayed clearly and in context. The ‘title’ tag is used to provide additional information about links where necessary. This additional information may be viewed in some browsers when the user’s mouse hovers over the link. Some screenreaders may also take advantage of this information.

Use of text on this site

Most navigation elements are plain text and we have provided text alternatives to graphics on the site.

Those with poor sight may be able to increase the size of the text on screen. The procedure for doing so differs from one browser to the next. The table below outlines the procedure for some popular browsers. If your browser does not appear in the table the following guidelines may be of assistance: In general, looking under the “View” selection on the main menu, you should find an option called “Text Zoom” or “Text Magnification” or “Text Size” or “Font Size”. From that point it should be relatively simple to find and select an additional sub menu option that adjusts text size to your needs.

OS  // Browser // Instructions
Windows // Internet Explorer 3 and 4 // View > Fonts
Windows // Internet Explorer 5+ // View > Text Size
Windows // K-meleon // View > Increase Font / Decrease Font
Windows // Mozilla // View > Increase Text Size / Decrease Text Size
Windows // Netscape 6 // View > Text Size
Windows // Netscape 7 // View > Zoom
Windows // Opera 5 and 6 // Use dropdown menu on ‘progress’ bar
Windows // Opera 7 // View > Zoom
Mac // I-Cab // View > Font Size
Mac // Internet Explorer 4.5 // View > Text Size
Mac // Internet Explorer 5+ // View > Text Zoom
Mac // Netscape 4 // View > Increase/Decrease Font Size
Mac // Netscape 7 // View > Text Zoom
Mac // Opera 5 and 6 // Use dropdown menu on ‘progress’ bar
Mac // OmniWeb 4 // Browser > Bigger Text / Smaller Text
Mac // Safari // View > Text Size

Visual design and encoding

This site uses Cascading Style Sheets for visual layout. In this way, structure is separated from design. The use of Cascading Stylesheets allows users to apply their own style sheets. The site may however be viewed without stylesheets. No information is lost when stylesheets are disabled.

Relative values were used for all measurements, including font size. This allows the site to adjust to the user’s screen size. It also allows the user to set his/her own preferred font size.

The site was designed to take full advantage of version 6+ browsers. However, it may also be viewed using version 4 browsers. It it is possible to view the site on both these browser groups without any loss of information, though there will be some visual differences due to varying browser support for Cascading Style Sheets.

Color

The site has been designed using colors that should be both visually appealing and yet provide enough contrast for users who suffer from color-blindness. However, the user may choose to view the high contrast version of the site by setting this option via the style sheet preference buttons located on the top of the site’s pages.

Images

This site’s interface makes carefully considered use of images and where images do appear, they include text alternates to enhance accessibility.

Content

This site makes use of XHTML tags that provide additional information about structural items. These are used to add summary descriptions to tables, explain hierarchy within tables, provide emphasis on words and phrases, provide an explanation of abbreviations and to add structure to forms. These tags are often hidden from visual browsers but provide valuable information to non-visual browsers.

Lists

Many lists have title attributes which describe the content of the list in greater detail. Elements are marked up as lists if they follow a logical, structured order.

Links

Many links have title attributes which describe the link in greater detail, unless the text of the link already fully describes the target (such as the headline of an article or name of a person). Links are written to make sense out of context.

References

  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines
  • Checklist of Checkpoints for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

Accessibility software

  • JAWS, a screen reader for Windows. A time-limited, downloadable demo is available.
  • Home Page Reader, a screen reader for Windows. A downloadable demo is available.
  • Lynx, a free text-only web browser for blind users with refreshable Braille displays.
  • Links, a free text-only web browser for visual users with low bandwidth.
  • Opera, a visual browser with many accessibility-related features, including text zooming, user stylesheets, image toggle. A free downloadable version is available. Compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and several other operating systems.

Help us make our site more accessible

We strive to make this site accessible to all users. Feedback and suggestions as to how the site can be further improved are very welcome. Please send us your feedback, suggestions or queries.