Help & Accessibility

Text Size

In order to allow our visitors to read site content without straining their eyes, this site has been created using a flexible text size. The way of increasing or decreasing the text size depends on the type of browser you are using.

If you are using another browser, please consult the developer's website.

Accesskeys

This site does not employ accesskeys as an extra means of navigating between pages. The reasons why are covered in the following articles (all these links open external websites):

In brief, the implementation of accesskeys is different from browser to browser, a situation which is further complicated by the fact that all browsers have their own reserved shortcut keys. This means that it is next to impossible to choose valid and useful accesskeys that will not conflict with various browser's already assigned keys.

Until either the W3C changes the standard or browser makers decide on a standard implementation of shortcut keys it's safer to not use them. This site does employ other accessibility features such as the navigation bar, as detailed below.

Navigation Bar

In addition to the onscreen navigation this site uses an accessibility feature known as the navigation bar. This tool adds extra useful links to a page so that you can quickly reach the home, index, contents, search, glossary, help and copyright pages. It also allows you to quickly load the next/previous pages and go back up to the previous section. In some browsers the next and previous pages will also be preloaded which makes your browsing experience seem faster.

Unfortunately the navigation bar is not available in Internet Explorer but it is available in more modern, accessible browsers such as Firefox and Opera. The navigation bar is also visible in some text browsers such as Lynx.

To enable the navigation bar in your browser, please consult the documentation or the manufacturer's website.

Site Map

At the bottom of each page of the site next to the Accessibility Statement link you will find the link to the site map. This is essentially a flat view of the site with all the links listed on one page.

The site map allows you to always be two clicks away from anywhere on the site. First click on the site map, then click on the page you want. The links are presented as nested lists, so if you are using a screen reader you should be able to skip over sublists if the contents do not interest you. Consult your browser's documentation for further details.

Browsing Without Graphics or JavaScript

If you are using a text-only browser or have graphics disabled you can still view this site because the pages have been written to degrade gracefully if certain features are not available. You might think this targets a niche audience but bear in mind that every year more and more devices are connected to the internet and need to be able to make sense of web pages. This includes internet enabled printers, PDAs and most importantly mobile phones. This site is coded so that whatever device you might be viewing it on, you can always reach whatever content you need to as quickly as possible. This also means the site can be read by devices such as screen readers and braile keyboards which are intended to aid visually impaired and blind internet users.

The same goes for JavaScript - if you browse with JavaScript turned off you won't see some of the extra bells and whistles on the site but you will be able to view all of the content. Where JavaScript is employed a fallback position is always in place so that users on any platform or device can use the entire site regardless of any disabilities they might have.