Accessibility, Readability and Usability

It is our aim to make available to as many people as possible and we hope you are able to find the answers to your questions quickly and browse around the site with ease. With this in mind, please read our guidelines based on:

Accessibility - how to change this website for you to view it more easily.

Readability - our standards for content on the website.

Usability - how to use the site to find the information you need.


How to change your screen resolution

Changing your screen resolution will change the size of everything on your screen, including your software programmes - it's not just for enlarging text on websites. Once you change the resolution, please remember that it will stay at this setting until you change it back yourself. You can maximise the size of the window in the Internet Explorer browser by going to Tools> Full Screen, or pressing the F11 button on your keyboard. To restore the window to its original size, press F11 again, or click on the 'Restore' button at the top right hand corner of the screen (the one which shows two small, overlapping squares.) This website has been designed to be viewable at all screen resolutions greater than 1024 x 768 without sideways scrolling. It can be viewed by all browsers.

How to view the site without images

This website should still be usable if images are turned off. If you are using an Internet Explorer browser, turn off images as follows: Go to Tools> Internet Options> Advanced>, and in the Multimedia section, remove the tick next to ‘Show Pictures’>; click ‘Apply’> then click ‘OK’. We aim to provide a ‘text only’ version of all graphical images to ensure all the information on the website is accessible by all. All our images are provided with appropriate ALT tags, to serve as a text alternative to images when required.

I use images across the website to make it more visually interesting and to help explain content. All graphics on this website are optimized for web use, meaning that they are reduced in quality so that they do not delay the webpage loading, so it should only take a short time to appear on your monitor. Images are kept quite small so that users viewing with a 1024 x 768 resolution screen set up or using a screen magnifier can still navigate around the page easily. Most photographs may be enlarged by ‘hovering’ the mouse over the image. Images used on the site are in JPEG or GIF or PNG format. Our site does not use frames or flash, to prevent user restriction.

Keyboard Access

For screenreaders and other serial browsers, all the links, forms and text on this site should be as accessible with the keyboard (or equivalent pointing/actuating device) as they are with the mouse. You can navigate using Tab and Enter, or whatever commands you would normally use. Groups of related links are generally organised into lists.

Accessibility testing

Level Double-A conformance icon,
          W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

This website has been tested to check that it complies with the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative's Guidelines 1.0 (W3C WAI) website accessibility guidelines. The test checks the coding, format and content of the page against the guidelines and passes or fails it against 3 statuses - A, AA or AAA compliance. Every webpage is also checked manually before it is published on the website, based again on the W3C accessibility guidelines. Manual testing consists of ensuring links go to the correct page and that page content is written in a way that is easy to understand.


Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!

This website uses version 1.0 of XHTML (Extensible Hyper Text Mark-up Language) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for formatting and layout. The pages of this website are best viewed using a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. Higher screen resolutions than 1024x768 will just make the page look smaller. See 'How to change screen resolution' for further information.

This website also uses:
EZPZ Photo-Caption Zoom by Randsco which is coded in CSS;
AXS Visitor Tracking by Fluid Dynamics Software which is coded in Perl;

JavaScript is initially disabled in some browsers. Part of the code on the ‘Contact Us’ page is also coded in JavaScript. JavaScript may be enabled as instructed by Microsoft Support.


We try to write the content of the website in simple, easy to understand language and avoid jargon where possible. We aim to explain what each area of the website contains on its homepage (the main index page of each area) to help you find the information you need. If you do have any problems however, please see ‘Usability’ below for a few tips on navigating this website. This website should still be usable if images are turned off - see ‘How to view the site without images’. We aim to provide a ‘text only’ version of all graphical images to ensure all the content on the website is accessible.


Viewable With Any Browser

Since a web page can be interpreted differently by different browsers with different capabilites, and since the language of a web page- HTML, is constantly evolving, accessibility must be considered to make a page usable by as many people as possible. The keys to making a web page accessible are graceful degradation, standards compliance, fast loading, and intelligent organization. This website is participating in the campaign for a non-browser-specific World Wide Web.

Site Navigation

This website has been developed so you can find the information you require quickly and easily. There are several ways to navigate around the site:

Main site navigation Along the top of every webpage there is a list of topics based on services we provide. Under some of these topics (hover mouse over topic) are further sub-topics in that area.

Using the Sitemap Go to the Sitemap, which contains quick links to every page on this website. Select the required link.