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Our website is built to meet W3C AA standards for accessibility.
We want to make sure that everyone is able to access the information we provide and communicate with us in ways that meet their individual needs.
We use clear labels so visitors know where a link or button is taking them and the type and size of documents they are downloading. We have also used a clear design that takes account of people with visual impairments.
We've attempted to use plain English throughout the site to make the information easy to understand.
If you need to change the size of the text on our website, you can do this by clicking on one of the three letter 'A' links at the top of our website.
This will allow you to change the text size to small, normal or large.
Our website has three different contrast options, including:
- black on white.
- white on black.
- yellow on blue.
To change the way you view the website, click on one of the square icons at the top of our website.
Magnify the screen
If increasing the text size doesn't make the text easy to see, you could try magnifying your screen. Most computer operating systems allow you to do this.
Select one of the options below to find out how to magnify your screen.
Windows 7 and Vista
Select the Start button, then 'Control Panel', then 'Ease of Access', then 'Ease of Access Center'.
Under 'Quick Access to common tools' select 'Start Magnifier'.
Windows XP/95/98/200/Millennium Edition
Select the 'Start' button or press the Windows logo key.
Select 'Programs' then press 'Enter', select 'Accessories' then press 'Enter', select 'Accessibility' then press 'Enter', select 'Magnifier' then press 'Enter'.
The magnifier will now be turned on and the settings box will display.
You can click in the magnification level box to change the level of magnification, or use the up and down arrow keys.
You can also minimise the magnifier settings box by clicking the minimise button or by pressing 'Alt' and 'Space', then pressing 'N'.
Mac OS X
Open the 'Finder' then select the 'Apple' menu, select 'System Preferences...', select the 'Universal Access' icon.
Select the 'Seeing' tab then select the 'Turn on Zoom' button.
To zoom in press 'Alt' and 'Cmd' and '+'. This zooms to your maximum level of magnification set in 'Zoom Options...'. The preview rectangle (black bordered box) shows the area of the screen that you will see at maximum zoom.
To step back or zoom out press 'Alt' and 'Cmd' and '–'. Move your mouse around the screen to view the magnified page.
To change the maximum and minimum zoom settings select 'Zoom Options...', then:
use the 'Maximum Zoom' gauge bar to increase or decrease the magnification level.
use the 'Minimum Zoom' gauge bar to increase or decrease the magnification level.
When you have finished select 'Done' and, finally, select 'Close' (red button at the top of the 'Universal Access' window) to return to the Finder desktop.
To turn magnification on or off at any time, press 'Alt' and 'Cmd' and '*'.
We don't use colour alone to convey vital information.
All relevant images have alternative text descriptions explaining what the image is about. This description will be read out by screen readers and will be displayed if you hover your cursor over the image.
If the image is complex and cannot be described in just a few words, there will be a link below the image to another page with the full text alternative.
All links to other websites will open up a new browser window.
If you want to return to our website after following an external link, you just need to close the new browser window.
Navigating our site without a mouse
- You can use the 'arrow' keys to scroll up and down a page.
- You can use the space bar to move down and 'shift' and 'space bar' to move up pages.
- You can use the 'tab' key to move from one link to the next, in sequence, then press the 'return/enter' key to select the link.
- You can use the 'backspace' key to go back to the previous page.
Software to read words out loud
'Browsealoud' is a computer program that helps people who have difficulty reading by reading out the words on a website. You can download Browsealoud for free by clicking on the link below. It may take a few minutes to download.
After you have downloaded and installed Browsealoud on your computer, go back to our website and move your mouse pointer over the words. You will see that the words are now highlighted in yellow. Leave your mouse pointing at the words and the Browsealoud voice will read them out to you.
Our accessibility policy
We are committed to making sure all our information is clear and accessible for everyone. It is vital that we communicate with everyone in a way that is accessible and does not discriminate or disadvantage. We have created an accessibility policy to explain how we will work to make this happen.