We have taken some very important steps to ensure that the information on this site can be accessed in a variety of ways: text, graphics, Flash, and PDF files.
We have also tried to ensure that all the links are written in plain English and self-explanatory and show clearly where they lead or what they are for.
Please use the following sub-menu to find more detail about using this website:
These are short cut commands you can use instead of your mouse. They are a quick way to access content but are not supported by all browsers, and sometimes interfere with other screen reading software. To keep such potential disruptions to a minimum we have only used one access key:
- Go to the Skip Menu = Alt + S > rtn
The Skip Menu is aimed at people who use screen readers and provides a quick way to skip to the main content on each page, the navigational menus, and the accessibility page.
How they work: hold down the Alt key and the number then release them and press the Return key. For Apple Mac computers hold down the Ctrl key and then press the letter.
As part of the development of the website we are considering various options that could enable people visiting the site to listen to the content as well as reading it.
No matter what page of the website you are viewing you will be able to find out where you are by looking at the breadcrumb trail underneath the main menu at the top of the page. Some extra navigation options have also been provided at the foot of the page along with a Main menu link which automatically takes you back to the main menu at the top of the page.
We have also included a link called Top of this content > in the main section of the web page that will take you back to the top of the main content.
We have tested the website in the following browsers (on PC and Mac).
- Internet Explorer (PC) versions: 5, 6 and 7.0.5730.13
- Opera (PC) version: 9.5
- Firefox (PC) version: 126.96.36.199
- Firefox (Mac) version: 188.8.131.52
- Safari (PC) version: 3.1.1
- Safari (Mac) version: 3.1.1
Although colour contrast can appear different depending on the type of monitor used, the colours of the text in the main navigation and in the Quick Links sub-menu (in particular) have been used because they are of a high contrast with their background. This makes it easier for people to read who may have difficulties seeing text and background colours with a lower contrast or too similar tones.
The brightness of your screen may also affect how the colours are displayed; please refer to your monitor's user manual if you think it needs adjusting or consider altering the settings within your computer's control panel.
If you would like to change the size of the text on this website you can use your browser software (Internet Explorer, or Firefox, for example).
- For many types of browser simply hold down the Ctrl key and then press the + or - keys on your keyboard in order to increase or decrease the size of text.
- You can also use the View option in many browsers: choose View, then Text Size, and then pick whichever size you feel appropriate.
- To control other aspects of how the website is displayed you can also use the Tools option in many browsers: choose Tools, then Internet Options - this makes a pop-up box appear. On the General tab you will find other options relating to colours, languages, fonts and accessibility.
- You can change your screen resolution by going to the Control Panel of your computer or adjusting other settings relating to monitors and colour management.
There are a variety of files for download on this website, one of which is in portable document format (PDF). All downloads can be accessed from the downloads page, available here >
You will need PDF reader software such as Adobe Acrobat Reader (external website) in order to view these documents and is freely available from the Adobe website.
Viewers with visual difficulties may find it useful to investigate components that improve the accessibility of Acrobat documents at the Adobe Accessibility Resource Centre (external website).
We are currently investigating options for incorporating alternative languages into the site.
There are a number of Flash files for presentation located in the Virtual Tour section(s) of this website. These files require Flash player software to be installed on the visitor's computer in order to be viewed. This is free software and is available to download here > (external website).
HTML and CSS code have been used because this allows the website to be downloaded more quickly. Some browsers will also allow you to turn off the CSS code; this is useful if you don't need or want to see the graphics or picture elements of the website. Doing this won't prevent you from accessing the information as the CSS code only controls how the information is displayed e.g. the colours of the text and where it is located on the page.
There are many different screen resolutions at which to view a website: each resolution displays the website in a slightly different way, sometimes the text might appear larger or smaller, for example, depending on your screen's specific resolution.
The website is therefore not designed with any one screen resolution in mind, but has been tested at the following resolutions and displays the main navigation and sub-navigation (when the website first loads) within a browser window of 800 x 600 pixels:
- 1280 x 800
- 1024 x 768
- 800 x 600
The site map includes a list of all the sections on this website.
Where possible and appropriate we have aimed to comply with all Priority 1 and Priority 2 criteria according to WCAG 1.0 (to achieve the Double A rating). We have also utilised the government guidelines as defined in the COI Web Standards and Guidelines (external website).