Our websites are designed to meet the accessibility guidelines devised by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), which advises on good practice for meeting the needs of all users. The RNIB’s ‘See it Right’ guidelines are the basis for some of the following text (which has been reproduced with permission from RNIB).
We support the following access keys
|Go to Help (this page)||ALT+0||Control+0|
|Skip to Content||ALT+2||Control+2|
|Skip to Navigation||ALT+3||Control+3|
|Go to Site Search||ALT+4||Control+4|
|Go to Contacts||ALT+6||Control+6|
Where possible, we choose access keys that do not conflict with commonly-used screen reader keyboard shortcuts.
We aim to ensure our content is clear and easily understood. Here are some of the ways that we do that.
We use cascading style sheets for visual layout, but the site is designed so that the content of each page is still readable and clearly structured if your browser or browsing device does not support style sheets. You may import your own style sheet into this website.
Our text is concise and does not include unnecessary jargon. All text is resizable, so if it is too small or large for easy reading, you can use your browser setting to display it at the size you prefer. If you have already selected a non-standard text size in your browser settings, the size you prefer will be visible from the moment you enter the website, and you won't need to reset it for each page.
We choose colours that provide a good contrast between the text and its background, avoiding combinations that are known to cause difficulties for people with colour blindness. We use colour styling that ensures that no parts of the page would be unreadable if you have chosen non-standard colours in your browser colour settings. A change of colour won't be used as the only way to identify any information. So, for instance you won't see phrases such as ‘new courses are shown in red text’. If you wish to override the site's colours, you can import your own style sheet.
We use images for several purposes. For each, a text alternative is provided
- for images used as links, the text alternative tells you about the destination page
- for informative images, the text alternative contains the information that the image contributes to the page
- for images of text, the visible text is stated
- for images that are purely decorative, the alternative text will be empty so that the image is 'silent' when a screen reader reads the page
Here are some features of the structure of our websites.
You will be able to reach all parts of the website by following links that are keyboard navigable. This means that you will be able to use your keyboard tab key or switch device to move from link to link, knowing that no parts of the site are ‘hidden’ behind links that can only be displayed by mouse action. Breadcrumb trails are provided throughout the site and navigational aids are applied whenever possible.
The wording for text links is chosen to ensure that the link is
- clear, giving you a good idea of what the destination page is about
- unique, so that each one is different, unless it leads to the same page as any others using the same wording
- complete, not relying on nearby text to explain its purpose or context
- concise, as short and to the point as possible
- easy to identify, not beginning with words like ‘click here for’ or ‘link to’
Titles are different on each unique page, and give a good indication about its content. This will help you keep track of where you are in the website, and make it possible to distinguish between pages when you have more than one window or tab open.
Headings are relevant and provided in a logical order so that you can use them to get an overview of the page. For screen reader users, this means that you may be able to use screen reader functions to jump from heading to heading, or have a list of all headings displayed, so that you can decide which one is of most interest to you, and then go straight to it.
Tables are given row and column headings where necessary that are not only visually different from the data cells, but coded so that screen readers will be able to identify them. This will make it possible for screen reader users to find out what the relevant headings are, from anywhere within the table grid.
Completing forms is made easy because the information you need to complete each input box is clear and well positioned. We also ensure that our forms can be completed without the use of a mouse and using screen readers. Our forms have a logical and clear structure, with instructions at each stage.
A search facility is available throughout the site to help you find information and courses. The access key ALT+4 (Windows) or Control+4 (Macintosh) will take you to the search field.
You won't find many uses of new windows in the site. Typically, new windows are used only for audio and video. Where new windows are used, you will find a warning either in the link text or the sentence the link is given in.
Audio and video
Any information that is presented in video, audio or multimedia will have alternatives that make the same information available to people who are unable to see or hear. This means that captioning or transcripts are used to complement audible or visible information.
You need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to open PDF files and this can be freely downloaded from Adobe's website. All PDF files on this website have been made accessible to the best of the document’s ability.
Our work to make our websites as accessible as possible is based on compliance with the standards and guidelines set out by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). All pages on this site aim to be accessible to WAI WCAG AA or better, complying with priority 1 and 2 guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. All pages on this site aim to validate as XHTML 1.0 Strict, and use CSS 2.1 for visual presentation. All pages on this site use structured semantic markup.