Accessibility Statement


We have tried our very best to make this website usable by as many people as possible. Some people with disabilities find using the web difficult and many sites do not accommodate those with visual or other disabilities.

While we know that it is impossible to design a site that everyone can use, we hope that designing this site with accessibility in mind means that more people can access its content.

We strive to obey the spirit of the UK Disability Discrimination Act 1995 with respect to the provision of services online, as required by the Disability Rights Commission, and have designed the site so that it can take advantage of the technology that assists users with disabilities, including screen-readers and the use of access keys to access areas of the site.

WAI guidelines

The WAI guidelines are divided into three main priority groups according to their importance for accessibility.

This website aims to comply with all guidelines in all groups as far as is practicable.

However, in order to ensure compatibility with older browsers and devices and due to some technical constraints, the following design decisions have been taken:

  • Most width and height units in the site are relative but some, in order to ensure consistency on different user agents, are absolute (see checkpoint 3.4)
  • Javascript is a requirement for some dynamic elements of the site, including the navigation facility. However, some alternative routes to information have been provided, such as a site map (see checkpoint 1.1)
  • The site complies with the XHTML 1.0 standard (see checkpoint 11.1)

Access keys

Many web sites designed with accessibility in mind employ a feature known as ‘access keys’.

Though this feature would undeniably be useful to those with impaired mobility, or even individuals who simply prefer keyboard navigation, serious problems with their implementation in existing web browsers ultimately render them useless.

It is with these problems in mind that we have made the conscious decision not to implement this feauture on our website.

Browser/device limitations

Browsers/devices without the ability to interpret scripting languages like Javascript, display images, or even interpret style information (CSS) should still be able to access the site. Thanks to semantic mark up, the site contents should still make sense even when all of these features are unavailable.

Specific actions taken

The following is a list of some of the specific actions which have been taken to improve accessibility of this website:

  • avoidance of frames in the site design
  • use of alternative text (alt tags) to describe the content of images
  • standards compliance
  • provision of ‘skip navigation’ links for text only browsers
  • provision of ‘Top of Page’ and ‘Main Navigation Bar’ links on every page for quicker access to these important features
  • provision of a ‘site map’ feature
  • use of relative font sizing throughout the site to enhance accessibility for individuals with poor eye sight

Need help?

Do you need help in making the web easier to use? These BBC web pages explain the many ways in which you can change your browser, computer, keyboard and mouse settings to make the web more accessible for you.

One common requirement is to make text larger, though in fact modern browsers are now capable of enlarging the whole web page – not just the text. This can often be done by pressing ‘ Ctrl ‘ and ‘ + ‘ to increase the zoom or ‘ Ctrl ‘ and ‘ ‘ to decrease the zoom.


Though this site is monitored on a regular basis and accessibility is an important part of every new development, it is not possible to predict every possible difficulty a user might have in accessing information on the site. If you have any difficulty and require further help or have suggestions to improve our accessibility, please contact us.