Accessibility Statement

I have tried extremely hard to ensure that this website is accessible to everybody. I apologise if I have inadvertently missed an aspect of web accessibility which you rely upon. In fact I would consider any comments or suggestions regarding the accessibility of this site to be extremely valuable to my professional development.

Please email me with any site–related problems, suggestions or improvements to accessibility. I would also be very interested to hear about your own experiences of using the web, and what you consider to be good or bad design.

Standards compliance

  1. At a minimum, all pages on this site are designed to follow Priority 1 guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It was my intention that the pages also comply with priority 2 & 3 guidelines, but without extensive user testing I refrain from making any claim which I cannot fully substantiate.
  2. All pages on this site validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
  3. All pages on this site use structured semantic markup. H1 tags are used for main titles and H2 tags are used for subtitles. For example, on this page, JAWS users can skip to the next section within the accessibility statement by pressing ALT+INSERT+3. Opera users can skip sections by using "S" and "W" to cycle forwards and backwards respectively through headings.

Structural Markup

Web pages on this website include 3 or 4 different areas:

  1. A header bar
  2. A main content area,
  3. A sidebar which includes the main navigation,
  4. A footer.

When CSS (Cascading Styles Sheet) are not applied to a document (or when using a screen reader), the 3 (4) areas are read in the above order.

Images

  1. Unless they are purely decorative items, all images used on this web site have suitable alt attributes.
  2. Content should be usable and accessible with images "off" (disabled).
  3. The main navigation bar on this site uses only CSS for styling, and degrades gracefully for non–visual browsers.

Links

  1. Many links have title attributes which describe the link in greater detail, unless the text of the link already fully describes the target.
  2. Links are written to make sense out of context.
  3. The first link in every document is a "SkipNav"; it is to skip directly to what is considered the main section of the page (the content). I have implemented this feature in a way that it allows Internet Explorer users to tab through (past that target link).
  4. URLs are permanent whenever possible.

Forms

  1. Where used, all form controls are appropriately and explicitly labeled.
  2. Form validation routine does not rely on client–side script.

Scripts

  1. I am using non obtrusive client–side scripts.
  2. Content of this web site is usable without JavaScript support.

Visual design

  1. This site uses cascading style sheets for visual layout.
  2. This site uses only relative font sizes, compatible with the user-specified "text size" option in visual browsers.
  3. If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the content of each page is still readable.
  4. Any information conveyed through the use of color is also available without color (i.e. text–based).

How to modify this site to fit your needs

These links explain the many ways you can make the web more accessible to you.

Accessibility references

  1. RNIB Web Access Centre provides a wealth of design-related advice.
  2. W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0) explains the reasons behind each guideline.
  3. W3C Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 explains how to implement each guideline.
  4. W3C Checkpoints for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 is a busy developer's guide to accessibility.
  5. U.S. Federal Government Section 508 accessibility guidelines.

Accessibility software

  1. JAWS, a screen reader for Windows. A time–limited, downloadable demo is available.
  2. Lynx, a free text–only web browser for blind users with refreshable Braille displays.
  3. Links, a free text–only web browser for visual users with low bandwidth.
  4. Opera, a visual browser with many accessibility–related features, including text zooming, user stylesheets, image toggle. A free downloadable version is available. Compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and several other operating systems.

Accessibility services

  1. HTML Validator, a free service for checking that web pages conform to published HTML standards.
  2. Web Page Backward Compatibility Viewer, a tool for viewing your web pages without a variety of modern browser features.
  3. Lynx Viewer, a free service for viewing what your web pages would look like in Lynx.

Related resources

  1. WebAIM, a non–profit organization dedicated to improving accessibility to online learning materials.
  2. Designing More Usable Web Sites, a large list of additional resources.