Web standards and Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

Web standards

We have ensured, as far as possible, that this site is built using compliant XHTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) as defined in the standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The site displays correctly with current browsers, and using standards compliant code means that any future browsers will also display this website correctly.

The W3C is the organisation that produces the standards and specifications for the World Wide Web.

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), is part of the W3C, and is devoted to promoting accessibility on the web. The WAI has a series of guidelines and checkpoints which aim to make websites more accessible.

We have endeavoured to make this site comply as fully as possible with the WAI's Priority 1 checkpoints. In addition, we also comply with many of the Priority 2 and 3 checkpoints as well.

Please visit Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) for more information.

Accessibility features

We have introduced the following features to ensure the best use of our site by all of our users:

Changing text size

We realise some users may want to alter the size of the text on this site and as such we have avoided the use of 'fixed sized' fonts. To change the text size go to the 'View' menu at the top of your browser. Depending on your browser there will be an option in this menu called 'Text Size' or 'Text Zoom'. Use the options in here to increase/decrease text size.

Changing page magnification

As an alternative to changing only the font size on a site, some modern browsers now permit the user to increase/decrease the level of magnification of the site instead of the text only. This option will often have replaced the previously mentioned 'Text Size' or 'Text Zoom' in older browsers. For information on these options please visit the vendor's website as detailed in our other accessibility options section below.


For screen reader users, we have incorporated hidden menu links at the beginning of each page. This enables users to go directly to the key content areas of each page without the need to listen to other page features first.

Headings and navigation menus

HTML heading tags are used to convey document structure. H1 tags are used for main titles, H2 tags for subtitles etc. Navigation menus are marked up as HTML lists. This ensures that the number of links in the list is read out at the start and it can be skipped easily.


We aim to include descriptive alt tag attributes on every image used on this website. Where an image has no use other than being decorative the alt tag is set to null to allow easy reading of the site by all users.

Forms and fields

All forms fields follow a logical tab sequence to ensure easy navigation.

Most form fields also have 'label' and 'id' attributes to explicitly associate the form field with its label to allow for easy entry of data.


The use of Javascript has been kept to an absolute minimum. Where it is used then all pages and process are still accessible should Javascript be turned off.


All links have been written to make sense when taken out of context. Where appropriate, we have also added link title attributes to describe the link in greater detail.

Other accessibility options

Further accessibility options - such as the disabling of stylesheets, colours and images - are available within the preferences and settings of your browser and operating system. For information on these please visit the vendor's website. The following links will open in a new window.


 Operating systems

Further reading

The following websites provide more information relating to accessibility. The following links will open in a new window.