Accessibility

Accessibility

We have tried to design this website so that disabled users face no barriers when accessing content. This means making the information contained within the pages accessible to as many users as possible. The site aims to be AA compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.

If you often find online information difficult to access, there are some things you can do to make a website easier to use. Here are a few reliable websites with advice and guidance:

  • AbilityNet - supports people of any age, living with any disability or impairment to use technology to achieve their goals at home, at work and in education. They have produced a number of AbilityNet factsheets which you can download.
  • RNIB Assistive Technology - if you have recently experienced sight loss, you may not be aware of the range of assistive technology available to help you access computers and read printed documents. You can also go to the RNIB Technology Resource Hub for the latest facts, tips and guides.

Most of the content on our website will be text-only. However, we may also use images, photos, pdf documents, videos and online forms. We've come up with a few checklists of what we should be doing and what we shouldn't to make sure our website is accessible.

The guidelines in the sections below were found on the Gov.uk website 'Dos and don'ts on designing for accessibility'.

General guidelines - dos and don'ts

Do

  • use simple colours
  • write in plain English
  • use simple sentences and bullets
  • make buttons descriptive - for example 'Attach files'
  • build simple and consistent layouts.

Don't

  • use bright contrasting colours
  • use figures of speech and idioms
  • create a wall of text
  • make buttons vague and unpredictable - for example 'Click here'
  • build complex and cluttered layouts.
Designing for users with low vision

Do

  • use good contrasts and a readable font size
  • publish all information on web pages (HTML)
  • use a combination of colour, shapes and text
  • follow a linear, logical layout - and ensure text flows and is visible when text is magnified to 200%
  • put buttons and notifications in context.

Don't

  • use low colour contrasts and small font size
  • bury information in downloads
  • only use colour to convey meaning
  • spread content all over a page - and force user to scroll horizontally when text is magnified to 200%
  • separate actions from their context.
Designing for users of screen readers

Do

  • describe images and provide transcripts for video
  • follow a linear, logical layout
  • structure content using HTML5
  • build for keyboard use only
  • write descriptive links and heading - for example 'Contact us'.

Don't

  • only show information in an image or video
  • spread content all over a page
  • rely on text size and placement for structure
  • force mouse or screen use
  • write uninformative links and heading - for example 'Click here'.
Designing for users with physical or motor disabilities

Do

  • make large clickable actions
  • give form fields space
  • design for keyboard or speech only use
  • design with mobile and touch screen in mind
  • provide shortcuts.

Don't

  • demand precision
  • bunch interactions together
  • make dynamic content that requires a lot of mouse movement
  • have short time out windows
  • tire users with lots of typing and scrolling.
Designing for users who are deaf or hard of hearing

Do

  • write in plain English
  • use subtitles or provide transcripts for video
  • use a linear, logical layout
  • break up content with sub-headings, images and videos
  • let users ask for their preferred communication support when booking appointments.

Don't

  • use complicated words or figures of speech
  • put content in audio or video only
  • make complex layouts and menus
  • make users read long blocks of content
  • don't make telephone the only means of contact for users.
Designing for users with dyslexia

Do

  • use images and diagrams to support text
  • align text to the left and keep a consistent layout
  • consider producing materials in other formats (for example, audio and video)
  • keep content short, clear and simple
  • let users change the contrast between background and text.

Don't

  • use large blocks of heavy text
  • underline words, use italics or write capitals
  • force users to remember things from previous pages - give reminders and prompts
  • rely on accurate spelling - use autocorrect or provide suggestions
  • put too much information in one place.