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Accessibility - options and features

The details of the accessible design features used within this site.

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Are fully implemented on this website and include but not limited to: navigation, main, search, complementary, and contentinfo.

Access-keys have been deprecated in favour of WAI-ARIA Roles.

Browser text-size adjustments

The text on this web site has been designed to allow you to use browser controls to re-size it to whatever size works best for you.

Generically, on both Windows & Mac, using the control (Ctrl or Apple cmd) key and the + (plus) key together increases the font size. Control - (minus) decreases the font size and control 0 (zero) resets to default.

Note: most modern browsers scale up all content by holding down the control key (Ctrl) and scrolling the mouse wheel

The site is view-able at font-sizes up to 400% with little degradation. For larger text sizes I suggest disabling the style sheet.

Navigation aids

  1. Each page uses a h1 heading to mark the beginning of the main content, and it is the only h1 used.
  2. All headings, and sub-headings, are presented in strict order to preserve the document hierarchy.
  3. Every section begins with a heading of the relevant level, though not all are visible in a browser.
  4. All lists, ordered or un-ordered, are preceded by a heading to ease screen-reader navigation.
  5. All pages on this site include a search box (role = "search"). The search facility is provided by Google. Consequentially the search results page is outside the control of this site.
  6. Link text is never duplicated; two links with the same link text always point to the same address.
  7. There are no links that open new windows without due warning.
  8. All content links are blue in colour and underline upon hover or focus.
  9. Links are written to make sense out of context.

Design criteria

Visual design

  1. This site uses cascading style sheets for visual layout.
  2. Colour contrast is maintained to WAI WCAG 2 and AA guidelines on all text throughout the website.
  3. This site uses relative font sizes and line-spacing, compatible with the user-specified "text size" option in visual browsers. The page design will hold to 400% magnification above which I would suggest switching the style sheet off.
  4. If your browser or browsing device does not support style sheets, the content of each page is still readable and navigable.
  5. With style sheets switched off you are presented with a text-only version of the page.


  1. All content images used in this site include descriptive alt attributes.
  2. Images used purely for decoration are coded as background images through CSS and therefore do not appear in the HTML mark-up at all.
  3. Most images are SVG and rescalable to any magnification. Where appropriate they also contain a title.

Acronyms and abbreviations

Due to its technical nature, this site makes use of many acronyms and abbreviations. I try to define the first occurrence in each page with the appropriate HTML tag.

JavaScript usage

This site uses JavaScript in order to improve functionality and usability but is fully usable, with the exception of online tools, and navigable with JavaScript unavailable, switched off, or unsupported.

Specifically JavaScript is used for:

  1. Providing highlighted borders to focused elements.
  2. Opening and closing information panels and menus.
  3. Certain pages use JavaScript to embellish content presentation.
  4. Controlling asset loading.
  5. Online tools.

Standards compliance

  1. All pages on this site is WCAG AA approved, complying with all priority 1 and 2 guidelines and most of priority 3 of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Again, a judgment call; many guidelines are intentionally vague and can not be tested automatically. I have reviewed all the guidelines and believe that these pages are in full compliance with one exception. The need for an advanced search mechanism. Due to the relatively small size of this site I do not believe it to improve the sites accessibility or usability.
  2. All pages conform to WCAG 2 as far as possible.
  3. All pages on this site are Section 508 approved, complying with the U.S. Federal Government Section 508 Guidelines. Again, a judgment call.
  4. All pages on this site validate as HTML 5. This is not a judgment call; a program can determine with 100% accuracy whether a page is valid HTML. For example, check this page for HTML validity.