Access to services

As a freelancer I work from home or at your offices. If you have any special accessibility needs please let me know and I will use my best efforts to accommodate them.

Website accessibility

I have tried to make this website as accessible as possible.

However, what works for one person will not always work for someone else.

Accessibility starts with your computer and browser

Your computer operating system (Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, Linux), and web browser (eg Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, OperaSafari) already have many accessibility facilities built in.

The BBC accessibility guide My Web My Way provides a lot of useful advice about how you can set your operating system and browser to help you with accessibility and there are other links at the bottom of this page.

Microsoft is due to replace Internet Explorer soon with Microsoft Edge.

Google has accessibility features built into its products, see more on Google Accessibility.

Some of the things I’ve done to make the site accessible include the following:

Responsive design and web standards

  • I’ve used WordPress as this website’s platform — the people at WordPress are highly committed to accessibility
  • I’ve used a responsive design ‘theme’, or design template, that adjusts to whatever device you’re using to view the site (and will therefore zoom well for anyone with a visual impairment)
  • I’ve tried to write in Plain English, use meaningful hyperlinks and not write content that takes you up a dead end

Document downloads in Word and PDF format

Some content may be provided in documents you can download. Where we do this the document may be provided in either Word or PDF (Portable Document Format) or both.

Computers (and often tablets and phones) are usually sold with Adobe Acrobat Reader pre-loaded so you can read PDF formats.

Word documents can usually be opened in Google Docs, which comes as part of a free Gmail account (on Google Drive) or Microsoft Outlook.com Word software which comes part of an Outlook.com/Hotmail email account.

You can also download free readers from these sites:

iFrames

Some content may be embedded from other services using iFrames. If we do this we will provide a title and/or summary of the type of content that is being embedded and wherever possible a direct link to the original site.

Images and graphics

I’ve tried to add meaningful alternative tags (‘alt-tags’) to images and graphics.

I’ve also tried to ensure content is not completely dependent on an image or graphic — or if occasionally it is, as a lot of people like images and graphics — there is meaningful alternative content wherever possible.

Links

Internal and external links make sense out of context, so it’s clear what content we’re linking to. External links open in a new window — there are differing views on this but I find this approach better on a tablet or phone.

Sitemap

I’ve provided a Sitemap so you can see all the pages on this site in one place, as well as providing site-wide menus and contextual sub-menus to help navigation.

Social media

The site includes a feed from Facebook and Twitter and may include feeds from other social media. This type of content is very useful for many people but the state of current technology means that we are limited to the accessibility of the original social media sites which are not always as accessible as we would like.

Text aloud

See this BBC My Web My Way guide which explains how you can make your computer read text aloud:

Text and background colours

You should be able to change the colour of text and the page background using your browser. See this BBC My Web My Way guide:

Colours on this site are controlled by CSS stylesheets. In a few areas additional CSS inline styling has been used for decoration to help visual navigation but is not critical to understanding of the content.

Text size and font

To increase or decrease the size of text and other content:

  • On a PC use Ctrl + and Ctrl – (Control Plus or Control Minus)
  • On an Apple Mac use Cmd + and Cmd – (Command Plus and Command Minus)

You can also increase the text size of the page using your browser. See these BBC My Web My Way guides:

Translation

Accessibility isn’t just about disability — I’ve linked to Google Translate in over 80 languages — I know Google Translate sometimes makes some howlers, but it should help a lot of people who don’t have English as their first language.

Videos

Some content is video embedded from other sites such as YouTube. This is content produced by other people. Wherever possible I will select content that includes sub-titles but I am limited to the facilities provided by the original video. I will try to ensure any video content is as accessible as possible.

Contact me with your suggestions

Technology is changing rapidly. There are large range of devices for viewing websites, and what works for one audience/disability often works against someone else.

The experts often don’t always agree on what is best, and technology is sometimes moving ahead faster than web accessibility guidelines — many of the ‘definitive’ guidelines were written around 2005. So I don’t claim I will always get it completely right.

If I’ve got something wrong, I’m very sorry. Please tell me if you think we have done something wrong and suggest any improvements or useful resources you know.

I can’t always promise to implement everything, but I will listen and will try to do the very best I can for you. Go to the Contact page to see the different ways you can get in touch.

Further reading and resources

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