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using our website

We are committed to making our website accessible to all of our visitors. We aim to meet the "double-A" level of accessibility under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines published by the World Wide Web Consortium.

We have consulted the Shaw Trust - the national charity supporting disabled and disadvantaged people in living more independently - on the development of our website, to ensure its accessibility for disabled users.

finding your way round

You can find your way round our website by following the links that appear on each page. On most pages there are also "useful links", on the right-hand side, that take you to other related pages and information.

The sitemap gives a quick overview of the site, with direct links to the most popular areas.

The search facility at the top of this page is the quickest way to search across all the pages of our website. Just type a word or phrase into the search box and click "go" (the magnifying-glass).

access keys

You can use access keys to jump directly to key information pages. Most access keys display new pages. Two access keys - "s" and "4" - move you within the page you are looking at. We use the UK government recommended set of access keys:

S - skip navigation - goes straight to the content on the current page
1 - displays the home page
2 - displays the news page
3 - displays the sitemap page
4 - Search - moves the cursor to the search box on the current page
5 - displays the frequently-asked questions (FAQ) page
6 - displays the help page
7 - displays the complaints procedure page
8 - displays the terms and conditions (copyright) for use of the website
9 - displays the feedback (contact us) page
0 - displays this page, including the access key details

You will need to press another key with the access key shown above. The exact key sequence depends on which browser you use:

  • Internet Explorer: press Alt and the access key together to highlight the link; then press Enter to activate;
  • Firefox: press Alt Shift and the access key together;
  • Opera: press Shift and Esc keys together. This displays the set of access keys on that page, and you then just press the desired access key;
  • Safari on Windows: press Alt and the access key together;
  • Safari 3 on Mac: press Ctrl and the access key together;
  • Safari 4 on Mac: press Ctrl, Option and the access key together; or
  • or for other browsers, please visit the Wikipedia page on access keys.

listen to this website being read aloud

You can listen to this website being read aloud using the free "speech browser" facility called Browsealoud.

text size and contrast

If the text on your screen is too small for you, you can enlarge by using the "style-switcher" buttons in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Or just select "text size" from the "view" menu on your toolbar.

You can also use the buttons in the top right-hand corner of the screen to change the contrast and colour of our website.

The "style-switcher" buttons offer three styles:

My Web My Way

More hints and advice - from the BBC - on how you can change your browser, computer, keyboard and mouse settings to make the web more accessible to you.

If you have any difficulties using our website - or have any suggestions for improvements - please email our webmaster. We especially welcome feedback from disabled users of this site.