I am committed to providing an accessible website. This accessibility statement describes what I have already done to make this website accessible, what I intend to do to improve its accessibility, and how I plan to maintain these standards over time.
This statement refers to the following sites:
My aim is to meet all priority 1 and priority 2 requirements of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 (WCAG 1.0). This standard is commonly known as Level AA compliance.
I also aim is to meet as many priority 3 requirements as possible. This standard is commonly known as Level AAA compliance.
In developing new websites and maintaining the accessibility of my existing sites, I aim to follow the best practice guidelines described in the British Standards Institution's Publicly Available Specification 78 (PAS 78).
Details on the current state of compliance of this site with the WCAG checkpoints can be found in the Current State of Accessibility section below.
Maintaining Accessibility Standards
Some WCAG 1.0 checkpoints – such as making sure pages validate to W3C web grammars – can be checked automatically. I regularly run my sites through the WDG HTML Validator and the W3C CSS Validator to ensure compliance in these areas.
I also regularly run my sites through the WAVE checker to ensure compliance with a large range of other WCAG checkpoints.
I only add new sections to my sites once they meet the above standards.
My sites all support a subset of the UK Government's access keys standard, as follows:
1 – Home Page
3 – Site Map
4 – Search
5 – About this Website
6 – Help
8 – Terms and Conditions
9 – Contact Me
0 – Access Key Details
I do not support 'S – Skip navigation' because the navigation comes after the page content, so this shortcut does not apply. Also '2 – What's New' and '7 – Complaints Procedure' don't have relevant pages on this site, so they are not supported either.
Please note that the checkpoints below cover all pages on all my websites, except for those powered by Google Maps. These pages are not fully accessible at this stage, because I have used the standard Google Maps interface, and this is not, by default, accessible. I intend to revisit this at some point in the future.
Priority 1 Checkpoints
|In General (Priority 1)
|1.1 Provide a text equivalent for every non-text element (e.g. via "alt", "longdesc", or in element content). This includes: images, graphical representations of text (including symbols), image map regions, animations (e.g. animated GIFs), applets and programmatic objects, ASCII art, frames, scripts, images used as list bullets, spacers, graphical buttons, sounds (played with or without user interaction), stand-alone audio files, audio tracks of video, and video.
|OK – All non-text elements have alt text
|2.1 Ensure that all information conveyed with color is also available without color, for example from context or markup.
|OK – No information is dependent on colour
|4.1 Clearly identify changes in the natural language of a document's text and any text equivalents (e.g. captions).
|OK – Each page has a lang attribute, and all deviations from this are marked with local lang attributes
|6.1 Organize documents so they may be read without style sheets. For example, when an HTML document is rendered without associated style sheets, it must still be possible to read the document.
|OK – All pages render cleanly without style sheets
|6.2 Ensure that equivalents for dynamic content are updated when the dynamic content changes.
|N/A – There are no equivalents for dynamic content to keep updated, as all dynamic content is served up as accessible HTML
|7.1 Until user agents allow users to control flickering, avoid causing the screen to flicker.
|OK – None of my sites use flickering
|14.1 Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site's content.
|OK – I like to think my writing is pretty clear and simple...
|And if you use images and image maps (Priority 1)
|1.2 Provide redundant text links for each active region of a server-side image map.
|N/A – None of my sites use server-side image maps
|9.1 Provide client-side image maps instead of server-side image maps except where the regions cannot be defined with an available geometric shape.
|OK – All image maps are client-side
|And if you use tables (Priority 1)
|5.1 For data tables, identify row and column headers.
|OK – All row and column headers are identified with <th> tags
|5.2 For data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers, use markup to associate data cells and header cells.
|OK – All data tables use <thead> and <tbody> tags, plus scope attributes
|And if you use frames (Priority 1)
|12.1 Title each frame to facilitate frame identification and navigation.
|N/A – None of my sites use frames
|And if you use applets and scripts (Priority 1)
|6.3 Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported. If this is not possible, provide equivalent information on an alternative accessible page.
|OK – All scripts degrade gracefully
|And if you use multimedia (Priority 1)
|1.3 Until user agents can automatically read aloud the text equivalent of a visual track, provide an auditory description of the important information of the visual track of a multimedia presentation.
|N/A – None of my sites contain any visual multimedia
|1.4 For any time-based multimedia presentation (e.g. a movie or animation), synchronize equivalent alternatives (e.g. captions or auditory descriptions of the visual track) with the presentation.
|N/A – None of my sites contain any time-based multimedia presentations
|And if all else fails (Priority 1)
|11.4 If, after best efforts, you cannot create an accessible page, provide a link to an alternative page that uses W3C technologies, is accessible, has equivalent information (or functionality), and is updated as often as the inaccessible (original) page.
|N/A – None of my sites should contain any inaccessible pages
Priority 2 Checkpoints
|In General (Priority 2)
|2.2 Ensure that foreground and background color combinations provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone having color deficits or when viewed on a black and white screen. [Priority 2 for images, Priority 3 for text].
|OK – All colour schemes have been checked using the Hewlett-Packard colour contrast verification tool
|3.1 When an appropriate markup language exists, use markup rather than images to convey information.
|OK – Markup is always used in preference to images, where applicable
|3.2 Create documents that validate to published formal grammars.
|OK – All pages validate to W3C standards
|3.3 Use style sheets to control layout and presentation.
|OK – CSS is used to control layout and presentation
|3.4 Use relative rather than absolute units in markup language attribute values and style sheet property values.
|OK – CSS uses relative units wherever possible
|3.5 Use header elements to convey document structure and use them according to specification.
|OK – All pages have a strict header hierarchy
|3.6 Mark up lists and list items properly.
|OK – All lists are marked up properly
|3.7 Mark up quotations. Do not use quotation markup for formatting effects such as indentation.
|Partial – Blockquotes are marked up properly, though I have used normal quotation marks for speech rather than <q> tags. I might revisit this in the future
|6.5 Ensure that dynamic content is accessible or provide an alternative presentation or page.
|OK – All dynamic content is served up as accessible HTML
|7.2 Until user agents allow users to control blinking, avoid causing content to blink (i.e., change presentation at a regular rate, such as turning on and off).
|OK – None of my sites use blinking effects
|7.4 Until user agents provide the ability to stop the refresh, do not create periodically auto-refreshing pages.
|OK – None of my sites use periodic auto-refreshing
|7.5 Until user agents provide the ability to stop auto-redirect, do not use markup to redirect pages automatically. Instead, configure the server to perform redirects.
|OK – All redirects are implemented at the server level, and are only used to redirect out-of-date URLs
|10.1 Until user agents allow users to turn off spawned windows, do not cause pop-ups or other windows to appear and do not change the current window without informing the user.
|OK – None of my sites open up new windows or change the current window
|11.1 Use W3C technologies when they are available and appropriate for a task and use the latest versions when supported.
|OK – All my sites use the latest versions of W3C technologies; the only exception is the search feature, which has to use HTML 4.01 because XHTML does not support the start attribute on <ol> tags
|11.2 Avoid deprecated features of W3C technologies.
|OK – None of my sites use deprecated W3C technologies
|12.3 Divide large blocks of information into more manageable groups where natural and appropriate.
|OK – All content is broken up into the small, manageable chunks, such as paragraphs, lists, headers and fieldsets
|13.1 Clearly identify the target of each link.
|Partial – Clear link text is used where possible, though I have yet to add title attributes to links whose destinations aren't immediately obvious
|13.2 Provide metadata to add semantic information to pages and sites.
|OK – Every page contains a reasonable set of metadata, though I have omitted the keyword and description metadata from most pages as I feel the title attribute is informative enough
|13.3 Provide information about the general layout of a site (e.g. a site map or table of contents).
|OK – All my sites have site maps
|13.4 Use navigation mechanisms in a consistent manner.
|OK – All my sites use the same navigation system
|And if you use tables (Priority 2)
|5.3 Do not use tables for layout unless the table makes sense when linearized. Otherwise, if the table does not make sense, provide an alternative equivalent (which may be a linearized version).
|OK – None of my sites use tables for layout, as all layout is implemented with CSS
|5.4 If a table is used for layout, do not use any structural markup for the purpose of visual formatting.
|N/A – None of my sites use tables for layout
|And if you use frames (Priority 2)
|12.2 Describe the purpose of frames and how frames relate to each other if it is not obvious by frame titles alone.
|OK – None of my sites use frames
|And if you use forms (Priority 2)
|10.2 Until user agents support explicit associations between labels and form controls, for all form controls with implicitly associated labels, ensure that the label is properly positioned.
|OK – All labels are positioned just before their controls
|12.4 Associate labels explicitly with their controls.
|OK – All labels are associated explicitly with their controls
|And if you use applets and scripts (Priority 2)
|6.4 For scripts and applets, ensure that event handlers are input device-independent.
|7.3 Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid movement in pages.
|OK – None of my sites include movement on the page
|8.1 Make programmatic elements such as scripts and applets directly accessible or compatible with assistive technologies [Priority 1 if functionality is important and not presented elsewhere, otherwise Priority 2.]
|9.2 Ensure that any element that has its own interface can be operated in a device-independent manner.
|N/A – None of my sites contain elements with their own interfaces
|9.3 For scripts, specify logical event handlers rather than device-dependent event handlers.
Priority 3 checkpoints
|In General (Priority 3)
|4.2 Specify the expansion of each abbreviation or acronym in a document where it first occurs.
|OK – All abbreviations and acronyms are expanded
|4.3 Identify the primary natural language of a document.
|OK – Each page has a lang attribute
|9.4 Create a logical tab order through links, form controls, and objects.
|OK – All forms and page layouts have been designed to be logical for tabbing without needing to specify a tab index
|9.5 Provide keyboard shortcuts to important links (including those in client-side image maps), form controls, and groups of form controls.
|OK – My sites all support a subset of the UK Government's access keys standard
|10.5 Until user agents (including assistive technologies) render adjacent links distinctly, include non-link, printable characters (surrounded by spaces) between adjacent links.
|OK – All adjacent links have text inserted between them
|11.3 Provide information so that users may receive documents according to their preferences (e.g. language, content type, etc.)
|OK – This is done in the lang attribute and the content-type <meta> tag on each page, though note that there are no alternative formats available
|13.5 Provide navigation bars to highlight and give access to the navigation mechanism.
|OK – All my sites use standard navigaton bars expressed as lists
|13.6 Group related links, identify the group (for user agents), and, until user agents do so, provide a way to bypass the group.
|OK – All my sites group content and navigation together logically, and include 'Skip to navigation' links
|13.7 If search functions are provided, enable different types of searches for different skill levels and preferences.
|No – There is only one search system at present
|13.8 Place distinguishing information at the beginning of headings, paragraphs, lists, etc.
|OK – All content appears at the start of the page, and the nature of my writing is that I try to grab the reader early on, so distinguishing information does appear at the beginning of each logical section
|13.9 Provide information about document collections (i.e., documents comprising multiple pages.).
|OK – All pages that are part of a document collection contain <link> tags linking them together
|13.10 Provide a means to skip over multi-line ASCII art.
|N/A – None of my sites contain ASCII art
|14.2 Supplement text with graphic or auditory presentations where they will facilitate comprehension of the page.
|N/A – I don't think any of my pages would be made easier to understand with an auditory presentation
|14.3 Create a style of presentation that is consistent across pages.
|OK – All my sites use a consistent style of presentation
|And if you use images and image maps (Priority 3)
|1.5 Until user agents render text equivalents for client-side image map links, provide redundant text links for each active region of a client-side image map.
|OK – The only image maps used are on the country maps, and these all have redundant text links
|And if you use tables (Priority 3)
|5.5 Provide summaries for tables.
|N/A – Table summaries are no longer part of the HTML specification
|5.6 Provide abbreviations for header labels.
|OK – All header labels have abbreviations
|10.3 Until user agents (including assistive technologies) render side-by-side text correctly, provide a linear text alternative (on the current page or some other) for all tables that lay out text in parallel, word-wrapped columns.
|No – I haven't yet provided linearised versions of wrapped data tables
|And if you use forms (Priority 3)
|10.4 Until user agents handle empty controls correctly, include default, place-holding characters in edit boxes and text areas.
|OK – All form controls contain placeholder text
If you have any questions or feedback about the accessibility of this site, you can contact me via my Guestbook. I look forward to hearing from you.