We are working to ensure all pages on this website conform to level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0. These guidelines are the internationally recognised benchmark for building accessible websites.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines also makes web content more user friendly for all people.

Further Information

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines produced by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) have become widely accepted as the international standard for accessible web design.

An accessible website is one that is built using universal design principles to ensure that it can accommodate the broadest range of users. That is, people using our site via different channels and in different circumstances, including users with disabilities. Websites that are not accessible result in problems, particularly for users with disabilities who use adaptive technology to access internet sites. To combat this problem, internationally recognised ‘Web Content Accessibility Guidelines’ (WCAG) have been created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as part of its Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI).

The guidelines help promote higher degrees of accessibility for disabled internet users.The WCAG are divided into three different conformance levels:

  • Level A: The minimum measures that must be taken to ensure that disabled internet users can have any degree of access to a site.
  • Level AA : Should be followed to ensure a site is easier for disabled internet users to use.
  • Level AAA: Should be followed to create a site that offers disabled internet users optimum user experience.

The conformance levels are concurrent so to be compliant to level AA, the website must also comply to all level A guidelines and all level AA guidelines.

Benefits of an accessible website:

  • Accessible content: For example where a text equivalent is provided for graphical elements it is highly visible to search engines resulting in higher rankings.
  • Accessible sites are easier for everyone to use.
  • Older people with changing abilities due to aging will also benefit from accessible websites.
  • Accessible websites also have the potential to widen a website’s current audience and reach new ones: The Family Resources Survey found that there are almost 10 million disabled people in the UK with a combined spending power in the region of 80 billion pounds per annum. Furthermore there are millions of other individuals that are affected by sensory, physical and/or cognitive impairments, including those resulting from the ageing process.
  • Content developed upholding World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines and specifications can be more easily transferred to other media, such as interactive TV, mobile phones and handheld computers.
  • Ensuring accessibility can also be a source of good publicity, as social inclusion results in a fairer world with equality of opportunity.

Further business benefits achieved by making websites accessible are given at

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