Accessibility

We have tried to build a site that places accessibility and usability principles at the centre. We aim to provide a site that meets the W3C’s guidelines for the AA level of accessibility.

We have a number of accessibility features to help make your experience of using our website as positive as possible. We are continuing to work on enhancements and would be very grateful for your feedback on the accessibility of our website. If you would like to make comments or suggestions please email:

editor@disabilitytoday.co.uk

Access keys

This site uses the access key attribute, which provides a set of keyboard shortcuts for common navigational tasks.

As of writing there is no W3C recommended assignation of access keys. However, there is a consensus emerging of sites that assign accesskeys to numbers (as below).

  • S – Skip to content
  • 1 – Home
  • 2 – Now
  • 3 – Sitemap
  • 4 – Search
  • 5 – Privacy Policy
  • 6 – Cookies
  • 7 – Login / Register
  • 8 – Terms & Conditions
  • 9 – Contact us
  • 0 – Accessibility (incl. access key details)

Why access keys?

In the W3C note ‘Techniques for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0’, section Keyboard access, the need for access keys is motivated as follows:

“Not every user has a graphic environment with a mouse or other pointing device. Some users rely on keyboard, alternative keyboard or voice input to navigate links, activate form controls, etc. Content developers should always ensure that users may interact with a page with devices other than a pointing device. A page designed for keyboard access (in addition to mouse access) will generally be accessible to users with other input devices. What’s more, designing a page for keyboard access will usually improve its overall design as well.”

This can be crucial to people with motor disabilities. Of course there are other conditions where it could be necessary or useful. To take a trivial example, if your mouse is temporarily broken, you might still wish to do some web surfing. And in technologies which differ from ‘normal’ PCs or terminals, such as WebTV, laptops, and handheld devices, a pointing device or function – if available at all – can be significantly more difficult to use for exact pointing than a good mouse.

Text adapted from:

http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/forms/accesskey.html

with thanks.

How access keys work

Pressing an access key assigned to an element gives focus to the element. The action that occurs when an element receives focus depends on the element. For example, when a user activates a link defined by the A element, the user agent generally follows the link. When a user activates a radio button, the user agent changes the value of the radio button. When the user activates a text field, it allows input, etc.

Using access keys

This section details how accesskeys are implemented in various Web browsers and operating systems.

  • Internet Explorer (PC) – Hold down the ALT key, press the number of the access key, release both keys then press ENTER
  • Firefox (PC) – Shift + Alt + access key
  • Safari (PC): Alt + access key
  • Firefox (Mac): CTRL + access key
  • Sarafi (Mac): CTRL + Alt + access key

Images

All images used in this site include ALT attributes

Links

Links are written to make sense out of context

Visual design

This site uses cascading style sheets for visual layout. If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the content of each page is designed to be still readable