We have strived to make this site accessible. This is an important approach as it ensures that the site can be enjoyed by everyone. We would welcome your comments about any aspect of the site, including accessibility.

BCS The Chartered Institute for ITBCS The Chartered Institute for IT have announced the winners of the 2010 Web Awards. Dr Hywel Francis MP was shortlisted in the Accessibility category in conjunction with AbilityNet, a registered national charity with over 20 years experience helping disabled people adapt and adjust their information and communications technology.

The Judges looked for sites that successfully engage, excite, provide information and encouraged two-way communication between MPs and their constituents.

Hywel Francis says,

'I welcome any comments on how to improve my website especially to improve access for people with disabilities.'

Using access keys to navigate this site

A number of access keys have been specified to help users navigate the site using keyboard shortcuts:

s - Skip navigation and go to the page content
0 - Accessibility and Access key details (this page)
1 - Home page
2 - Press releases page
3 - Contact page
4 - Site search feature
t - Return to the top of the page

To navigate the website using access keys on a Windows system using the Internet Explorer web browser

Press and hold down the ALT key. While holding down the ALT key, press the required access key (shown below). Release both keys, and then press the ENTER key.

To navigate the website using access keys on a Windows system using the Firefox web browser

Press and hold down the SHIFT and ALT keys. While holding down the SHIFT and ALT key, press the required access key (shown below).

To navigate the website using access keys on a Mac system

Press and hold down the CTRL key. While holding down the CTRL key, press the required access key (shown below). Release both keys, and then press the ENTER key.

Accessibility issues addressed by the site

  • Access keys have been defined to allow the site to be navigated quickly using keyboard shortcuts.
  • A 'skip to content' link is presented to users with speech browsers. This allows the speech browser to skip past navigation and header images etc, and go directly to the page content.
  • An alternative aural 'style sheet' has been provided. The purpose of this is to provide a range of different voice styles etc to give emphasis to different elements on the pages - for example, reading headings or links in a different voice to body text to help distinguish the differences.
  • The site will be shown in a useable format for visitors using text broswers.
  • Interactive events such as clicking on links etc are not restricted to the use of a mouse in order to work.
  • There is a good contrast between background colour and font colour to assist readability.
  • All major navigation links used on the site are given an alternate text description.
  • The site has used clear and simple language to make the information easier to read. We have also provided clear and accurate headings and link descriptions.
  • Colour used on the site is purely to enhance the overall look of pages, and the site will function equally well in black and white.
  • Font sizes have been specified in relative units as this allows you to increase the font size using your browser settings (please see external links below for more information).
  • Form fields have been provided with appropriate labels.
  • Good design practise has been employed to ensure that the user can overwrite the site style information with their own chosen styles. The site will also remain in a useable format with style information removed completely.
  • The site conforms to XHTML design standards (specified by the World Wide Web Consortium) to ensure that the site works correctly and consistently across a range of platforms. The site also conforms to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 from the Web Accessibility Initiative – (part of the World Wide Web Consortium), and has been validated using a combination of automated and manual testing techniques.
  • You can use the 'W3C' icons at the bottom of each page to check conformity to XHTML, CSS and WAI standards.

Other important notes

Most web browser software includes options that allow you to customise the style of a website to a large extent - e.g. changing the background colours, font face, font size and color to suit your needs and preferences. The best way to find out about applying these options is to access the 'HELP' menu in your web broswer, then use the help contents section to search for information relating to 'ACCESSIBILITY'. Also, please see the useful external links below, particularly the 'BBC My Web My Way' link as it provides an easy to follow set of pages that show you how to make changes to your broswer settings to make web pages more accessible.

Useful external links
AbilityNet is a national charity helping disabled adults and children use computers and the internet by adapting and adjusting their technology.

Welcome to the Wales Remote Assessment Project (WRAP)
WRAP is a project, funded by the Big Lottery and run by AbilityNet. The project aims to provide better access to computers for people with a range of difficulties by establishing remote assessment capability in 90 centres across Wales.

BBC - My Web My Way
This site explains the many ways you can change your browser, computer, keyboard and mouse settings to make the web more accessible to you.

Accessibility Tutorials for Microsoft Products
These step by step tutorials introduce you to some of the most commonly used accessibility features. The instructions show you how to use the mouse or keyboard to navigate, select options, and change settings.

Accessibility Features in Firefox
Details of accessibility features in the Firefox web browser.


Please note that Dr Francis is not responsible for the reliability and availabilty of external links, and does not necessarily endorse any views expressed on these sites.

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