All pages are intended to be at least WCAG AA approved, complying with all priority 1, 2 (and possibly 3) guidelines of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Although some of these guidelines are intentionally vague (and can not be tested automatically), the pages and content on this site are periodically reviewed to check for compliance. However, it is recognised that some limitations of the CMS currently in use (Joomla! version 1.0.x) may produce page layout elements that are only WCAG A compliant. The Joomla! developers have a stated commitment to improving compliance with accessiblity standards and it is anticipated that forthcoming updates will deliver upon this commitment.
Through achieving the above, this site should meet the requirements of the UK Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA).
The main site template and all pages at the point of initial site publication are believed to meet the requirements of the U.S. Federal Government Section 508 Guidelines. Page content will be periodically reviewed to confirm that edits & additions also comply with the guidelines.
All tables have properly declared row and column title cells; forms are designed to make use of the <LABEL> tag to associate labels with form elements. Such steps will tie element descriptions to , to allow screen readers to render them intelligently.
It is anticipated that most users will use the drop-down menus to navigate the website. However, a site map link is available from every page which, as well as providing an at-a-glance overview of the website structure, provides an alternate means of navigation which some visitors may find easier to use.
Due to a browser rendering flaw relating to element depth, the combination of drop-down menus and Flash rotating pictures device may not function properly. (Firefox 2 on Linux is known to display the menus beneath the pictures, for example.) In cases where this is believed to be the case, the Flash player content will be replaced by comparable static images.
Wherever possible, links are written to make sense out of context. Many browsers (such as JAWS, Home Page Reader, Lynx, and Opera) can extract the list of links on a page and allow the user to browse the list, separately from the page.
Link text is never duplicated within the main content of any given page ; two links with the same link text always point to the same address.
There are no links that open in new windows.
All content images used in this site include descriptive <ALT> tag attributes to identify the image or its relevance. Purely decorative graphics include null ALT attributes. No navigational, instructive or informational text is presented in image form rather than as text.
Scripts and Plugins
This site primarily uses cascading style sheets for visual layout. Some table layout is produced automatically by the CMS in use. Consideration regarding both general underlying best practises and also the needs of specific groups of users has been given throughout the development of this site and will continue to be reassessed - both periodically and should any particular issue be brought to our attention.
Colour schemes and combinations have been chosen to attempt to enable maximum legibility by a wide audience, as well as conveying a coherent (but not key for navigation) sense of location within sections of the site. (For example, light-coloured text on coloured backgrounds is known to present some groups of users with difficulties and has therefore been avoided.)
However, should the choice of colours be problematic for some users, printed copy or PDF versions of the page (as produced using the PDF icon in line with each page title) does not include this colour information. In addition, these colours are implemented through CSS and can thus be disabled by those browsers that allow such functionality.
The text on this site can be resized in a number of ways (this will inevitably modify page/text layout to some extent):
- These same stylesheets can also be manually chosen where the browser being used supports this. (e.g. Firefox allows a user to select their default stylesheet through the Page Style item on the View menu.)
- Most popular browsers will allow for resizing of text on this site independantly from the stylesheets by two standard methods:
- Options available within the Text Size item in the View menu;
- Scrolling of the mouse wheel (or equivalent) when the Ctrl (on MS Windows) is depressed.
If your browser or browsing device does not support stylesheets at all, the content of each page is still readable.
Secondary Document Formats
Wadham has aimed to ensure that any media used to visually enhance this website uses well-known formats and software plug-ins (e.g. the Adobe Flash Player) with large installed populations. Similarly, only well-known secondary document formats (e.g. PDF) will be used for files that are intended to be downloaded and viewed separately (or inline).
The content of any page or document hosted as part of this website may be requested in an alternative format by any individual, if the alternative format would be easier for them to access than the original. Please contact Wadham's Disability Contacts using the details on the Contact Us page if you wish to make use of this facility or learn more about the alternative document formats available.
Most browsers support jumping to specific links by typing keys defined on the web site. On Internet Explorer on Windows, you can press ALT + an access key; on Macintosh, you can press Control + an access key.
Specific access keys are not currently provided for this site. Work is ongoing to establish a common set of keys to be used throughout the University website and they will be implemented here when standards are agreed.
A variety of Web browsing software (including text-only browsers), Operating Systems (including MS Windows XP & Vista, Mac OS X, and Debian & Fedora Core Linux), validation and evaluation tools have been used to test the accessibility and consistant rendering of this site, with any identified problems or inconsistancies either rectified or suitable alternatives provided.
- W3 accessibility guidelines, which explains the reasons behind each guideline.
- W3 accessibility techniques, which explains how to implement each guideline.
- W3 accessibility checklist, a developer's guide to accessibility.
- Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA).
- U.S. Federal Government Section 508 accessibility guidelines.
- The University of Oxford's Web Accessibility Standard.
- JAWS, a screen reader for Windows. A time-limited, downloadable demo is available.
- Home Page Reader, a screen reader for Windows. A downloadable demo is available.
- Lynx, a free text-only web browser for blind users with refreshable Braille displays.
- Links, a free text-only web browser for visual users with low bandwidth.
- Opera, a visual browser with many accessibility-related features, including text zooming, user stylesheets, image toggle. A free downloadable version is available. Compatible with Windows, Macintosh, Linux, and several other operating systems.
- HTML Validator, a free service for checking that web pages conform to published HTML standards.
- Lynx Viewer, a free service for viewing what web pages would look like in the Lynx web browser.
- WebXACT is a free online service that tests single pages of web content for quality, accessibility, and privacy issues.