Website accessibility is about creating websites accessible to all users – regardless of ability, language, schooling or equipment.
People with a variety of disabilities such as blindness and visual impairments, including colour blindness, hearing impairments, learning difficulties and mobility impairments may find using the internet a very complex and frustrating place to be.
Many people who have a disability may use different technologies to assist them on a computer, such as software and hardware intended to help them interact with websites. An example of this maybe specially designed screen reader software, screen magnification tools and voice participation tools. However, if the website hasn’t been considered to work with these devices, then they won’t work.
Creating an accessible website is about identifying the different requirements of our users and building information which is easily available to them. We also make sure we think carefully about each area and from time to time, enhance these methods to assist whichever system is fitting. The result of creating an accessible website is the site becomes much easier to navigate and read by all customers, pages download faster and are easier to read on mobile phones.
I Can’t See Very Well
We try to write our pages in Plain English, meaning we write simply and avoid the use of unnecessary jargon and describe all acronyms (where initials are used to describe something e.g. IOWDS stands for Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary). Although some pages may contain complex or technical language, we will, where possible, provide a glossary description of these words.
Whilst we try to minimise the use of PDF files, one or two download forms are necessary. Where possible, we shall try to use a web form. Please be assured that we are always addressing this issue. Please contact the web team if you have any problems accessing documents.
The site has been cross-platform and cross-browser tested and is currently compatible with modern browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
You may experience issues with older versions of certain browsers. If you experience any issues, please contact the web team.
Images have descriptive alternative text and decorative and spacer images have null alternative text.
The following assistive technologies have found to be compatible with the site except for areas that have accessibility limitations:
- JAWS version 12.0, 13 and 14 Screen Reader
- NVDA 2014
- Dragon Naturally Speaking 11.5 and 12
- ZoomText 9.1 Screen Magnifier
You may experience issues with older versions of these applications or other assistive technologies. If you experience any issues, please contact the web team.
How do we do this?
Although we intend to make sure each page on our site pass a certain criteria, we consider the best way to attain accessibility is to work with our customers and find out what works for you.
Before designing this website, our designers at Fresh Start visited a local disability group (mixed disabilities) to ask about website ideas and look for feedback from all. We gained some priceless insight into how people use the web, and what features they find useful. We have tried to execute many of these features where we can.
We continue to seek feedback from accessibility user groups and would welcome any comments from other users who have accessibility requirements. If you would like to give us your feedback about the accessibility of this website, or would like to offer ideas or help us with testing – we would be happy to hear from you. Please use the main Contact Form. Thank you.