This site is designed following the accessibility guidance set out in the W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. This involved using a number of technological and design implementations, meeting certain standards criteria and developing clear editorial guidelines, including:
- text size throughout the site can be altered as required by the visitor using the resize text widget
- all images, audio and video files accompanied by text versions or alt tags
- clear and consistent navigation and layout
- use of clean HTML code
- content rewritten in plain language
- use of jargon kept to a minimum
This site has also been designed to work with web browsers that use text-to-speech plugins, meaning the text can be read to you. Google Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla Firefox each have their own plugin, while Internet Explorer supports many Microsoft text-to-speech software.
Google Chrome has a free download called Chrome Speak that works on Windows, Chrome OS, and Mac OS X. You simply select the text and click “Read the selected text” from the menu to hear it read aloud. Chrome Speak is useful for longer texts, can be translated into many languages, and is compatible with Windows, Chrome OS, and Mac OS X.
If you own an Apple computer with Mac OS X, you won’t need a plugin! The operating system comes with its own built-in text-to-speech program. VoiceOver is Apple’s screen reading technology, and to launch it, all you have to do is press Command + F5.
For any other Apple computer, Safari has a text-to-speech plugin as well, listed under the Services menu. All you have to do is highlight the text and click “Start Speaking.”
For Mozilla Firefox, there are two options. FoxVox is one of the text-to-speech options for Firefox, where you simply highlight the text you want read. Text to Voice is the add-on that will appear in any tab in Firefox and will read the selected text.
Since there isn’t a specific plugin for Internet Explorer, Microsoft offers a variety of text-to-speech downloads for your computer. Microsoft Reader and Windows Narrator are the Microsoft text-to-speech products.
Web Browsers also include many other features to help make the content on websites more accessible to all users, including those who have low vision, no vision, or limited ability to use a keyboard or mouse.