We are constantly working to make our website as accessible and usable as possible by anyone who wishes to visit it. This is a major task especially as the maintenance of the site is carried out wholly voluntarily.


Most machines and web browsers support voice readers to speak web page contents to you (see AbilityNet 'make your device talk to you' below). This website has been made voice-capable as well, with the speaking functions accessed via the Accessibility button in the top right hand corner of every page (see description below). Having a dedicated voice facility enables the speech option to be a little more specific to the site, e.g. speaking just the main text on the page.

PDF files on this site can also be downloaded and read out loud using the Adobe Acrobat Reader 'Read Out Loud' facility. This can be activated from the Acrobat Reader View menu tab either by clicking or via the shortcut Shift-Ctrl-Y (Windows) or Shift-Cmd-Y (Mac), and then the current page can be read out loud by keying Shift-Ctrl-V (Windows) or Shift-Cmd-V (Mac), or the whole document by pressing Shift-Ctrl-B or Shift-Cmd-B.


You can use the keyboard to navigate around the site. Links and buttons are included in the tab sequence. When a website page first loads, the Accessibility button has the focus and this is the button in the top-right-hand corner of the screen. You can then use the 'Tab' key to cycle through the other links on the page, each in turn receiving focus and showing a yellow background, or you can use the shift and tab keys together to move backwards. If you press 'Enter' on a link or button with a yellow background, you will activate it. If it is a link you will be redirected to the web page denoted by the link. If it is a button you will have 'clicked' it, and action will follow as defined for that button. So, if you are focused on the 'Accessibility' button and press enter, the accessibility panel will open.

Accessibility Button

The Accessibility button looks as follows and is located in the top-right-hand corner of the screen:

Accessibility Icon

Accessibility Panel

This panel has an 'Explanation' button, which can be used to show the full written explanation of the Accessibility Panel, and this explanation can also be spoken out loud.

There are two main facilities provied by this panel: 1) Increasing or decreasing the size of the text on the screen and 2) Various controls to speak the text on the web page out loud and also to speak selected text out loud. You can also pause and resume the speaking and restart from the beginning if you wish.

You can also choose the voice that is used. The voice is synthetic and therefore does not reproduce spoken language perfectly, but it is fine for most purposes and if you stay with one speaker you will hopefully soon get used to it!

Listening can also make an attractive alternative to reading, especially when on the move and/or using a mobile device. The speech facility makes it possible for everyone to listen to a web page as an alternative to (or as well as) reading it.

Voice Selection

The available voices are provided in the dropdown list next to 'Choose Voice'. Those available will differ according to the computer you are using. Windows voices are different to Mac voices for instance.

On a Mac go to Settings - Accessibility - Speech. This will show you the 'System Voice' and allow you to select or download some other voices, e.g. a female voice rather than a male one. The voice you select here will become the default voice (i.e. the first one on the list) in your voice list.

Before doing the above, make sure that , under Settings - Language & Region, your correct language and country is chosen. If you change this, you may have to restart your machine.

On a Windows PC go to Settings - Ease of Access - Narrator. Narrator is a screen reader that you can enable to describe what is on your screen. Under 'Personalise Narrator's Voice' you can select your default voice. To add voices to the list click on 'Add more voices' or go to Settings - Time & Language where you can choose the voice language default, choose a voice and use 'Add voices' to install further voice packages such as Canadian or Australian English.


Our website has been developed to best practice coding conventions following World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (WCAG 2.1).

Consistent Page Headings and Titles

A consistent heading structure has been used throughout the site so that page information is compatible with access technology and the general experience feels familiar throughout.


The following browsers have been tested for compatibility:

  • Microsoft Edge (on Windows
  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox (Windows and Mac) v2.0 and 12.0
  • Safari (Mac) v4.v5

The site has also been tested on tablet and mobile phone devices.

Making full use of your computer's Facilities

In terms of what you can do to more fully utilise your machine to carry out tasks, AbilityNet provides useful guidance on how to achieve various customisations of your equipment:

Alternative Formats

If you would like a publication in an alternative format please contact us through our Contact Us form. We will try to accommodate your requirement but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to.

Please Leave Feedback

We are always happy to receive feedback. Please use our online feedback form to let us know about any problems you have had or email our website team. If you have any suggestions we would also like to hear from you.

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